Six wins in a row for Stockport County

The Hatters notched up a sixth successive win, and their first at Grange Lane, as they overcame basement side North Ferriby United 3-1.

First-half goals by Jason Oswell and Matty Warburton, together with a second for Warburton 13 minutes from time, proved enough for victory.

County took to the field with the same line-up that had started Easter fixtures at Bradford Park Avenue and against Tamworth.

The hosts – unbeaten at home during March – earned the first corner, and produced the opening chance of the day with just a minute played.

Their delivery from the right was headed away by Michael Clarke, but only as far as Mansfield Town loanee Lewis Collins who volleyed wide of the near upright.

Jason Oswell opens the scoring for Stockport
Jason Oswell opens the scoring for Stockport (www.mphotographic.co.uk)

Seven minutes later, the Hatters went ahead courtesy of a move begun and finished by Oswell.

After feeding Rhys Turner to his left, the leading scorer advanced towards the near post and converted Turner’s cross for his 29th goal in all competitions – equalling Danny Lloyd’s haul of the previous campaign.

County proceeded to dominate for a spell that saw shots from full-backs Dan Cowan and Scott Duxbury saved by home goalkeeper and captain Ross Durrant – although Ferriby went closer still after 19 minutes, when Bobby Johnson’s free kick from distance took a deflection off Jimmy Ball and grazed County’s right post before going behind for a corner.

With fewer than 10 first-half minutes left on the clock, the Hatters doubled the goal-tally with a set-piece of their own. Following a trip on Ball by Jordan Harrison on the edge of the home area, Warburton curled his free kick into the top-right corner to put them two-up.

County were looking good value for the lead – but saw it halved three minutes later, when Collins was teed up by James Nicholls before firing past Ben Hinchliffe from close range.

Time remained for the Hatters to go close twice more ahead of the interval, as Oswell struck the crossbar after Durrant had parried an attempt by Turner – who himself then latched on to an Adam Thomas shot and volleyed narrowly over.

The second half was to be shorter on goalmouth action than the first had been.

And the hour had passed before the Hatters seriously threatened again – with Durrant doing well to tip around the right post a low volley from Thomas.

Matty Warburton hit his twentieth goal of the season for County, on Saturday
Matty Warburton hit his 20th goal of the season for County on Saturday (www.mphotographic.co.uk)

Jamie Stott headed a corner from the right into the far side-netting – and Ball drilled a shot shy of the left post, before turning provider with a defence-splitting pass that found Warburton, who duly rounded Durrant to slot home and restore the two-goal advantage.

Clarke, still awaiting his first goal of the season, headed Duxbury’s free kick against the bar with four minutes remaining.

But it mattered not, as the Hatters deservedly prevailed to keep themselves in fifth place in National League North.

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