Stockport County roared back into National League action after over a month away with an impressive 2-0 win at high-flying Bromley.
Goals either side of the interval by Alex Reid and John Rooney secured three points for The Hatters in London, in what was County’s first taste of league action since Halloween following a Covid-19 outbreak at Edgeley Park.
The hosts, who headed into the tie in excellent form with no defeat in their last six outings, spurned a glorious chance to take the lead inside the opening five minutes, when Reeco Hackett-Fairchild broke at pace but saw his one-on-one effort saved superbly by Ben Hinchliffe.
And it was The Hatters who took an early lead on the quarter of the hour mark – John Rooney rose highest to head goalward, and although the midfielder’s header was hacked off the goalline, the clearance cannoned straight into Alex Reid and into the back of the Bromley goal.
Some heroic Hatters defending minutes later kept County in the lead, as Hackett-Fairchild rounded Hinchliffe only for Jordan Keane to somehow prod the forward’s effort off the line whilst falling to the turf, before captain Liam Hogan miraculously swiped the follow-up again off the line.
County landed another blow on the hosts bang on the hour mark, however, when substitute Sam Minihan rolled a cross into the box which the talismanic John Rooney picked up and calmly slotted home to double the lead, for the midfielder’s 10th goal of the season.
Bromley still looked to chip away at The Hatters’ lead, with defender Chris Bush hammering the inside of the post from long-range and Cheek spurning another big chance late on – but Gannon’s men held out for a big three points.