Stockport County to face West Ham in the FA Cup

Connor Jennings celebrates County's extra-time winner
Connor Jennings celebrates County's extra-time winner (Pic: Mike Petch)

Stockport County will face West Ham in the third round of the FA Cup after battling to an entertaining 3-2 win over fellow National League side Yeovil Town at Edgeley Park.

The Hatters will host the Premier League club on the weekend of of January 8-11, 2021, after Connor Jennings’ extra-time winner.

Former County hero Matty Warburton – who struck 26 goals in the 2018/19 campaign as Jim Gannon’s side won the National League North title – came back to haunt his old club inside the opening two minutes when his long-rang effort took a deflection off County skipper Liam Hogan and flew inside the far corner.

The home side deservedly levelled just before the break when John Rooney slotted home a penalty after Ryan Croasdale was felled inside the area by Charlie Lee.

But Yeovil struck again against the run of play after the break, when centre-half Luke Wilkinson headed Warburton’s corner home at the far post in the 70th minute.

The hosts were level once more minutes later when Ash Palmer bundled home Rooney’s in-swinging free-kick, before Yeovil spurned a glorious chance to win the tie with just five minutes remaining.

The visitors were awarded a spot-kick which mystified and angered the hosts in equal measure after a foul which appeared to bypass everybody inside Edgeley Park, aside from referee Thomas Bramhall.

Having headed home 10 minutes earlier, Wilkinson stepped up but saw Ben Hinchliffe produce a superb save to keep a classic cup-tie alive.

Jordan Williams came close to winning the tie in normal time when his overhead kick landed on the roof of the net with the last kick of normal time, and the entertaining clash went to extra time.

And the lively Jennings headed County into an extra time lead for the first time on the 100th minute, arriving late to head home Jamie Stott’s superb first-time cross from the left

Rooney could have sealed the win for The Hatters in the second half of extra time when his close-range effort flew wide, but Gannon’s side had finally done enough to hold on and go into the hat for Monday’s third round draw.

Speaking after the game, Stockport County Manager, Jim Gannon said: “I’m really pleased for the lads, I’m delighted for the Club that we’ve got this far and we’re looking forward to enjoying that journey in the new year.”