Stockport County 3-2 Tamworth: Five wins in a row sees Hatters solidify play-off position

Matty Warburton applauds the County fans (
Matty Warburton applauds the County fans (

Stockport County chalked up a fifth consecutive victory for the first time in 10 years after edging a second contest in four days by the odd goal in five.

The win moves Jim Gannon’s Hatters into fifth spot in National League North.

The Hatters took to the field for the rearranged game under the Edgeley Park lights with an unchanged 4-2-3-1 line-up from that which started in the Good Friday fixture at Bradford Park Avenue.

Chris Smalley, who had recovered from a back problem, replaced Sam Minihan on the bench after the latter had picked up a knock against The Avenue that required stitches.

County celebrate Jason Oswell's opener against Tamworth
County celebrate Jason Oswell’s opener against Tamworth (

Harry Winter blazed an early effort wide, and Jamie Stott connected with each of the Hatters’ first two corners – heading one shy of the left post, as well as shooting the other straight at visiting goalkeeper Jack Stevens.

But, 20 minutes in, former Hatter and visiting captain Aman Verma intercepted, before Akwasi Asante and Michael Donohue combined to tee up Jed Davies, whose right-footed shot from the edge of the box flew past Ben Hinchliffe to give Tamworth the lead.

The Hatters responded well to going behind. So much so, in fact, that, after another 12 minutes, they themselves were ahead – with Rhys Turner the architect on each occasion.

The Morecambe loanee first produced some wizardry on the left, skipping past Andy Burns to deliver a low cross that Jason Oswell bundled in at close range.

Jason Oswell nets County's third against Tamworth
Jason Oswell nets County’s third against Tamworth (

And, four minutes later, Turner’s forward flick was deflected into the path of Matty Warburton, whose curling half-volley beat Stevens from 12 yards.

County went incredibly close to adding a third just ahead of the break. But Adam Thomas’ header, from a Jimmy Ball cross on the left, flew fractionally wide of the far upright.

The Hatters, having notched up half a dozen corners during the first half, continued to earn them after the resumption – and with the eighth of the night, after 58 minutes, extended their advantage further, as Oswell headed home his 28th goal in all competitions from Thomas’ delivery on the left.

The visitors, by contrast, offered relatively little in attack – and only 13 minutes remained when they registered their first attempt of the half, and their second all evening, on target, as Hinchliffe dived to smother a hooked shot from substitute Darryl Knights.

But then, with four minutes left, they produced a sucker punch – and set up a nervy finish – when Dior Angus turned in a long throw from the left but the Hatters held on.

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