This game against one of the fancied teams for the Northern League title this year would be a stern test for us. Bishop Auckland are one of the oldest teams in the North East of England with a long and proud history.
The game started with Bishop Auckland dominating possession during the first 15 minutes with Stockton’s defence relatively untroubled. As the half went on Stockton started to get their foot on the ball and Bishops pressing game was no longer as effective at regaining possession. A ball into the left channel saw Kallum Hannah latch onto the ball and his fierce left foot drive saw Bishops keeper make a magnificent stop pushing the ball onto the post and away for a corner. From the corner Stockton took the lead when they took it short Max Craggs found himself with time to pick out the top corner from 25 yards. Stockton were now controlling the game and the Bishops keeper had to make a couple of smart stops before they grabbed an unexpected equaliser. Cutting in from the right Adam Nichols slid a cross-field ball between the right side of Stockton’s defence , deceiving Michael Arthur in Stockton’s goal for the left winger to knock into an empty net for a fine goal.
The second half saw Stockton regain the lead within the first minute when great work down the right by Davy Dowd saw a Bishops defender turn the ball into his own net. Stockton were dominant and a fine Max Craggs strike thundered back off the woodwork. However with 8 minutes remaining Bishops levelled again when a mix up in the Stockton defence allowed a simple tap in for 2 2. Stockton were not to be denied however and a fine move down the left involving Chris Dunwell, Kallum Hannah and Chris Stockton saw David Dowd fire in at the far post for the winner.
Another solid performance from Stockton against Northern League opposition, next game is this Saturday away at local rivals Billingham Town.