Stockport County 2, Tamworth 1: Hatters edge out promotion rivals

Two goals in eight second-half minutes saw Stockport County edge home after their visiting promotion challengers had gone in front and moved them up two places into the play-off positions on goals scored.

County took to the field with an unchanged line-up for only the second time all season. And the five home substitutes were also identical to those named for the midweek trip to Fylde four days earlier.

With EP basking in such glorious weather, and the opening stages producing little by way of incident, the game rather had the feel of a pre-season friendly until the 29th minute, when the visitors took the lead.

Callum Powell, in space on the left, delivered a cross towards the back post, where Ross Dyer was waiting, unmarked, to head in.

Mark Ross scores his first for County, levelling for the Hatters
Mark Ross scores his first for County, levelling for the Hatters (

The remainder of the half saw a more lively approach by the Hatters, as Connor Hampson fired narrowly wide of the left upright and Sefton Gonzales had his shot blocked following a scramble in the Tamworth box.

But the Lambs stood firm to go in at the break a goal to the good.

County began the second half with still greater purpose and within six minutes of the re-start, Lewis Montrose went close after latching on to a Mark Ross delivery from the right and striking the near post.

The County captain turned from being provider to scorer, with 72 minutes on the clock – and he could not have picked a more important time to net his first goal for the Hatters.

A short corner between Lloyd and Jimmy Ball led to an in-swinging cross by Lloyd from the right that visiting goalkeeper James Belshaw punched out but his defence did not fully clear. In the ensuing scramble, Ross fired home to equalise from six yards.

Danny Lloyd hits the winner for Stockport, against Tamworth,
Danny Lloyd hits the winner for Stockport (

Eight minutes later, the County comeback was complete – courtesy of an end-to-end move. The Hatters broke up a Tamworth attack before Harry Winter launched another of his trademark cross-field passes to substitute Kaine Felix on the right.

And Felix subsequently sent over a cross that Lloyd, after taking a touch 12 yards out, rifled past Belshaw for his 25th goal of the season.

FULL-TIME: County 2 (Ross, 72; Lloyd, 80), Tamworth 1 (Dyer, 29).
Team: Hinchliffe, Ross (Capt.), Hampson, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley (Felix, 66), Minihan, Winter, Gonzales (Odejayi, 61), Ball, Lloyd (Duxbury, 87).
Unused subs: Ormson, Meppen-Walters
Booked: Gonzales.
Man of the Match: Montrose.
Attendance: 3,349 (59 away).