Stockton Town 4 North Shields 1 (22/09/2018) – Robins suffer defeat at the hands of superb Stockton

The Robins winning streak was brought to a juddering halt following a heavy defeat at the hands of Stockton Town.

Two goals in the first half from Dale Mulligan gave the hosts a commanding lead heading into the break.

Peter Bulmer made things worse for the Robins when he added a third goal midway through the second half.

And despite a late goal from Ryan Carr to reduce the arrears, a fourth goal for Stockton from Jake Petitjean ensured that the there was no chance of a comeback.

The Robins, who were one place above The Anchors before today’s game, started the brighter of the two teams and if it wasn’t for a brilliant save from Michael Arthur in the 11th minute, Paul Robinson would have put the visitors into an early lead.

Following some excellent spells of possession, Sean McRoberts, who was starting up front in place of the unavailable Gary Day, had a shot from 20-yards out which was spilled by the Stockton shot-stopper. Robinson almost capitalised on the rebound but Arthur quickly smothered the loose ball in the 23rd minute.

However, three minutes later, the hosts punished some slack marking from the Robins when Dale Mulligan was able to connect with Max Craggs freekick to give Stockton the lead against the run of play.

This goal gave the Anchors a breath of fresh air and if it wasn’t for some excellent defending from Craig Spooner, who was in the right place at the right time to clear the ball off the line, the Robins would have found themselves 2-0 down after 38 minutes.

Unfortunately, only two minutes later, Dale Mulligan rose highest to head a well taken corner past Greg Purvis and into the back of the net; doubling the Stockton lead in the process.

Shortly before the halftime break, Lewis Suddick, on his return to the starting line-up, tried to lob Arthur from just inside the Stockton half, only to see his effort sail wide of the left-hand post.

Seeking a way back into this game, the Robins threw everything they had at the Anchors goal and in the 58th minute, McRoberts came within a whisker of pulling a goal back when his long-range effort crashed against the crossbar.

However, a minute after this effort, the hosts extended their lead further when Peter Bulmer’s effort was deflected beyond the reach of Purvis; giving the Robins a mountain to climb.

It could have been even worse in the 72nd minute when James Risbrough was played clean through on goal, only to fire his effort well off target.

Still looking for a way back into the game, Ryan Carr almost clawed a goal back in the 72nd minute, only to be denied by a tremendous save from Arthur from close range.

However, in the 80th minute, Carr towered above his marker to powerfully head a corner past the rooted Arthur to give Shields ten minutes in which to mount a comeback.

Unfortunately, their hopes of a comeback were shattered when Jake Petitjean was able to head a cross home from close range in the 88th minute, giving Stockton an unassailable lead and the three points.

Stockton Town Starting Eleven: Michael Arthur, Matthew Garbutt, James Risbrough, Nathan Mulligan, Jordan Robinson, Dale Mulligan, Fred Woodhouse, Max Craggs, Sonni Coleman, Michael Roberts, Peter Bulmer.

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Used Substitutes: Shabs Mohammed on – Nathan Mulligan off 62nd minute, Jake Petitjean on – Fred Woodhouse off 80th minute, Joe Carter on – Sonni Coleman off 82nd minute.

Unused Substitutes: Alan Cossavella & Curtis Dunn

North Shields Starting Eleven: Greg Purvis, Craig Spooner, Jordan Summerly, David Hall, Curtis Coppen, Kevin Hughes, Lewis Suddick Gary Ormston, Sean McRoberts, Ryan Carr, Paul Robinson

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: N/A

Used Substitutes: Matthew Cornish, Adam Forster and Ben Sampson on, David Hall, Lewis Suddick and Paul Robinson off

Unused Substitutes: Liam McNamara & Jack Cooper