Hartlepool FC v Stockton Town FC
A very cold day in Hartlepool to face a much improved Hartlepool FC side had the potential to cause Stockton problems, but an impressive performance yet again from Stockton saw them finish 5 0 winners.
Stockton suffered a blow in the 4th minute when Scott Meehan had to leave the field with a knee injury after lengthy treatment, his replacement Anton Buchan went onto have a fine game in the left back position. On the restart from Scotts injury the ball was won by the Stockton midfield and an incredible through ball by Stav Roberts set Kallum Hannah away and with a cool side foot pass into the bottom corner Stockton were in front. Stockton were in complete control and a great run by Tony Johnson saw him flash a shot just over the bar, Kallum Hannah then chose to try and chip the keeper and only found the keeper. A Tom Coulthard header from a corner only just cleared the bar some heroic defending from Hartlepool saw both Max Craggs and Stav Roberts denied shots on target, however half time arrived with only a 1 0 lead.
The second half started without a chance until a slip by a Hartlepool defender allowed Tony Johnson in on goal and he made no mistake from 15 yards, on 51 minutes and then 6 minutes later another unstoppable through ball by Max Craggs set Kallum Hannah away to make it 3 0 to Stockton. Stockton now looked like scoring every-time they went forward and only 3 minutes later Kallum Hannah completed his hat trick following a number of blocked shots, by both the keeper and Hartlepool defenders. Stockton were not finished yet and it was left to James Ward to cushion an awkward ball in the box and volley into the far corner to complete the 5 0 victory.
Next up for Stockton is the little matter of a Shipowners Cup Semi Final tie against Redcar Athletic, Saturday 13th December at Bishopton Road West with a 1 30pm kick off.