Stockton Town FC v Hebburn Town
Michael Fowler’s second-half brace sent Stockton Town three points clear at the top of the table after an inspired 3-1 win at home to rivals Hebburn Town.
Stephen Thompson’s terrific volley fired the Anchors ahead at the end of a dominant first-half.
Fowler’s brace came either side of the hour mark, taking him into double figures for the season.
Hebburn pulled a consolation goal back through Amar Purewal with six minutes to play, but the hosts saw the game through to go clear at the top.
Stockton started on the front foot with Fowler and Glen Butterworth going close inside the first five minutes.
Butterworth almost turned provider shortly after, but his cross from the left was glanced wide of the post by Adam Nicholsons
Kev Hayes cut in from the right and curled inches wide before Mikey Roberts’ effort left Shaun Newbrook rooted to the sport, but the ball cannoned off the post.
Hebburn’s only chance came on the half-hour mark when Robbie Spence struck at Callum Roberts, but it was the home side that continued on top for the rest of the half.
Roberts went close twice within quick succession, but the Anchors’ frustration was ended just a minute before the half.
A through ball found Thompson, who volleyed home from 30 yards out – a stunning strike from the forward man.
Half Time: Stockton Town 1-0 Hebburn Town
Hebburn started the second half on a brighter note compared to the start of the game, with Dean Briggs going close on 49 minutes.
Fowler doubled Stockton’s lead just before the hour mark. Butterworth’s through ball was complimented by a first time finish from the Anchors forward.
Just 10 minutes later, the hosts added a third goal when Fowler struck on the half volley into the far corner of the net.
Purewal struck home off the underside of the bar with six minutes to play, but the Anchors saw the game through for an important three points.
Full Time: Stockton Town 3-1 Hebburn Town