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Men's 2's - Stockton 3's (A) - 1-3

Date: Saturday 9th September 2023, 15:00

MOM: Dawson Clarke

Goals: Phil Molyneux (FG)

Phil Molyneux (FG)

Dawson Clarke (FG)

Stokesley Twos (with a somewhat experimental squad) continued their unbeaten preseason with a hard fought win in the blazing September sunshine.

Stokesley Mens 2s v Durham City 2s

Possession was in short supply in the opening exchanges on Stockton’s bone dry turf at Egglescliffe school as the visitors soaked up early pressure. Harry Bell again looked comfortable under pressure at right back while the imperious Eddie Medley repelled the pressure of early Stockton attacks.

After a quarter-time drinks break, the visitors found their way into the ascendency. Sam Pennington, Xav Lane and Adam Derry combining to generate a series of chances.

Kenny O’Connor controlled the centre of the park to maintain pressure; his interception allowed talismanic forward Phil Molyneux to pounce on a loose ball in the circle. The veteran, powerhouse striker made no mistake striking a low drive to give Stokesley the lead.

Chances came thick and fast after the half time break as both sides suffered through the heat. Dawson Clarke and Tom Atha providing a mix of short and long passing with penetrative running to propel the visitors forward. A breakaway for the home side saw the unfortunate Matt Hibbert, who had been flawless prior, turn a dangerous cross into his own net for a Stockton equaliser.

Galvanised by this setback, Stokesley redoubled their efforts and took the game away from their hosts in the final quarter. Clarke forcing an excellent save from the home keeper after a set piece before Lane had an effort scrambled off the line.

Derry intercepted tirelessly before Atha played in Molyneux who skilfully rounded defenders and managed to control his initial shot as it rebounded off the keeper to finish from close range for his sixth goal in three games.

The lead was secured soon afterwards when a penalty corner broke down and from the ensuing melee, Clarke found space at the top of the circle. His fearsome strike rattled the underside of the crossbar on its way over the line to give Stokesley the win.

Next game: Newcastle Medic’s Away (Saturday 23rd September 2023, 14:00 push back)

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