Harrogate Town v Stockport County match report

4 February 2016

Harrogate Town came from behind to record their second double of the season, with a 2-1 victory over Stockport County.

Town’s starting eleven was unchanged, but Harry Coates replaced Sidibe Lassana on the subs bench.

Harrogate created the first chance when County’s defence could only scramble Lewis Turner’s free kick for a corner, from which Danny Ellis headed at Dean Henderson in the visitor’s goal.

Town, perhaps reeling from Saturday’s exertions at Manchester, were slow to hit their stride, and it was County who almost took the lead when Conor Smith flicked a Karl Ledsham cross on to the bar.

Town were quick to respond, with the hard working Lloyd Kerry finding Brendan Daniels, whose shot hit Henderson’s trailing leg and ballooned to safety, thwarting the Town faithful who were already rising to their feet to applaud the goal.

A goal soon arrived, but unfortunately it was against Town, as Richard Broadie headed in a free kick from close range.
Town began to pressurise County and a good move involving, Louis Swain, Paul Thirlwell and Daniels, ended with Stockport skipper, Sean O’Hanlon, cleverly back heading to his keeper.

In the last action of the first half, Swain found Paul Clayton in the area and he turned on a sixpence to wrong foot two defenders but sadly dragged his shot wide of the upright.

Danny Ellis limped off at the break to be replaced by Jordan Thewlis and Joe Colbeck made way for Jack Emmett.
It was Thewlis who made an immediate impact as he broke through on the left to pick out Kerry whose shot was deflected for a corner.

This was the opportunity Town were waiting for and Clayton slipped his marker to head home Daniels’s pin point corner at the near post.

Thewlis tested Henderson from thirty yards,before Nat Brown fired over from point blank range after Henderson had spilt a fierce Daniels free kick after Clayton had been fouled on the left,but the linesman’s flag was already raised for offside.

With twenty minutes left, County were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after a foul by Thirlwell.

Smith stepped up to the plate to shoot over Town’s defensive wall, but luckily for Town the ball was inches too high and rebounded off the stanchion behind the goal.

As the game entered its final ten minutes, Town struck the decisive blow, when the County defence, under pressure from Clayton,could only clear as far as Warren Burrell, who hammered home from just inside the area ,with the aid of a slight deflection.

As the game entered three minutes stoppage time, Stockport made a determined effort to rescue a point.

Firstly, Ledsham broke through on the left,but he sliced horribly wide. Undaunted, County attacked again and Crook saved Town’s bacon with a tremendous left handed save from Jamie Menagh to concede a corner.

The corner was headed wide of the upright and Town had put themselves back into the play-off positions.

1 Crook, 2 Turner, 3 Swain, 4 Thirlwell, 5 Ellis (c) (Thewlis 45), 6 Brown, 7 Colbeck (Emmett 45), 8 Kerry (Platt 58), 9 Clayton, 10 Burrell, 11 Daniels.
Unused subs,15 Coates, 17 Worrall. Booking Swain
Scorers Clayton 49, Bur

Report by John Harrison

Photography Craig Hurle

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