Stockton Town FC v Darlington FC
Stockton moved into the last 16 of the Durham Cup, with a 3-0 over Darlington 1883 who had a mixture of 3 1st team players, 2 reserve team players and the rest from the Darlington U18 squad. Stockton meanwhile were still without Matthew Garbutt, James Crossman, Danny O'Brien, while Joe Carter missed out due to work commitments.
It was clear from the off that Stockton wanted the win over our illustrious visitors, Stockton restricted Darlington well to a few corners and long range shots that didn’t trouble Michael Arthur in the Stockton goal.
In the opening stages the busiest of the two keepers was Darlington’s Mark Bell, who saved a Kallum Hannah shot, and was grateful that Adam Nicholson’s header from a Joe Scaife Wheatley corner went inches wide.
Chris Stockton raced onto a long ball but again Bell saved well from Stockton's low drive.
The pressure that Stockton put on the Darlington defence finally payed off after 29 minutes a long ball from Arthur saw defender Matthew Ripley running backwards and challenged by Kallum Hannah, as the players came together it was Kallum Hannah who won the ball to run through on Bell in Darlington's goal, where he coolly slipped the past Bell and into the net.
Before the break Hannah had another effort saved by Bell, and when he chipped the ball over Bell and into the net the Assistant’s flag went up for offside.
There was one more chance for Stockton as we approached half time but this time Chris Stockton fired his effort into the side netting.
The second half continued in the same vane, which turned out to be Hannah v Bell, with the Stockton striker coming off the better of the two. The second goal came after 51 minutes when a Tony Johnson header hit the crossbar, with Bell finishing on the floor Hannah raced in to head the ball into the empty net.
It was all over for Darlington after 60 minutes when our own U18 making his home debut, Kevin Hayes, fired in a great effort that Bell made a tremendous save from, however he could only parry the ball out to Chris Stockton who pounced onto the loose ball and put it into the net.
Stockton were dominant now and next it was Hayes who raced around the back of the defence but he couldn’t turn a Scaife Wheatley cross into the net. Kallum Hannah then had 3 great chances to complete his hat trick putting 2 over the bar and the other was saved by Bell.
A comprehensive victory for Stockton and a very solid performance that was fluid and solid with the visitors having no answer.