Despite a good controlled first half performance, which promised so much, the Anchors unbeaten run came to a crashing halt tonight at the hands of National League North side Spennymoor Town. Max Craggs gave the Anchors a deserved lead but Adam Boyes managed to find space inside the 18 yard box twice to execute neat finishes and when Brogans cross flew over the keeper into the far corner the game was almost over, the Anchors gave it a go and created some chances but the Moors side threatened several times to extend their lead on the break and only a string of Callum Roberts last gasp saves prevented that until James Roberts added a fourth late on.
There was one change from Saturday’s line up that saw Max Craggs coming into the team and Jordan Robinson covering at centre half with Adam Nicholson unavailable.
Stockton started the brighter and passed the ball around well on the excellent surface but it was Spennymoor who had the first chance when Cogden played in Boyes but Callum Roberts was out in a flash to block with his feet.
The Anchors continued to probe and Hayes was proving a productive outlet for them as he cut inside Brogan and his on target effort was deflected clear for a corner, he continued to torment the full back on 18 minutes as his low cross into the box was spilled by debutant Eve but he managed to retrieve it before Franks could get a clean hit and the chance had gone.
On 20 minutes Stockton took a deserved lead as Hayes played a short corner to Roberts and his return cross to the far post was headed home by Max CRAGGS to the delight of the large section of travelling fans.
The Anchors were on top but couldn’t press their advantage home and the joy was short-lived as the fussy Ref gave a foul on Cogden when Lewis King had patently played the ball, the free kick in a dangerous position on the left edge of the 18 yard box was curled in by Anderson, Roberts pushed it away one handed but the loose ball was allowed to be headed back across to BOYES who made no mistake from close range on 29 mins.
Anderson almost gave Moors the lead a few minutes later when he met Whitehouses cross on the Volley but fired it just over as they broke quickly from a Stockton corner. Just before half time Craggs free kick from 25 yards was charged down with an arm but not deliberate according to the Ref and the final chance came in the 45th minute when Franks burst into the box but didn’t connect properly with his shot and Eve collected easily HT 1-1
Second half saw the Step 2 side on the front foot and they took the lead on 52 minutes after a weak headed clearance from a corner fell to that man BOYES again who volleyed it home from 12 yards via a deflection or two
The Moors now had the bit between their teeth and the unfortunate Roberts could do nothing about the next goal just 2 minutes later when BROGAN was allowed to travel a long way down the left and his well struck ‘cross’ flew over the keeper and into the far corner of the net and the type of freak thing that just knocks the stuffing out of you and it did for a while.
The Anchors did well to regroup and produce a reaction and a surging run by McWilliams saw him put clear by Hayes clever pass and the full backs well struck volley was a certain goal until debutant Eve came up with a cracking save to deny him, from the resulting corner Tom Coulthard had time and space at the far post but couldnt direct his header on target and it looked like the frustrating evening wouldn’t get any better.
Callum Roberts showed his class and produced 2 or 3 terrific saves at the feet of Spennymoor forwards, Boyes, Ramshaw and Anderson who were getting free mainly due to Stocktons high line and the need to press forward to get back in the game. Lewis Kings effort got the away crowd excited when the ball hit the side netting after his shot from 20 yards was deflected the wrong side of the post and Fred Woodhouse had another decent chance when he met Hayes cross at the far post but couldn’t divert it home.
Callum Roberts was finally beaten again by his namesake James ROBERTS on 84 minutes as the striker was clean through on goal after the Anchors gave the ball away cheaply with lots of men committed forward. The keeper forced him wide but he kept position and composure and managed to fire it home from a tight angle to make it 4-1
Scoreline probably was a little unfair on the Anchors but its not the end of the world Spennymoor have some fantastic players and are a team and a club on the up and on the verge of the play off places in National League North. The positives are that we caused them problems throughout the game and after the fluke third goal we didn’t crumble Although pushing on like we did opened up more chances for the Moors on the break it was necessary obviously, take a bow Callum Roberts for a brilliant MoM performance dealing with almost every one on one with the marauding Spennymoor strikers. Tom’s Coulthard and Portas were top class on the night too.
A massive game coming up this Saturday with a chance to go almost out of reach of promotion rivals Consett but it will be a tough ask against a very good side.
Spennymoor Town: Eve, Forbes, Brogan, Magnay, Buddle, Mason©, Whitehouse, Henry, Boyes, Anderson, Cogden
Subs: Roberts, Gould, Taylor, Ramshaw, Webb
Goals: Boyes (29’, 52’), Brogan 54, Roberts 84’
Words: Lee Nicholson
Photos: Harry Cook/Ray Sharpe
Highlights: James Cartwright