Stockport Town prepared for the Division One play-offs in emphatic style as they put seven past Whitchurch Alport without reply last Saturday, a new club record.
Stockport Town travelled to Whitchurch on the back of a 0-0 draw away to Rochdale Town last Tuesday but they didn’t waste any time against Alport, scoring twice in the first eight minutes.
With just four minutes on the clock, Stockport Town winger Chris Sherrington raced down the wing before crossing at the byline to find Nathan Neequaye at the near post to strike the ball past the Alport keeper.
Town defender Joe Armstrong then got his first of the afternoon as he doubled the away sides lead, heading in from an Andy Graham free kick.
Despite the fast start from Stockport, the match began to calm leading up to the break. Neequaye, Graham and Jimi Folagbade, making his first start for the Lions after progressing from the under-21s, all went close but failed to extend their lead before half-time.
The second half saw Town once again race out of the blocks, scoring two goals in as many minutes, putting the result to bed.
In the 51st minute Armstrong once again rose highest in the box following a cross, but this time headed into the path of Mason Dunkley-Hemlin, another under-21s starlet, as he finished high into the net.
Then just a minute later Calum Sykes’ side had their fourth of the afternoon, with Armstrong once again involved.
The defenders cross into the penalty area evaded the Alport keeper, who struggled to recover, before nestling into the top corner.
Stockport left-back Luke Podmore then tried to get in on the act but saw his consecutive efforts cannon off the woodwork.
With 70 minutes on the clock Dunkley-Hemlin grabbed his second of the game after another delightful Sherrington cross. The Town striker duly headed past the keeper to equal Armstrong’s brace.
That battle for a hat-trick then became a three-horse race as Neequaye bagged his second from the penalty spot following a foul from the Whitchurch defender.
As the game came to a close all three men were trying their luck to secure the match ball but it was club top-scorer, Neequaye, who lived up to his reputation, coolly slotting the ball past the keeper as he grabbed his second hat-trick of the season, and 16th league goal.
It was seventh heaven for Stockport as they saw out the match, that could easily have had a bigger scoreline, but Sykes will be delighted going into next week’s playoff leg.
With Town’s play-off opponent still not decided due to matches still to be played at the top of the table, the Lions will be training hard over the next week in preparation for the club first ever promotion adventure.
Stockport Sports Village will be the place to be on Monday, May 9, as the NWCFL play-off rules state this playoff semi-final will be a single match shootout, with the winner progressing to the final, at the home of the team who finished highest in the league table.