Stockport County 1, Gainsborough Trinity 0: Danny Lloyd with emotional winner

Danny Lloyd scored the winner for Stockport County against Gainsborough
Danny Lloyd scored the winner for Stockport County against Gainsborough (M Photographic)

Stockport County got back to winning ways at Edgeley Park, the scene of their two most recent defeats in a three-match run without a victory.

Danny Lloyd’s 11th-minute goal proved enough to keep the ‘Holy Blues’ of Gainsborough Trinity at bay.

And for County’s leading scorer it was a fittingly emotional moment on a day when he had earlier attended the funeral of his late grandfather.

County’s starting 4-2-3-1 formation included just one change from the line-up that had taken to the field at Nuneaton three days previously.

Kay Odejayi replaced Josh Amis, who, having scored for the Hatters that afternoon, was now ruled out with a broken hand.

Danny Lloyd scores the winner for Stockport against Gainsborough
Danny Lloyd scores the winner for Stockport against Gainsborough (M Photographic)

The ‘Holy Blues’ had only arrived in SK3 some 35 minutes before kick-off. And County took advantage of any initial disorientation on their part, by taking the game to Gainsborough from the outset.

Lewis Montrose and Courtney Meppen-Walters fired early shots just wide of the right and left posts, respectively, before the Hatters took the lead.

The goal was to be Lloyd’s 10th of the season in all competitions. And, in a similar scenario to that which had seen him strike the decisive blow at Chorley last month, he netted after latching on to a long clearance by goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe – finishing, on this occasion, by means of a lob over visiting Number One, George Willis.

Meppen-Walters and Odejayi both went close with further efforts, although, for all their early supremacy, the Hatters had to content themselves with being just a single goal to the good at the break. 

The Hatters continued to enjoy the greater share of chances upon the resumption of proceedings, although they went closest with two set-piece attempts.

An inswinging corner from Lloyd was tipped up on to the bar by Willis, and Meppen-Walters curled a free kick from 25 yards just past the right post.

Courtney Meppen -Walters took man-of-the-match for Stockport
Courtney Meppen-Walters took man-of-the-match for Stockport County (M Photographic)

Willis saved efforts from Lloyd and substitute John Marsden in quick succession, with just over 10 minutes remaining.

And Marsden proceeded to play a lively cameo in the closing stages – sending over a dangerous cross from the right that Matty Wilson deflected around the near post, and firing a shot that flew narrowly wide of the same upright.

At the other end, the visitors adopted a five-man strike-force as they strove to get back on terms – and had six players booked in the course of their endeavours – but County stood firm to go within four points of the play-off positions. 

FULL-TIME: County 1 (Lloyd, 11), Gainsborough 0
County: Hinchliffe, Ross (Capt.), Cartwright (Minihan, 46), Meppen-Walters, Clarke, Smalley, Stopforth, Montrose, Odejayi, Ball (Marsden, 77), Lloyd. Unused Subs: Ormson, West, Jackson.
Man of the Match: Meppen-Walters.
Attendance: 2,112 (32 away).