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Men's 3's - Stockton 5's (H) - 4-3

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Date: Saturday 7th October 2023, 15:30

MOM: Rob Walker

Goals: R Walker x 3, E Clarke

In a pulsating Saturday showdown, Stokesley Men's 3rd XI welcomed Stockton 5's to their home turf, with the aim of maintaining the strong momentum they've built up this season. The opening half couldn't have gone better for Stokesley, who immediately seized control of the game, setting a tone that left Stockton struggling to keep up.

From the get-go, Stokesley's attacking trio were a constant thorn in Stockton's side. Displaying tactical ingenuity and quick thinking, Rob Walker broke the deadlock with an audacious chip over the Stockton goalkeeper with his very first touch of the game. As if spurred on by this opening salvo, Xav and Ethan tore into their respective flanks, creating ample space and opportunities. This led to Rob capitalising with two additional goals, completing a stunning first-half hat-trick.

In contrast, Stockton had a lacklustre first half, finding themselves unable to gain a foothold. Stokesley's high-pressing game and diligent marking across the pitch left the visitors with little room to manoeuvre.

However, the second half presented a reinvigorated Stockton side, particularly in the centre midfield, where they began to assert themselves both in possession and in their off-ball movement. Their renewed efforts resulted in two rapid goals, trimming Stokesley's lead to a precarious 3-2. Stokesley seemed somewhat rattled, struggling to retain possession for meaningful periods, leading to palpable tension on the field.

Relief came in the form of Xav and Ethan, who combined brilliantly to restore a two-goal cushion. Xav darted down the left wing and whipped a cross into the D, where Ethan coolly deflected the ball into the bottom corner—a goal of genuine quality.

As the game moved into its final stages, it evolved into a high-stakes contest of attack versus defence. Stockton threw everything they had into their offensive efforts, while Stokesley's defence held firm. Phil, in particular, stood out as an immovable object at the back, galvanising the team to hold their lines. Despite a late, well-crafted goal from Stockton reducing the deficit to just one, Stokesley managed to see the game out, securing a thrilling victory that had supporters on the edge of their seats.

In a match where everyone stepped up, Man of the Match accolades went deservedly to Rob Walker for his game-changing performance. All in all, this was another chapter in what is shaping up to be a promising season for Stokesley Men's 3rd XI.

Next game: Darlington 2's Away (Saturday 14th October 2023, 11:30 push back)

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