Stockton went into the game with a number of changes from Saturdays draw at Northallerton Town, into the starting 11 came Fred Woodhouse, Alan Cossavella, Danny O Brien and Tony Johnson. The game started with Stockton Town in control but despite creating chance after chance they could only score one goal in the opening 45 minutes.
This came in the 14th minute, Joe Carter raced into the box beating two defenders, before finding Kallum Hannah who turned and fired past Niall Harrison in the Crook goal.
Chances kept falling for Stockton but they couldn’t find a second goal, Kallum Hannah hit the post with the ball going across the face of the goal to Tony Johnson but Harrison managed to make a great stop and turn the ball out for a corner.
Hannah then turned provider and played a good ball to Fred Woodhouse who was one on one with Harrison but once again the keeper managed to save the strikers shot.
When Harrison in the Crook goal was eventually beaten again in the 35th minute, Joe Carter’s goal bound shot was cleared off the line by Kieran Meagran.
As the half drew to a close Crook had a shout for a penalty right on half time, Lewis Martin knocked the ball past Michael Arthur Stockton’s goalkeeper, both players collided, the ball fell to a Crook forward who shot past the left hand post, everyone looked back to the referee who was unmoved and awarded a goal kick.
Stockton also had a penalty turned down from the goal kick, the ball went to Carter whose shot, hit Damien Reeks hand, again the referee said play on.
The second half saw Stephen Roberts introduced for Joe Scaife Wheatley, Stockton again created chances at the start of the second half, Kallum Hannah’s shot was saved by Harrison and then Stephen Roberts also saw Harrison pull off a fine save.
This was a more focused Crook team after half time with a noticeable step up in work-rate, Stockton were closed and harried all over the pitch. As is the way with Stockton struggling to find a second goal, Crook broke clear with Joe Grant, his ball found Wayne Whitfield, whose flicked header sent the ball past Arthur, to make the score all square on 63 minutes.
This resulted in a frenzied couple of minutes of Crook pressure for the first time in this game with a shot flashed high and wide of the target.
After this Stockton regained their composure. Chris Stockton was introduced for Stockton down the left and his influence on the game was huge. A partially cleared corner saw Chris Stockton retrieve the ball on the left, he flew past his defender before delivering a perfect cross for Adam Nicholson to send a bullet header past Harrison and into the net after 66 minutes.
Stockton were now well back on top and Kallum Hannah made the game safe for Stockton when he won the ball inside the penalty area before putting the ball into the net from close range after 77 minutes.
Another lesson for Stockton against committed and tough opponents with Stockton nearly made to pay for missed chances earlier in the game. Next up is the little matter of an FA Vase tie at Whitley Bay.