Stockport County v Harrogate Town match report

A last minute own goal by Stockport County gave Town an unexpected point at Edgeley Park,Stockport.

Town made one change from Boxing Day with Marcus Day replacing James Cadman.

Courtney Meppen-Walter’s foul on Jack Emmett gave Town an early chance,but Joe Leesley’s free kick was easily cleared.

Next,Day crossed for Jon Paul Pittman to test Ben Hinchliffe with a looping header,while at the other end,Danny Lloyd rounded Danny Ellis and forced Peter Crook to save at the foot of the post.

In an even first half,Louie Swain found Pittman unmarked on the edge of the area,but his shot on the turn was straight at Hinchliffe.
Warren Burrell headed a Swain centre at the Hatter’s keeper and Swain himself,fired over the after being played in by Leesley’s clever pass down the left.

However,it was Stockport,roared on by a large Bank Holiday crowd,who finished the half the stronger with a Jimmy Ball shot skimming Town’s crossbar.

After the break,the Hatters,with Man of the Match,Lloyd pulling the strings,began to stretch the Town defence.

Sub,Simon Ainge,who had replaced Luke Shiels,made a vital block to deny Ball and Crook brilliantly turned a goalbound Lloyd drive round the upright for a corner.

Just as on Boxing Day,County took the lead on the hour,when skipper Michael Clarke,pushed forward to head in Ball’s deep corner at the far post.

In a double substitution,Simon Weaver threw on Chib Chilaka and Andi Thanoj, to replace Day and Burrell,as Town sought to rescue the match.

Pittman drove into the side netting and Chilaka and Joe Colbeck went close,but as the game entered the final minute it appeared all three points were destined for Stockport.

There seemed little danger as Chris Smalley passed back to Hinchliffe from near the touchline,but the almost four thousand crowd were stunned into silence as the keeper completely missed his kick and the ball trickled into the net, to give Harrogate an unlikely,but welcome point.

Stockport County 1 Harrogate Town 1

Town
1 Crook, 2 Colbeck, 3 Swain, 4 Burrell (Thanoj 65), 5 Ellis (c),6 Shiels (Ainge 41), 7 Emmett, 8 Kerry, 9 Pittman, 10 Day (Chilaka 65),11 Leesley.

Unused subs,15 Platt,16 Parker. Bookings Ellis,Kerry. Att.3725

Scorer,OG Smalley 89.

Stockport,1 Hinchliffe,2 Minihan, 3 Duxbury, 4 Meppen-Walter (Ross 45),5 Clarke (c), 6 Smalley, 7 Stopforth, 8 Montrose, 9 Odejayi (Amos 70),10 Ball, 11 Lloyd.

Unused subs,13 Ormson,14 Marsden,15 Felix. Booking Meppen-Walter.
Scorer Clarke 63

Report by John Harrison.

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