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Men's 2's - Durham City 3's (H) - 3-3

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Date: Sunday 3rd September 2023, 10:15

MOM: Alasdair Anderson

Goals: Phil Molyneux (FG)

Christopher Heayns (FG)

Phil Molyneux (FG)

In their second preseason showdown, Stokesley 2’s clashed with Durham City 2’s in a riveting encounter hosted at MacMillan Academy. This battle promised to be a stern examination for Stokesley, pitted against last season's third-place finishers. Heayns was keen on continuing to evaluate the club's younger talents, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the match.

Stokesley Mens 2s v Durham City 2s

The game commenced with a solid display from the home team, as the newly-formed midfield duo of Anderson and Wallace showcased their prowess. After a brilliant defensive recovery, a remarkable 60-meter pass found Phil Molyneux in a prime position, where he calmly slotted home his third goal in just two games.

While both teams displayed glimpses of quality, clear-cut opportunities remained scarce for the remainder of the first half. Stokesley's defence, at times, flirted with riskiness but managed to escape unscathed. Notably, Harry Bell injected youthful energy into the previously more experienced defensive unit, impressing from his right-back position. Goalkeeper Hibbert's stellar first-half performance kept Stokesley ahead, leading 1-0 at halftime.

The second half saw an increase in chances for both sides, with Morris going close and some good chances being created by young Shaw in his 2’s debut. 10-mins into the half Wallace delivered a penetrating pass into the Durham area, and the opposing goalkeeper's clearance landed at the feet of Heayns, who made no mistake from close range.

Stokesley Mens 2s v Durham City 2s - Ben driving forward

The pressure continued to mount, resulting in a short corner opportunity earned by Pennington's attack. Molyneux executed a flicked shot, which was initially saved by the goalkeeper but rebounded perfectly to him. In a display of finesse reminiscent of a cricket cover drive, Molyneux found the top right corner, extending Stokesley's lead.

At this juncture, Stokesley seemed to be in control, but a momentary lapse in defence allowed Durham a foothold, and one of their forwards capitalised with clinical precision. An even patch of play ensued, but as fatigue began to set in for both teams, it was Durham who seized the momentum, striking twice in quick succession during the closing stages.

Stokesley Mens 2s v Durham City 2s - Adam and Chris break the line

In the end, the match showcased an engaging battle of skill and determination, with Durham City 2’s mounting a spirited comeback in the late stages to secure a hard-fought draw, leaving Stokesley 2’s with valuable lessons to carry into the upcoming season.

A big thank you to Durham City for making the journey on a Sunday.

Next game: Stockton 3’s Away (Saturday 9th September 2023, 15:00 push back)

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