The under 16’s were entertaining the team currently sitting top of the division on another bitterly cold windy day. Early pressure from Stockton saw Ethan Gage go close with a shot which just cleared the crossbar. The home side were up for the task penning their opponents in their own half and went close again when Dylon Marshall saw his looping shot well saved by the Skelton goalie. Stockton were winning every tackle and putting their bodies on the line for the cause which was evident when a Sam Dawson corner was met by Luke Hallatt’s head but he took a boot to the face in the process breaking his nose. The home side were determined and broke the deadlock when Will Mackie and Sam Dawson exchanged passes to release Rhys Berryman who saw his shot saved but Dylon Marshall pounced to force the ball home. Stockton were good value for the lead and went close to extending their lead when James Mahoney played in Dylon Marshall but he was foiled by the away keeper. Skelton had a couple of attacks but found Jacob Selby in fine form to snuff out the danger. Skelton had another attack with a ball over the top but Jack Massey and Jack Daniel combined to get the ball away and set the home side on the attack once again, finding Rhys Berryman, who played in Dylon Marshall to round the keeper and double the lead. Skelton had their best chance when the forward raced clear but Charlie Bradley bravely dived at the attackers feet and gathered the ball. Bradley kept Skelton out again when a long range shot look destined for the top corner but he quickly got across his goal to tip the ball over. Stockton were racking up the shots making “the oldest ball boy in town” work for his money. Cheers Mick Mahoney !!!! Just before the break Jacob Selby made another great tackle and Stockton went straight up the other end but Marshall’s shot drifted just wide of the post.
Half Time: Stockton Town 2-0 Skelton United
The under 16’s started the second half strongly and might have added to their lead when Luke Hallatt broke from midfield and played in Dylon Marshall but he was foiled by a great save from the keeper. Hallatt soon had a chance of his own when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box and hit a shot which narrowly went past the post. Stockton were looking for a third goal to kill off the game and came close when Will Mackie got the bye line and picked out Luke Hallatt but his shot was toe poked off the line by the home defence. Skelton made use of the wind in the second half but Liam Small and Jack Daniel cooly cleared things time and time again. Stockton were having to defend against the wind in the second period which meant Ethan Gage had the job of protecting his back four which he did, not allowing the opposition an inch in the midfield battle. It was Gage who set up the next Stockton attack winning the ball on the edge of his own box and feeding Luke Hallatt who powered through midfield and laid the ball into the path of Will Mackie who was denied by a last ditch tackle from the defender. Skelton came close to pulling a goal back but Charlie Bradley raced off his line to gather the ball getting a kick to the head for his trouble. Stockton saw out the game and might have grabbed a third goal when Jacob Selby sent Sam Dawson free down the left wing but he saw his shot rattle the crossbar.
Full Time: Stockton Town 2-0 Skelton United
This was a hard fought victory for the lads with the defence remaining rock solid as a unit, the midfield denying their opponents any space and the forwards working tirelessly all game long. Well done lads a great result.
Man of the Match: Jacob Selby