Norton 0-1 Spennymoor 18th September 2010
Spennymoor Town went back to the top of the STL Northern League with a narrow 1-0 victory over high flying Norton & Stockton Ancients – thanks to a late winner from Lewis Dodds.
Moors handed a debut to on loan Darlington winger Chris Moore, and took the game to Norton in the opening stages. Gavin Cogdon’s shot on the turn from the edge of the area flashed wide of Jim Provett’s post, then the same player got the better of Richard Gaston for the chase to a long ball over the top, only for his pull back to be cleared from the danger area by Craig Bishop. Cogdon posed the biggest threat as his pace caused the home side mayhem, as again he got in behind but Leon Carling got a block on his shot from an acute angle.
At the other end, Norton then had a good chance when Daniel Earl beat the offide trap but Dodds hacked his shot off the line, then headed Craig Gott’s inswinging corner kick over the top.
Moors defensive pair of skipper Paul Stephenson and Chris Mason handled the threat of Jamie Clarke and Earl very well, as they restricted the Norton strikeforce to fail and trouble Craig Turns.
Moors just couldn’t find a breakthrough, dispite dominating possession, Michael Rae shot over from an angle and Stephenson met a corner but headed wide as the first period came to a close.
The second half saw Spennymoor step it up a gear, and the passing become quicker which opened up the Norton defence on numerous occasions. Firstly, Rae ran onto a through ball but saw his shot fly over the woodwork, before Cogdon was foiled by a Provett block after being teed up by Stephen Capper, then Moore beat his marker to burst into the area but only a first class save from Provett deined him a deserved goal on his debut.
Tommy English came on for Anthony Peacock, then soon after Steven Richardson came on for Cogdon as Moors closed in for the winner.
Rae then forced another fine save out of Provett when he turned inside the area but the home keeper stuck out an arm to send the ball out for a corner.
The deserved winner arrived with ten minutes remaining, as English’s corner found it’s way to Dodds on the edge of the area, who took a touch before unleashing a scintallating left foot drive into the roof of the net and send the travelling Moors fans into euphoria.
Moors continued to push on, and Norton were very fortunate to a poor decision by the referee for failing to spot Gaston handling the ball as Richardson was through on goal.
This could have came back to haunt Spennymoor as a Steven Huggins corner picked out the unmarked Gott who directed his header over the top. Turns then held a deep cross under pressure from Clarke, before some excellent football between Richardson and Rae in stoppage time somehow didn’t double the Spennymoor lead as Richardson and Rae exchanged passes which saw Rae’s close range shot blocked by Provett from point blank range.
The full time whistle came with Spennymoor ending deserved winners on the afternoon and keep intact their unbeaten league record, which also saw them go back to the top of the league before next weekends home game with Consett at The Brewery Field.
1. Craig Turns, 2. Kallum Griffiths, 3. Chris Mason, 4. Lewis Dodds, 5. Paul Stephenson (c), 6. Stephen Capper, 7. Chris Moore, 8. Craig Hubbard, 9. Michael Rae, 10. Anthony Peacock, 11. Gavin Cogdon.
Tommy English on for Anthony Peacock.
Steven Richardson on for Gavin Cogdon.
Michael Laws on for Craig Hubbard.
Subs Not Used: Leon Ryan, Matthew Welch.