Stockton Town produced a steady performance to open their 2015/16 Wearside League campaign, two second half goals and a clean sheet secured the victory. The game also saw a full debut for 18 year old Matty Lovatt, another stepping up from last year’s very good U18’s squad and he was joined by Liam Jordan, Ben Priestley and Sonni Coleman. Louis Whensley also came off the bench for his debut for the Club and there was a start for Tony Johnson missing through injury since last December, but missing Alan Cossavella due to holidays and Tom Coulthard and Macca Langstaff to injury.
The game started with Stockton in complete control of proceedings, knocking the ball about quickly and pulling Richmond about the pitch with some neat football. Chances were there for Stockton but they couldn’t quite convert, Kallum Hannah pulling a right foot effort wide, Stav Roberts firing over the top and Adam Nicholson heading wide. Richmond were quick on the break but lacked any end product and there only real chances of the half came courtesy of Stockton mistakes. First a poor Michael Arthur clearance fell to a Richmond player on the left he cut inside onto his right but his weak effort sailed harmlessly over. Then a mix up between two Stockton defenders saw another presentable chance for Richmond but they again failed to hit the target. A smart ball into the left hand channel by Jimmy Ward saw Kallum Hannah latch onto it, to rifle in a left foot shot from 20 yards that the Richmond keeper pushed round his right hand post. Stockton were now pushing hard for the opening goal as half time approached and a goalmouth scramble saw Tony Johnsons effort blocked, this fell to Stav Roberts whose half volley was charged down and Chris Stockton’s chip to the back post headed wide by Adam Nicholson.
Half Time 0 – 0
The second half started in the same manner the first half finished with Stockton forcing a couple of early corners without threatening, but ironically it was from a Stockton counter attack that they took the lead. Adam Nicholsons clearance was collected by Tony Johnson on the half way line, half turned he slipped the ball between defenders for Kallum Hannah to latch onto, round the keeper and find the net on 53 minutes for his and Stockton’s first goal of the season. Next it was Max Craggs to step up, collecting the ball in central midfield 30 yards out he ran at the Richmond defence, beat two men with ease and finished with a left footed effort into the far corner on 61 minutes, a brilliant individual goal. After this it became one way traffic with Richmond’s keeper making some terrific stops from Hannah, Roberts, Priestley and Johnson before Sonni Coleman nearly ripped the net out from 25 yards in the final minutes. Not a classic by any stretch but a solid performance.
Next up is a Home game against Spennymoor Town Reserves in the Monkwearmouth Cup this Saturday 8th August, KO 2pm. This will be a tough game against opponents many are tipping to push for honours this season. Please come along and support the team. #UTA