The game started in good old Christmas fashion with players on display that had blatantly over indulged in the festive period. Both teams struggled to get there passing game going and couldn’t get a foothold in the game.
It was Darlington who threatened first with a few half chances on Jordan’s goal but the inform shot stopper was having none of it and stood firm in between the sticks.
It was Stockton who took the lead with a long range effort from STFC skipper Scaife-Wheatley that took a nick to whistle past the on looking Darlington keeper. Langstaff had a few decent chances but failed to double Stockton’s lead. 1-0 HT
Again the game was really flat and no one could really get into stride and take a foot hold in the game but Darlington to their credit kept plugging away and to be fair for 15mins in the 2nd half were the better team and rightly deserved to get there equaliser.
With 30 minutes to go Stockton manager tweaked the system and personnel which saw Stonehouse go up top to allow the ball the stick for a bit and Bengo to left back and kempy inside one, off came Conner Gardener who got through a good 60 mins on his debut.
Stockton took the lead on about 70mins with an outstanding left foot volley from Langstaff from about 16 yards on the turn into the top corner.
Priestley then kneed one over the line after tenacious work from McGurk down the right to make it 3-1 with 15 to play. Stockton number 1 Jordan then picked up an injury after a collision with Lovatt and the Darlo forward which seen Stockton have to play 13mins with Kemp (defender) on goal. Stockton then gave debut to Matthew Wilson who has just came out of the York academy set up who did well at right back.
Stockton stood firm to pinch the 3 points off the leaders before KO and put themselves top of the tree for the new year.
In fairness a game that could have gone either way or maybe a draw could have been a fair reflection but taking chances change games and that’s what Stockton did today.