Frickley Athletic FC v Stockton Town FC
Mikey Roberts scored his 50th goal for Stockton Town as the Anchors extended their winning run to eight matches with a comfortable victory at Frickley Athletic.
Roberts opened the scoring midway through the first-half and Kev Hayes doubled Stockton’s lead with an extraordinary lobbed finish from 45-yards.
Jamie Owens wrapped up the points for the visitors with his fifth goal of the season, as the Anchors move within a point of third placed Shildon.
Michael Dunwell named an unchanged side from the New Year’s Day victory against the Railwaymen, with Alfie Conway returning to the matchday squad.
Stockton were on the front foot immediately from the off, with Roberts and Tom Coulthard having early efforts before Liam Cooke forcing an early good save from Joshua Chapman.
Hayes had a great chance to put the Anchors ahead just after 12 minutes, Tom Portas with an early piece of brilliance to feed the forward who was denied by Chapman.
Chapman was again involved as he made two more saves to prevent Stockton going ahead, denying Roberts and Hayes within close proximity.
Nathan Perks reminded the visitors of the potential danger of Frickley as he crossed low for Josh Scott who missed the target.
Roberts opened the scoring with a goal that had been coming, Nathan Steel played a ball through to Cooke who was denied before Roberts tapped home from the rebound to bring up his half century of goals.
The remainder of the half settled into a battling contest as Frickley worked to force an equaliser, Brad Wells and James Matthews with efforts either side of shots from Hayes.
Brad Orlando-Young had the first shot on target for Frickley, with Callum Roberts equal to the strike.
Just as the half-time interval was approaching, Hayes produced a moment of absolute magic. Chapman sweeped to clear a ball forward, the winger intercepted and lobbed Chapman audaciously from a full 45-yards.
The hosts rallied and went close to reducing to the deficit with Tom Coulthard clearing off the line early in the second-half.
Lewis King produced an outstanding block to prevent an almost certain consolation from Orlando-Young’s effort.
Owens was introduced to the fold and made an immediate impact as he guaranteed the three points, Portas once more with a moment of magic selling a dummy inside the box before teeing up the striker for his 99th goal in a Stockton shirt.
Franks went close to adding a late third, his excellent effort was palmed away.
Owens almost grabbed his 100th goal towards the end of game, first he forced a flapped save from Chapman then fired a one-on-one straight at the shot stopper.
Frickley Athletic: Chapman, Jones, Stacey, Hollingsworth, Robinson, Whitehead, Scott, Matthews, Wells, Orlando-Young, Perks
Subs not used: Morton, Morris, Mettan, Blake, Smith
Stockton Town: C. Roberts, King, McWilliams, Portas, Nicholson, Coulthard, Hayes, Henry, Steel, Cooke, M. Roberts
Subs not used: Owens, A. Conway, D. Mulligan, Franks, N. Mulligan
Goals: 0-1, 22 mins, M. Roberts. 0-2, Hayes, 45 mins. 0-3, Owens, 71 mins
Referee: Henry Naylor
Assistants: Louis Stamp, Matthew Maddison
Words: Jamie Beattie
Photo: Harry Cook