Stockport County stutter in defeat at FC United

FC United of Manchester 2 (Wolfenden 33, Johnson 87) Stockport County 0

Danny Lloyd rides a tackle

Stockport County’s perfect start to the campaign came to an end on Friday night as FC United of Manchester claimed the points thanks to a goal in each half.

Matt Wolfenden and Dale Johnson claimed the goals that ensured the home side would remain unbeaten after the first three games as they ran out 2-0 winners at Broadhurst Park in the Vanarama National League North.

Whilst both sides struggled to grasp control of the game early on, and with neither keeper being really tested, Mark Ross made a couple of telling tackles to deny the home side a clear view of Ben Hinchliffe’s goal whilst Josh Amis and Danny Lloyd came closest for County.

The home side made the telling breakthrough just after the half-hour mark as Chris Chantler made space on the left before delivering the perfect cross for Matt Wolfenden to slam home a superb volley.

Within minutes John Marsden almost levelled as his turn on the edge of the box allowed him to shoot into the side netting.

The home side certainly finished the half stronger and but for Scott Kay losing control when through on goal, from Sam Sheridan’s defence splitting through ball, they would surely have doubled their lead just before the break.

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Jim Gannon made a positive substitution for the restart, replacing the ineffective Courtney Meppen-Walter with striker Scott Spencer.

Spencer chance

Within minutes the change looked to have paid off as Spencer stuck out a boot to flick the ball passed Dave Carnell but then looked on in disbelief as the ball came back off the post, Dale Tonge clearing the loose ball to relieve the pressure.

Both sides were looking for the vital second goal of the game and it looked for all the world like the home side were going to claim it as Sheridan found space in the box to shoot from Tom Greaves’ cross.

The former County midfielder’s shot was goal bound until Mike Clarke somehow deflected it onto the underside of the bar and back down onto the line.

With FC claiming a goal, the referee’s assistant waved play on. Marsden and Sam Minihan both came close to an equaliser for The Hatters before Marsden saw another shot deflected towards goal only for Carnell to stick out a hand and tip the ball onto a post.

Hinchliffe then denied the home side a certain goal as he saved at close range from home skipper Jerome Wright.

However, the visiting keeper was powerless to stop the home side clinching the points as Dale Johnson diverted a shot from fellow substitute Nathan Lowe passed Hinchliffe to ensure his side claimed all three points.

  • FC United: Carnell, Tonge, Chantler, Kay, Eckersley, Ashworth, Wolfenden (Gilchrist 81), Sheridan (Lowe 86), Greaves (Johnson 63), Wright, Winter. Unused subs: Williams, Glynn.
  • Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Minihan, Duxbury, Meppen-Walter (Spencer 46), Clarke, Ross, Stopforth, Montrose, Amis (Odejayi 69), Marsden, Lloyd (Carney 53). Unused subs: Ormson, Smalley.
  • ATT: 3,030 (650)

Phil Brennan, The Non League Magazine