Altrincham fight back to hold Stockport County

John Rooney scores for Stockport
John Rooney scores for Stockport (Pic: Mike Petch)

Stockport and Altrincham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw as the visitors bounced back from a two-goal deficit to snatch a point at a wintery Edgeley Park.

After a busy festive period in which County battled to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Altrincham on Boxing Day, before an impressive 2-0 win over Wrexham on Bank Holiday Monday, The Hatters returned to action looking to start the yew Year with three points against their Cheshire neighbours.

Gannon’s big day at County got under way in the perfect fashion for the hosts, as Alex Reid struck his 10th of the campaign with a lovely first-time finish from a Macauley Southam-Hales cross, after good work on the right by the Hatters’ winger.

The returning John Rooney, starting for the first time following a three-match suspension for a red card at Hartlepool last month, almost doubled the lead just two minutes later as he latched onto Reid’s through ball and dinked at goal, only for Tony Thompson to deny Rooney in the Alty goal.

Ryan Croasdale saw a header contentiously chalked off for offside on the quarter of the hour mark as rampant County continued to press, and although the two sides went in at the break with no further change to the scoreline, The Hatters soon had their second.

This came when Rooney unleashed a magnificent twelfth goal of the season, setting himself to curl magnificently in off the underside of the crossbar ten minutes into the second half.

An easy on the eye Altrincham side toiled away in search of a route back into the game, but largely came up against a well-drilled County side – that was until Yusufi Ceesay struck from close-range to halve the deficit with 20 minutes remaining.

The Ceesay goal seemed to give the visitors fresh impetus, and with 15 minutes remaining the Robins hauled themselves level when Ryan Colclough cut inside from range and struck home off the inside of the post.

Both sides pushed for a late winner, with Ben Hinchliffe producing a big save from close-range by a Colclough strike from close range, but it ended a frustrating stalemate for the hosts after letting a two goal lead slip.