Southport 0-1 Stockport County: Sub Dimaio strikes late for Hatters

Connor Dimaio, Stockport County
Connor Dimaio celebrates his goal (Pic: www.mphotographic.co.uk)

Substitute Connor Dimaio scored a late winner to give Stockport County their first victiry at Southport in 60 years and move the Hatters up to fourth in National League North.

Dimaio netted five minutes from time against the 10-man hosts, who played almost two-thirds of the contest a man down following home defender Billy Priestley’s first-half dismissal.

The Hatters took to the field in a 4-3-3 formation, showing one enforced change as a consequence of the injury suffered by Scott Duxbury at York four days previously.

Sam Walker was able to return to the starting line-up having recovered from the virus that kept him out of the visit to Bootham Crescent.

Sam Walker crosses the ball for County at Southport
Sam Walker crosses the ball for County at Southport (Pic: www.mphotographic.co.uk)

County came close to taking the lead with just over a minute played when Jordan Richards’ back header, under pressure from Darren Stephenson, provided Dan Hanford with more of a testing early touch than he ideally would have liked – but Southport’s keeper tracked back to catch the ball on the line.

Seven minutes later, the home goalkeeper had to be at his best to keep out Frank Mulhern’s 20-yard pile-driver.

The Hatters continued to enjoy a greater share of possession and the best chances – as Paul Turnbull’s chipped delivery from the right soared narrowly wide of the far post, before Stephenson cut in on the opposite flank and fired into the side-netting.

With 34 minutes played, Priestley brought down Mulhern in full flight 25 yards out and was shown a straight red card.

The Hatters had one further opportunity of note prior to the break, when Matty Warburton’s close-range shot on the stroke of half-time was kept out by Hanford’s one-handed save.

Having performed well against the hosts’ full complement of players, County proceeded to find their 10 a tougher nut to crack.

Southport appeared more threatening in attack for a second-half spell that saw Richards and Josh Langley produce, respectively, a curling shot from outside the box and a header following a corner that each fizzed just shy of the right post.

As the final five minutes approached, Stephenson and Minihan combined well to win the ball on the right, before the latter teed up Dimaio to drill home from 12 yards.

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