Rooney hat-trick seals victory for Stockport

John Rooney celebrates for County
John Rooney celebrates for County (Pic: Mike Petch)

A stunning hat-trick by John Rooney sealed a second-half fightback by Stockport at Wealdstone, as Jim Gannon’s side romped to a 5-2 win to seal a third successive victory in the National League.

It was against the run of play that the hosts took an early lead – Michee Effeto was released down the right to cross high for Jorome Slew to loop a clever header over a helpless Ben Hinchliffe.

Parity was restored just five minutes later when Connor Jennings’ goal-bound strike was handled by defender Connor Smith.

Rooney stepped up to slam home his second penalty in as many ties, with County having had no competitive spot-kicks in 18 months prior to Saturday’s win over Dover.

The Hatters resumed for the second half looking to capitalise on their possessional domination, only for Wealdstone to restore their lead when striker Ross Lafayette pounced on a mix-up at the back to slot home from close range.

With time running out, County grabbed a second deserved leveller when Mark Kitching burst superbly down the left and crossed low for Bennett to drill low past Ilsted.

And in a hectic end to the game, the tireless Maynard pounced to drill home after another goalmouth scramble, and give County their first away lead of the season just 90 seconds later.

The comeback was well and truly complete just five minutes later, as Rooney grabbed his second brace in as many games, latching onto Bennett’s flick and smashing past Ilsted.

And man-of-the-moment Rooney sealed a quite superb hat-trick on 88 minutes, collecting the superb Bennett’s cutback to roll past Ilsted with his left for County’s fifth.