Stockport County 1, Boston 1: Danny Lloyd goal earns a point

Danny Lloyd celebrates his goal for Stockport County against Boston
Danny Lloyd celebrates his goal for Stockport County against Boston (M Photographic)

Stockport County had to settle for a point against Boston at Edgeley Park following a lively encounter that featured an early goal in each half and could have seen either team claim all three points.

The Hatters’ starting line-up featured just one change from the eleven who had taken to the field at Bishop Auckland against Darlington three nights earlier.

Courtney Meppen-Walters returned to the squad, as County retained a 4-3-3 formation, and John Marsden dropped to an attacking bench that also included strikers Kay Odejayi and Scott Spencer.

Having lost all four of their matches on the road to date, the Pilgrims belied any notion of travel-sickness by taking the lead after just seven minutes.

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A neat move down the right involving captain Liam Agnew and Marcus Marshall saw the latter’s cross powered home, courtesy of Gregg Smith’s bullet of a header from 12 yards.

County proceeded to enjoy much of the possession following that, and for the remainder of the half – although only came especially close to levelling on one occasion before the break.

With 21 minutes gone, Danny Lloyd broke from the home half before feeding Jimmy Ball on the left.

Ball delivered an excellent cross to the far post where Josh Amis lay in wait – but the latter’s close-range header flew wide of the upright.

The second half began in the best possible way for the Hatters, when, within three minutes of the re-start, Lloyd unleashed a low drive from 15 yards into the Cheadle End goal’s bottom-right corner.

But the Pilgrims responded well – with Ben Hinchliffe having to be at his best to tip over a pile-driver shot by Smith from the edge of the box and a header from Waide Fairhurst.

The corner resulting from Hinchliffe’s latter save then found Joe Maguire, who headed against the County bar.

County, having made three attacking substitutions in a bid to secure victory, finished the game the stronger – and one of the replacements, Scott Spencer, saw his header from a corner somehow scrambled clear by visiting goalkeeper, Dion Curtis-Henry.

Lloyd, deservedly named Man of the Match for the third home game running, also fired two shots narrowly wide in the dying stages – but honours remained even as the contest drew to its close in the late afternoon sun.

Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Ross (Capt.), Duxbury, Meppen-Walters, Clarke, Smalley (Rule, 68), Minihan, Montrose (Spencer, 46), Amis (Odejayi, 73), Ball, Lloyd. Unused Subs: Ormson, Marsden.

Booked: Montrose, Clarke.

Man of the Match: Lloyd.

Attendance: 2,466 (82 away).