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SSFC Reserves 3-2 Stokesley: Reserves’ improvement continues with win

Graham Stephenson was the match-winner again as South Shields Reserves made it three wins out of three on Saturday.

The Mariners beat Stokesley 3-2 in an entertaining Wearside League encounter at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground.

Stephenson – who had netted a hat-trick in the 5-2 Durham Trophy win over Wolviston a week earlier – scored the winning goal just after the hour mark as Shields climbed to 11th in the table, with games in hand on most of those above them.

They have recovered from a slow start, and now have five wins to their name from 12 league matches.

Things did not look as rosy early on against Stokesley, though, who took the lead when Ryan Rivis scored from close range following a free-kick.

Jordan Reed slotted home the equaliser for the Mariners, who then went in front on the stroke of half-time as Logan Powell ran free and beat the goalkeeper with ease.

Five minutes into the second half, Rivis equalised with his second goal of the game as he beat goalkeeper Jack Ramage from the penalty spot.

Shields were not to be denied, though, and their winner came in the 63rd minutes as Powell made a strong run from the right and his cross found Stephenson, who smashed the ball home.

The reserves face a double-header at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground later this week.

They host Coxhoe Athletic in a 7.30pm kick-off on Wednesday, and face Harton and Westoe on Friday at the same time.

Admission for both games is £2 for adults and £1 for concessions, and support would be hugely appreciated.

SSFC RESERVES: Ramage, Johnson, Wright, Howe, Simpson-McGill, Reed, D Conroy (Aleagha), Stephenson, Francois (Vickers), Powell, McKeith. Subs not used: Parkin, Moyse-Mukhtar, T Conroy.

Goals: Reed, Powell, Stephenson.