Matty Warburton’s strike five minutes from time gave Stockport County three points at Edgeley Park against Boston United.
It was no less than they deserved, following a match that had seen them dominate in terms of possession and efforts but consistently frustrated by their visitors’ defensive rearguard action and, as time went on, attempts to run the clock down.
Warburton, with seven minutes played, saw a shot from the edge of the box held by visiting goalkeeper Jon Stewart – just before Jimmy Ball nodded the first of three glancing headers wide of the Railway End goal, and Jason Oswell went close after getting in front of his marker to volley Scott Duxbury’s cross from the left narrowly over.
The visiting ‘Pilgrims’ made little progress in the direction of County’s goal until just before the half-hour mark, when Ashley Hemmings fired a low drive just shy of the left upright.
And, 10 minutes ahead of the break, Reece Thompson shot beyond the same post after cutting in from the right.
County began the second half in lively fashion as another Duxbury cross from the left found Oswell, and the leading scorer’s header was tipped over by Stewart.
The Boston keeper proceeded to remain busy – blocking subsequent shots from Adam Thomas and Rhys Turner, and punching away another by Warburton.
Stewart’s opposite number Ben Hinchliffe was called into action less frequently – but remained alert twice to deny Thompson when the striker was through on goal.
The Hatters brought on Darren Stephenson for Dan Cowan with a quarter of an hour left on the clock.
And 10 minutes later, good work by Stephenson on the left flank led to a cross from Duxbury, an Oswell shot that was blocked and Warburton’s successful conversion on the rebound from 12 yards that gave him his 18th goal of the season in all competitions.
The strike proved enough to ensure a second successive victory for the Hatters.