Stockport County go top with win over Chesterfield

Mark Kitching on target for County (Pic: Mike Petch)

In-form Stockport County moved top of the National League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Chesterfield thanks to substitute Alex Reid’s late winner.

Wing-back Mark Kitching gave Jim Gannon’s side a deserved lead early on with a stunning curling effort after cutting in onto his right, with The Hatters starting strongly in pursuit of a fourth win in a row.

County captain Liam Hogan thought he’d doubled the lead minutes later, only to see his goal-bound effort blocked by the arm of Chesterfield defender Will Evans on the goalline.

Despite The Hatters’ fierce protests and TV replays later showing a clear handball, referee Andrew Miller ignored the league leaders’ penalty appeals – with the hosts soon hauling themselves level against the run of play.

Big striker Tom Denton caused plenty of problems for the visitors, with the forward’s knock down to the edge of the area drilled home by Jordan Cropper to ensure that the two sides went in all square at the interval.

County pressed hard for a winner after the break, with Richie Bennett and Connor Jennings both striking the woodwork – before substitute Reid pounced in the 85th minute to head John Rooney’s cross in off the underside of the crossbar.

Gannon’s side survived a last-gasp onslaught by the home side to seal another three points in the National League, with County moving top of the table ahead of Hartlepool Utd after five games played.