Back to league action this week for the under 16’s looking to get themselves moving up the table. The away side made the better start to the game playing with composure and winning their fair share of the ball. Tibs were pressurising the home defence and won a free kick wide on the right which was swung in and headed home to give them the lead after 8 minutes. Stockton had the wake up call and might have equalised when Jack Lacy raced clear but the away keeper came out of his box to clear the danger. Stockton were back on level terms when Luke Hallatt picked up the ball in central midfield and sprayed a pass out to Jack Lacy wide on the left who collected the ball got his head up and played in Hallatt who curled his shot high to the keeper ‘s left and into the back of the net. The home side had chances to go ahead when Will Mackie was sent clear by Ethan Gage but he saw his shot well saved and the rebound was cleared off the line. Jack Lacy had a couple of chances but saw his first effort denied by the keeper’s feet and another attempt drift wide when the keeper spilled the ball. Stockton were now creating the better chances and were unlucky not to take the lead when James Mahoney headed just over the bar from a Sam Dawson corner. Tibs had a chance of their own just before the break when the forward raced clear but Charlie Bradley was alert and bravely gathered the ball at the attacker’s feet. A spell of pressure for the home side was rewarded when James Mahoney was dragged down in the box. Up stepped Sam Dawson to hammered the spot kick home giving Stockton the half time lead.
Half time: Stockton Town 2-1 Tibs “A”
Stockton started the second half with much more purpose and had an early chance when James Mahoney and Will Mackie linked up well down the right with Mackie firing in a low cross which the keeper fumbled but no one was on hand to gather the loose ball. Will Mackie was more in the game second half and he linked up well with Dylon Marshall who was unlucky to see his shot well saved. Mackie was supplying some wonderful crosses and Stockton took full advantage when Jack Lacy fired home with a great bicycle kick to increase the lead. Stockton were doing well down both wings and looked to have gone further ahead when Sam Dawson had a shot come cross which drifted all the way across the face of goal but only resulted in a goal kick. To their credit Tibs continued to battle and reduced the deficit when a speculative effort from 30 yards hit the back of the net just out of the reach of the home keeper. Stockton didn’t need another wake up call and soon added to their lead when a Will Mackie cross found Jack Francis who hit a shot which the keeper fumbled and Liam Small sled in to force the ball home. Stockton had to chances in quick succession when Jack Lacy fired wide and James Mahoney saw his header instinctively blocked by the Tibs keeper. Stockton extended the lead when Jack Francis powered into the box before exchanging passes with Luke Hallatt and firing the ball home. There was still time for the home side to grab another goal which came from more good work by Will Mackie who raced down the right wing before picking out Jack Lacy in the box who guided the ball home to complete the scoring.
Full Time Stockton Town 6-2 Tibs “A”
This was a tough game for the lads who made life hard for themselves early on. They pulled themselves together second half and got the three points they needed to keep in touch with rest of the early pace setters in the division.
Man of the Match: Jack Daniel.