Stockton returned to the top of the Wearside League following a dramatic victory at Harton & Westoe, coming from 3 1 down to snatch a 4 3 victory with two stoppage time goals.
A much changed Harton & Westoe team from Stockton’s recent 8 2 victory caused Stockton problems from the start and during the 1 st half looked an impressive outfit. There first goal on 12 minutes came from a left sided corner that Stockton failed to clear from the edge of the penalty area and when it was helped into the box Harton’s forward beat Liam Jordan in Stockton’s goal from 8 yards. Worse was to follow for Stockton when leading up to half time they conceded again. Again poor defending from a short corner saw Harton deliver a ball into the box where at the back post Harton & Westoe midfielder Carroll headed in.
The Stockton supporters were wondering what the second half would bring as the teams returned to the pitch, would there be a reaction or would we go under, what followed is why we all love the game of football. Within a minute of the start Stockton’s intention was made when Jimmy Ward lashed in an unstoppable 25 yard left foot into the top corner. Game on we all thought, only for Harton & Westoe to restore their 2 goal advantage from the kick off when Carroll claimed his second of the match with a right foot effort from 20yards. This blow would of knocked the stuffing out of most teams having just got back in the game but not this Stockton team. They kept playing and in the 71st minute from a Max Craggs corner Tom Coulthard flicked home a front post header. With 5 minutes remaining Manager Michael Dunwell shuffled his team again when sending on Matty Lovatt at Centre Half and pushing Tom Coulthard into the forward line. A fine Max Craggs effort had come back off the post and spun right across the face of goal before the grand finale arrived. As we approached stoppage time Jimmy Wards throw was flicked on by Tom Coulthard, collected by Max Craggs on the edge of the 6 yard box with his back to goal, Max laid off to Tom Coulthard who found the bottom corner from 8 yards. Stockton weren’t finished though and a through ball found Matty Garbutt in on goal and his effort brought a fantastic save from Hunter in the Harton goal, last chance gone ? No the ball fell back to Matty Garbutt who found Davy Dowd had motored up from his right back berth and after a neat 1 2 Matty Garbutt steered the ball into the far corner to que the wild celebrations that followed.
A fantastic game played in the right way by both teams that left the whole crowd applauding all the players from the field. Stockton’s spirit was quite remarkable and is something we should all feel immense pride in. Well done to all involved and we go back to the top of the Wearside League.
Next up is Annfield Palin at home this Saturday with a 2 30pm kick off, come along and support the lads where 3 points will see us maintain our position at the top.