A goal in each half by Danny Lloyd saw County chalk up a first-ever victory at York Street against Boston United on a day the Hatters also celebrated four months without defeat on their travels.
The result inched the Hatters to within a point of the play-off positions and was no less than Jim Gannon’s side deserved, following another solid performance, and a third consecutive win without conceding, away from home.
The Hatters took to the field with just one change from their New Year’s Day line-up at Edgeley Park.
Mark Ross returned to replace Courtney Meppen-Walters within a 4-2-3-1 formation that featured the same eleven players who had started ahead of the Hatters‘ inaugural league triumphs at Gloucester and Harrogate during December.
On a slippery pitch that was cutting up in places, the odds against an opening goal coming from a sweet passing move were arguably long.
Yet, after 35 minutes, that is precisely what happened, as Lewis Montrose, from his own half, executed a through-ball that found Lloyd on the right.
County’s leading scorer – who, moments earlier, had tested Ross Durrant with an in-swinging corner the home goalkeeper kept out with his legs – proceeded to cut in, before firing home from an angle a low drive that went in off the near post.
County withstood some early second-half pressure, following a double-substitution by Boston upon the restart that included the introduction of former Football League striker Nat Brown.
And the home team had a claim for a penalty waved away, when Ben Hinchliffe tangled with Jay Rollins in the course of marshalling the ball out for a goal kick.
Such chances as the hosts did create, however, were high or wide of target. They went closest through newly-signed teenage midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick, who fired a thunderbolt narrowly wide of the right post after Waide Fairhurst’s cross was only partially cleared.
Any hopes of further progress on the part of the Pilgrims were dealt a blow six minutes from time, after Josh Robinson picked up a second yellow card for dissent and was dismissed.
County made the game safe in added time following a break, initiated by Chris Smalley’s header out of defence, that saw Lloyd exchange passes with substitute and former Pilgrim Kaine Felix before side-footing home into an empty net from close range for his 16th goal in all competitions.
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Ross (Capt.), Duxbury, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley, Minihan, Stopforth, Odejayi (Amis, 59), Ball (Felix, 89), Lloyd. Unused Subs: Meppen-Walters, Ormson, Marsden.
Booked: Clarke, Duxbury