Stockton Town FC v Easington Colliery AFC
A sensational display of football from Stockton Town blew Easington CW's challenge away within the opening half an hour at Bishopton Road West. Stockton's one touch play,speed and movement in the final third created chance after chance with Tony Johnson claiming a hat trick. Tony's first came on 6 minutes when from inside their own half Stav Roberts picked out Kallum Hannah whose first time lay off found Max Craggs whose first time ball put Tony Johnson away in the right channel. Still with a lot to do Tony Johnson cut inside the final defender, dummied the keeper before curling his left foot shot into the far corner. Stockton's second came on 20 minutes when a long ball found Max Craggs away down the right and with the composure to place the ball between the advancing keepers legs made it 2 0. The third only 4 minutes later was another great team goal, one touch interplay down the right between Davy Dowd, Tony Johnson and Kallum Hannah saw the ball delivered to the back post where Stav Roberts powered a fine header past Donaldson in the Easington goal. Stockton were in total control of the game and went into half time 3 0 up.
The second half saw Easington come out strongly to try and force themselves back into the game and some sloppy Stockton defending gave them a couple of half chances that they failed to trouble Michael Arthur with in the Stockton goal.Donaldson in the Easington goal was turning in a Man of the Match display for the visitors including an incredible block from Kallum Hannah with his face that left him needing treatment. However he was helpless to prevent Stockton's 4th when Tony Johnson grabbed his second of the game on 59 minutes when turning the ball home from close range. Easington were not finished though and responded immediately when Brian Norton headed home from within the 6 yard box on 61 minutes. Stockton were not finished themselves and the chances continued to come but Donaldson in the Easington goal was inspirational for the visitors. On 75 minutes Kallum Hannah was fouled on the right hand side of the box, the well rehearsed free kick routine that followed left Tony Johnson with the simple task of completing his hat trick from a yard out.
There was still time for young Macaulay Langstaff to bring 2 great saves from Easingtons keeper and for Matty Garbutt to rattle the crossbar from 25 yards out. This victory opened up Stockton's lead at the top of League to 8 points over second placed Hordon CW with 4 games in hand and 9 points over third placed Easington with a game in hand.