Stockton Town FC v Annfield Plain FC
For the second year running Stockton Town and Annfield Plain, contested the Preliminary Round of the Durham Challenge Cup.
Following on from a 6-0 Stockton win last season, Stockton moved into the 1st round this season with a 8-0 win.
In the early minutes Annfield Plain tested Stockton goalkeeper Michael Arthur with two shots, one that flew past the post and the other that Stockton keeper Arthur had to push over the bar.
After this early flurry Stockton were virtually camped in the Annfield half of the field, the deadlock was finally broken after 14 minutes Fred Woodhouse beat 2 defenders down the left before finding Joe Scaife Wheatley, unmarked who volleyed the ball past Joseph Longstaff from 12 yards.
Moments later and Stockton nearly doubled their lead, Fred Woodhouse again beat the Annfield defence but his shot hit the post and the ball went across the face of the goal, were Tony Johnson couldn’t turn the ball past Longstaff.
However Sonni Coleman did double Stockton’s lead after 21 minutes when Longstaff could only parry the ball to Coleman from a Woodhouse shot and he who turned the ball in from close range.
It was only 5 minutes later the sore was 3-0, Joe Carter cut in from the right and from the edge of the box, he fired the ball left footed first time that gave Longstaff no chance.
Just before the break two in two minutes, the score changed from 3-0 to 5-0, both goals scored from Tony Johnson. His first came after good work from Joe Scaife Wheatley who crossed the ball for Johnson to head the ball into the net. His second goal came in a goalmouth scramble, before Johnson won the ball to fire in from close range.
Only some fine goalkeeping from Longstaff and the woodwork restricted Stockton to three second half goals. Adam Nicholson and Tom Coulthard saw their shots strike the crossbar.
It was just a matter of time before the 6th goal eventually came, it was Tom Coulthard who was unmarked and fired the ball into the net following a James Ward corner after 69 minutes.
There was another couple of piece's of Club history made during this match with Stockton’s seventh goal, it was the first time Stockton have scored seven goals, beating the two 6-0 wins on our new Ground and when Tony Johnson turned the ball into the net for his third goal he became the 1st Stockton Town player to score a hat trick at the new venue.
However the game wasn't finished, Annfield Plain on a rare attack almost got a consolation goal, after hesitation in the Stockton defence allowed Aaron Wilkinson to break through, with only Michael Arthur to beat Wilkinson put the ball wide of the post.
It may have been in the 82nd minute but Stockton’s eighth goal was worth waiting for, with the goal of the game, Adam Nicholson’s solo run, from left back, took him into the box before firing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
Progress for Stockton into the next round and we will be waiting for the Cup draw with some anticipation.