Stockley treble sinks Athletic

Date published: 24 December 2018

Athletic twice tossed away a lead as they were beaten 3-2 at home by fellow League Two play-off chasers Exeter.

Frankie Bunn’s men missed their chance to leapfrog the Grecians in the table, while at the same time they saw their six-match unbeaten run come to an end.

Athletic were ultimately undone by Exeter striker Jayden Stockley, whose clinical hat-trick means he now has 14 league goals in the current campaign.

Athletic first went in front when right-back Tom Hamer crossed to the far post and Sam Surridge headed home acrobatically from close range.

Exeter levelled before the break when Stockley opened his account by producing a deft near-post header to convert Nicky Law's corner.

The hosts struck again just after the restart, with Callum Lang cutting on to his right foot and drilling the ball into the far corner from 12 yards.

But Stockley's second came soon after as he lashed home a superb first-time shot from Lee Holmes' pass.

His hat-trick was soon complete when an unmarked Stockley stooped eight yards out to net a simple header from another Holmes assist.

Athletic were denied what seemed a clear late penalty for a foul on Jordan Lyden.

Bunn’s side are back in action on Boxing Day when they travel to Carlisle United.

A trip to Port Vale then beckons on Saturday (29th).

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