Whickham lose against league-leaders Stockton Town

Whickham conceded three late goals as they were condemned to a 4-0 defeat at home to league-leaders Stockton Town.

The Lang Jacks matched their opponents for the first 45 minutes, but the Anchors went ahead through Max Craggs on 51 minutes.

Freezing temperatures, howling wind and torrential rain played a huge part in the second-half. Stockton went on to close out the game strongly and wrapped up the points late on.

Craggs doubled Stockton’s lead on 81 minutes before Michael Roberts’ brace ensured the points would be going home with Michael Dunwell’s team, who are now unbeaten in 13 games.

Whickham have one game remaining before Christmas, which is at home against Consett next Friday evening.

Player-manager Matty Pattison introduced new signing Ben Harmison straight into the starting line-up for the game and it was the hosts, who started brightly.

With the wind behind them, the Lang Jacks were looking to make the most of the conditions in the first-half. Matty Pattison swung a corner to the back post, but Harmison was unable to direct his header towards goal.

The hosts broke forward with pace on 16 minutes and should’ve broken the deadlock. Harmison shifted the ball to Pattison, who pulled it back to the edge of the area.

Conor Newton controlled the pass before striking at goal, but straight at Callum Roberts.

The first chance for Stockton was just before the half-hour mark. Craggs’ corner was headed down and just wide of the post by Tom Coulthard.

Roberts broke through, despite looking a couple of yards offside, on goal. However, Adam Bartlett was quick off his line and got a hand to the ball.

The forward continued after a fortunate break, but his second effort was blocked bravely by Sam Hedley.

The weather took a turn for the worse going into the second-half, but Stockton, with the wind behind them, went ahead just six minutes after half-time.

James Risbrough’s effort was saved well by Bartlett, but Mulligan was on hand to react quickly and prod home from close range.

Peter Bulmer and Roberts went close before the latter was denied by a terrific save from Bartlett, on 71 minutes.

Whickham’s first effort, in the second-half, came two minutes later. Harmison played the ball inside to Pattison, whose volley went just over the bar.

The visitors closed out the game on the front foot. Roberts skipped past two challenged, on the right flank, and broke into the box.

Roberts struck towards goal, but despite the effort being cleared off the lines, Craggs reacted quickly to tap home at the back post.

Two goals from Roberts wrapped up the points in the closing stages. His first effort swerved around in the wind and went through the arms of Bartlett.

Roberts had his second just four minutes later, to add to his assist in the game. The ball was played back across and the forward took a touch before finding the net.

Whickham: Bartlett, Howard, Exley, Burrell, Hedley, Newton, Pattison, Peareth, Harmison, Collins (Cranston, 59), Cowburn (McAndrew, 59)

Subs Not Used: Proctor, Scothern

Stockton Town: Callum Roberts, King, McWilliams, Portas, Robinson, Coulthard, Hayes (Bulmer, 30), Craggs, Mulligan (Cossavella, 86), Michael Roberts, Risbrough (Jackson, 80)

Subs Not Used: Owens, Arthur

Goals: 0-1, 51 min, Mulligan; 0-2, 81 min, Craggs; 0-3, 86 min, Michael Roberts; 0-4, 90 min, Michael Roberts

Referee: Steven Lawson

Assistants: Lewis Reynolds and Gavin Sloanes

Attendance: 154

Photo: Will Matthews