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Harrogate Town v Stockport County

A near four figure crowd saw Town gain revenge for their F A Cup defeat with a gritty victory over Stockport County.

Lewis Turner made a return after a two month injury lay off and Shane Killock was relegated to the subs bench.

Town dominated the early exchanges and skipper, Dave McGurk forged forward to head over from a Lloyd Kerry corner.

Excellent work by James Walshaw sent Craig Nelthorpe away down the left and his centre was met by Adam Nowakowski, whose late run was not picked up by the County defence, but the ball sailed narrowly wide.

Town’s pressure paid off after 14 minutes when Jake Speight’s deep cross was headed in at the far post by Walshaw.

Stockport,directed by veteran skipper,Jamie Milligan,played some slick football but could make little impression on the Town defence.

County’s biggest threat in the first half was when a Lee Stevenson shot took a deflection onto the bar,but Turner quickly stepped in to clear.

County keeper, Danny Hurst’s last action before he limped off with a leg injury was to beat out a trademark Nelthorpe twenty yard drive.

Speight went close on three occasions as Town sought to increase their lead,but he failed to hit the target.

However,on 54 minutes, Town scored a magnificent goal to make it 2-0.

Simon Lenighan broke through the middle before laying the ball off to Nelthorpe and sub keeper Ian Ormston, could only palm his centre onto the head of Kerry, who headed in from close range.

This seemed to spur on Stockport to renewed efforts and they began to pressurise the home defence.

Phil Barnes saved a volley from the edge of the area from Kristian Dennis, before having to be alert to stop Stevenson’s deflected shot.

Lenighan lifted the seige momentarily when he tested Ormston from long range,while at the other end, Barnes brought the crowd to its feet with a fantastic double save from Scott Spencer and Dennis.

With only six minutes left, Dennis finally breached the Town defence when he chested down a cross, turned McGurk, and drove into the far corner.

That was the end of County’s threat,and indeed Town could have added a third When Kerry and Nelthorpe created on opening for Lenighan,but he blasted well over the top.

Harrogate Town 2 – 1 Stockport County

1 Barnes, 2 Turner, Meynell, 4 Nowakowski, 5 Bloomer, 6McGurk (c), 7 Kerry, 8 Lenighan, 9 Speight (Rowe 68,Killock 87), 10 Walshaw, 11 Nelthorpe.

Unused subs,12 Kendall, 13 Crook, 15 Metcalfe. Bookings Walshaw,Lenighan.

Scorers,Walshaw 14,Kerry 54. Att 927

By John Harrison.

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