Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Beaten Stokesley Show Fighting Spirit; Non-League Football

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Beaten Stokesley Show Fighting Spirit; Non-League Football

Article excerpt

Byline: ANTHONY VICKERS

STRUGGLING Stokesley can claim a moral victory after going down to a narrow 1-0 defeat away at Benfield.

The top-flight whipping boys have taken just one point from 18 games and went into what looked a tough game at pre-season title tips Benfield having leaked 92 goals.

After their summer upheaval, the side have had a torrid start to the season but, in a spirited display, they matched Benfield for long spells and went into the break with the game still goalless.

The defence looked far stronger and only cracked once when a free-kick early in the second half caused a scramble in the box and Chilton rifled it home.

But they didn't fold and even launched a couple of promising attacks and could have grabbed a leveller late on when first Nathan Porritt then Lee Melvin saw good chances go just wide.

They remain rooted to the bottom and are 12 points adrift of safety but recent displays and the fast-closing margins will give them a glimmer of hope. Teams have escaped from similar positions before.

Elsewhere it was a bleak day for Teesside as all the Northern League top flight sides lost.

Billingham Synthonia went down 3-1 at home to West Auckland, who snatched top spot with victory.

Synners went behind to a ninth minute Alex Francis penalty and although they laboured away they struggled to get back into the game.

West made it two early in the second half through Nicholls, then wrapped it up at the death with a Hindmarsh strike before Synners pulled back a stoppage time consolation as Danny Earl split the defence for Nathan Jameson to race through and pop in.

Synners slipped back to 10th in a closely grouped top half pack.

Billingham Town's good run of four wins out of five came to a juddering halt with a 3-0 defeat away at ailing Penrith.

Bowman headed the Cumbrians ahead in the first half and Coleman got a second soon after the break. …

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