Founded 1908. Mid Essex League division one
January Report
Sponsored by the Ship public house, Stock Ground: Mill Lane, Stock
With the Christmas break now out of the way the second half of the season was due to start on January 6th, but torrential rain resulted in the game at Silver End being called off by the referee because of a waterlogged pitch. The last game before Christmas at Southminster also went the same way , but at least on this occasion the team was saved the long journey.
This means Stock Utd will have been unbeaten for the last five weeks when they hopefully play Gallabright from Little Waltham at home on Saturday 13 January. Positives must be found wherever possible as the first half of the season has been disappointing for the club. With only three wins in ten league matches, Stock are currently fourth from bottom of division one of the Mid Essex League with nine points. Any chance of Cup glory also vanished in the early rounds. Stock went out in round one of the league cup, 2-1 at home to Springfield Rouge. In the Dave Strachan Cup progress was made to round two before falling to Gidea Park, again at home 3-1. The dizzy heights of round three were reached in the Essex Junior Trophy, but the triumph of reaching the area final in 2006 will not be repeated in 2007 as Stock were thrashed 5-0,at home again, by Scotia Billericay Reserves.
The season so far can best be summarised by using that old football adage “it’s a game of two halves”. Stock have often been by far the better side in the first forty five minutes of matches, but have failed to create or take chances and have then succumbed in the second half. This was most apparent in the game away to Scotia Billericay, currently one of the top sides in division one. Stock stormed into a 3-1 half time lead and it looked like there was no way back for Scotia, but by full time Scotia had won the match 6-3. In the words of Jimmy Greaves “it’s a funny old game”.
This season is being regarded as one of transition. Five players have left the club since September, but eight new players have joined, mainly local youngsters. The squad is strong, which is just as well given the usual injury list longer than a team sheet. The aim is to get a settled side by the end of the season and stay in division one. Then, hopefully, next season a genuine challenge can be made for promotion to the premier division.
Thanks to the efforts of Wendy Wray and other Stock villagers a boys under 9’s team has been set up and is playing in a local league. Just before Christmas they were still looking for their first win, which is surely not far away, as they are being coached by Ross Catchpole who has signed for and also helps to train the senior side.
A very successful quiz night was held last September, organised by Ann Tully who can normally be found shouting support to the team from the sidelines. This event raised over £500.00 for the club’s new pitch/facilities fund.
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