Stockton started their defence of the Monkwearmouth Cup with what looked like an extremely tough match at home to Spennymoor Town Reserves. Stockton brought in David Dowd at left back after recovering from a knee injury and he took James Wards place and on the bench Joe Scaife Wheatley came in while Liam Jordan dropped out.
The game started quickly with Stockton pressing in the early stages but without testing the Spennymoor goalkeeper, while Spennymoor were quick on the break but lacked any real penetration. The first goal in the game came on 31 minutes when hesitation in the heart of the Spennymoor defence gave Tony Johnson the opportunity to nip in and slide the ball past a stranded Spennymoor goalkeeper. Then on the stroke of half time a corner delivered by Max Craggs from the right saw Chris Dunwell power in a header from 15yards. The celebration and relief from Chris on scoring after 3 years out with serious injury was fantastic.
The second half brought two stunning goals for Stockton, the first from Tony Johnson on 62minutes saw Stockton play from the own penalty area along their right with a number of one touch passes, this brought Tony Johnson in to play and his swift one two with Kallum Hannah saw him released on the corner of the penalty area and his curled effort with the outside of his right foot found the top corner, 3 0 Stockton and it appeared to be game over.
However 5 minutes later and a Spennymoor break down the left saw the ball delivered into Stockton’s penalty area where the unfortunate Adam Nicholson diverted the ball into his own net in a desperate attempt to clear. This spurred Stockton into action and the next goal was another one to remember, Max Craggs drove at the heart of the Spennymoor defence and before he could get his shot away was blocked, the loose ball fell to Max 20yards out with his back to goal and in one movement he turned and curled the ball into the top left hand corner of the Spennymoor net for 4 1 on 75 minutes. Spennymoor weren’t finished there and on 88 minutes they grabbed another goal when centre forward Thompson drove the ball across Michael Arthur in Stockton’s goal into the far corner.
The comeback was never on and Stockton saw out the game to move into the Quarter Finals. Next up is local rivals Wolviston away on Wednesday evening, kick off 6 30pm.