This was a typical Teesside derby with both sides attacking from the start, which resulted in a series of free kicks and these were to be the downfall of Norton, as Stockton raced to a 3-1 H-T lead.
Stockton Town scored the opening goal after 4 minutes, when Kallum Hannah won the ball off Liam Browne and he calmly chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Phillip Pentony and the ball bounced into the empty net.
It was all square after 26 minutes, a long ball from James Malley caught the Stockton defence flat footed, and Phillip Caley was the first to react and he ran towards goal and fired past Liam Jordan.
It was the number of free kicks that Norton conceded that condemned them to go into the break 2 goals down.
The first after 38 minutes was central to the goal, as Norton tried to organise, Kallum Hannah took a quick free kick from the edge of the box and put the ball into the opposite side to Pentony. Norton complained bitterly to the referee but the goal was awarded.
Then another free kick to Stockton in the 2nd minute of injury time,this time to the left of the goal, saw them increase their lead. This time it was Matthew Garbutt who curled the ball around the wall with Pentony going full length he couldn’t get a hand to the ball, right in the corner to give Stockton a two goal cushion.
Despite both sides creating chances in the second half, we had to wait until the 87th minute for another goal. Kallum Hannah fired wide for Stockton, and Marcus Lang of Norton hit the bar with a shot that had Jordan beaten. Further chances fell to Tony Johnson of Stockton and Caley who saw his shot cleared off the line by Alan Cossavella.
The late goal rush was started by Phil Caley, he was allowed to run into the box, riding two tackles before firing the ball past Jordan to give Norton hope of salvaging a draw.
This was dashed a minute later, Matthew Garbutt charged down a Lewis Murphy clearance near the touchline the ball bounced up to Sonni Coleman 25 yards from goal, Sonni shifted the ball on to his right and then smashed in an unstoppable shot that gave Pentony no chance of saving to restore Stockton’s two goal advantage.