Stockton Town travelled to Silksworth CW, without Danny Lawson and Tom Coulthard, this gave the opportunity for James Ward and Matthew Garbutt to return to the side. Joe Scaife-Wheatley was the latest of the U18’s to step up and take their chance in the 1st Team.
It was Jose Mourinho that once said “Sometimes you have to win ugly”. This game was a prime example of this, with Stockton Town’s late show finally overcoming a stubborn Silksworth performance.
Silksworth set out to make it as difficult as possible for Stockton, stretching 8 and sometimes 9 players across the field, to stop Stockton using our wingers, this provided a red wall that Stockton had to break down.
It wasn’t helped by Silksworth scoring first, Silksworth won a corner after 16 minutes, Liam Hodgson sent the corner into the box, this deceived all the players on the near post and gave Stephen Bagshaw a simple header 3 yards out that gave Michael Arthur in Stockton’s goal no chance.
The only time in the first half that Stockton broke threw Silksworth’s red wall came after 39 minutes when Kallum Hannah broke free but his shot hit the bar and bounced clear.
Trailing by at half time, Stockton were determined to get on level terms and a incident that happened after 47 minutes was to have a impact later in the game, Silksworth’s defender Dan Martin in a effort to clear the ball was bundled to the ground and needed 4 minutes of treatment, this resulted in referee Stephen Birkett playing 6 minutes of injury time.
Stockton eventually got the equaliser in the 60th minute a goalmouth scramble following a left wing corner resulted in several players trying to force the ball over the line but goalkeeper Joe Clayton stopped them all, until the ball fell to Chris Stockton to fire in much to the relief of the Stockton players.
Silksworth’s red wall stood firm and it looked to have worked and the game would end in a draw, until the 6 minutes of injury time, in the 4th minute of stoppage time defender Enu Uade who had won most of the balls, sliced his clearance to the centre midfield area. There was debutent Joe Scaife-Wheatley who picked up the loose ball, picked out Max Craggs run into the box with a fine pass, Max was left with the keeper to beat but Clayton saved his first effort, but the ball ran out to Max Craggs to fire the ball into the net at the second attempt.
The relief saw all 11 Stockton players celebrating as Michael Arthur also raced down-field to join in to celebrate a hard fought win and the reaction to the late winner showed the pride these players have in what they are achieving.