Sunday, 13 August 2017

12th August 2017 - Stockton Town (h)

Team sheet courtesy of Mr Twitter!
I'd missed the fantastic FA cup games against Seaham and the team's progression through to the FA Cup Preliminary Qualifying Round from the Extra Preliminary Qualifying Round (surely has to be a catchier name for these August rounds) due to a family holiday near Barcelona. Some supporter! I hung my head in respectful shame, of course. However the chance to watch the highlights thanks to the lovely people at WBFC was very welcome.
For the first time in quite a few seasons, I was back in time from my holiday to see the first league game of the season. This time we were up against the team that had unceremoniously dumped us out of the FA Vase the previous year: Stockton Town (That's Stockton with a K,  programme editor!) We were expecting a hard game against a strong set of visitors and that is exactly what we got.
New boy Scott Jasper, signed from North Shields Athletic, was leading the forward line and looked ready to bring the fight to the visiting defence. The top scorer in the the previous year's Northern Alliance, the debate still raged at the Allotment End about whether he was indeed one of Mr and Mrs Triallist's offspring. We decided he was and he certainly was doing them proud. Beating players with both strength and determination he was able to find space to fire just wide. This prompted the comment:
"Well done!"
"I got there first...."
"He ghosted in there like Jasper the friendly ghost!"
After stunned silence the penny dropped:
"That was Casper!" The search for Jasper's nickname continues.
Stockton were certainly not lying down and they dominated a first half that lacked any real quality. The best chance fell to Stockton but was cleared off the line.
The Bay looked sharper in the second half and when Jack Bryerley zipped down Whitley's right wing, there was Casper  sorry Jasper, ghosting in to slot home from a couple of yards. He certainly looked delighted unlike the bullet-blond-haired Kyle Patton who was just behind him.
There was concern soon after as the divot-watchers were alarmed to see a great hedgehog-shaped piece of turf appear, without being replaced by the green-clad Liam Jordan in the Town goal. Up until that point the money, time and effort spent re-laying the pitch had meant a perfect playing surface. We just hoped it wouldn't prove costly!

Back came Town and it was decided by the wise wizards behind the Stockton net that another goal would a good idea. So it was that great work from the Thibster saw the ball trickle through a multitude of bodies before Potter conjured up the final touch. 2-0 to the Bay and the crowd went wild!
Wild boys! Wild boys! Even Jeremy!
They liked it too! Jasper...the new Hulk?
The final word almost belonged to Kempsto but his shot rolled millimetres wide.
The team had been handed a difficult first game and dug deep to come up with the goods. By the end of the game, the Stockton players resorted to constantly berating and verbally abusing the referee, Helen Conley from Bishop Auckland, who looked, at one point, to have lost control of the game. It was disappointing to see them resort to this and in the end the Bay were comfortable 2-0 winners. What a great start!

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