Stockton’s ‘superb’ first-half display demolishes Southam

Luke Cole saw this effort ruled out, but he made no mistake below, curling home the opener. Pictures: Morris Troughton
Luke Cole saw this effort ruled out, but he made no mistake below, curling home the opener. Pictures: Morris Troughton
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  • Stockton 6 Southam United 2
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Stockton boss Scott Easterlow hailed a “superb” first-half performance from his side as they thrashed their Midland League neighbours.

The newly promoted Coventry Alliance Premier Division side were 5-0 up at the break and Easterlow said the display reflected the team spirit around the club.

“We were superb first half, but especially the opening 35 minutes when we knocked it around with some real crisp passing,” said Easterlow. “Everyone was hungry for the ball.

“Being around the club is great at the minute and the rivalry for places is healthy and showing in their individual performances.”

Stockton dominated the early stages and, after a couple of half-chances, broke the deadlock in the tenth minute when Luke Cole coolly curled the ball into the top corner from 20 yards.

The hosts doubled their lead through Liam Jones after a smart ball through from stand-in centre-back Stevan Grudzinski.

Jones returned the favour when his corner was headed home by the Grudzinski and Josh Cole scored his third in two games to make it 4-0, firing home from close range after an initial fine save from the Saints keeper.

Michael Clough completed the first-half scoring with a header.

Stockton maintained their control after the break but lacked the cutting edge of the first half and were pegged back when Southam scored after a bout of head tennis.

Any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out, though, when Liam Jones justified his first start of pre-season by volleying home a crossfield ball from recent addition James Harri.

Southam added a consolation with ten minutes remaining.

Meanwhile, Henry Leaver has become the fourth player this summer to make the switch to Stockton from Whitnash.