Stockport Town made it six league wins in their last seven with a comfortable 3-0 victory over a 10-man St Helens Town side at Brocstedes Park on Tuesday night.
A stunning first-half strike from Ruben Abreu was followed by strikes from Adam Kay and Mason Dunkley-Hemlin after the break. The win takes Calum Sykes’ side back up to 4th in the North West Counties Football League – Division One table, with teams around them slipping up in midweek.
The start to the match saw the Lions pressing high up the field and putting the Saints defence under pressure as they looked to pass the ball out from the back.
Stockport’s central midfield, including Adam Kay, Jake Pollard and Jamie Kay in a holding role, worked tirelessly throughout to cut out any through balls and were quick in setting up attacks for the Lions through the wide channels for Abreu and Chris Sherrington.
The first real chance in the half saw Pollard latch onto a poor back-pass to St Helens keeper Matt Hodge, however the Lions midfielder was unable to find the target as the ball rolled past the post.
Next up for Stockport’s attack was J.Kay who, after finding himself in space outside the penalty area, swiftly struck an effort straight at Hodge but a finger-tip save saw the ball crack off the crossbar and out for a corner.
The match went through a quiet stage with St Helens coming close but Jacob Luty stood firm in the Lions goal and the visitors would then go on to take the lead through something special.
Abreu received the ball out on the right wing and using Andrew Mottershead’s overlap as a decoy made space for himself on the edge of the box before unleashing a rocket into the top corner off the post.
Things then went from bad to worse for the home side as the Saints were reduced to 10-men following George Lomax’s two-footed lunge on Joe Armstrong. The Lions defender was thankfully okay able to run off the challenge.
Abreu and Pollard both had chances to double the lead for Stockport late in the half but both failed to trouble Hodge in goal, but away side were by far the happier team going in at the break.
Half-Time: St Helens Town 0-1 Stockport Town
The second half saw the Saints maintaining possession early on despite being a man down however a brilliant defensive display from the Lions back line saw the home side become frustrated.
Adam Kay and Nathan Neequaye went close with headers following lovely crosses into the box but the former would soon have his goal and the Lions’ second of the night.
Sherrington played in a whipping cross from a deep freekick and the ball found its way to A.Kay lingering at the back post. His header found its way across the line despite defender Ant Whelan’s best effort to clear the ball off the line.
Now with a comfortable lead Stockport brought on youngster Dunkley-Hemlin in place of Neequaye up front as they looked to kill the game off going into the final 20 minutes.
The ever pressing Pollard soon found himself with another opportunity at goal with a few minutes remaining but once again was unable to make it count, an unlucky end to the match with the Lions midfielder constantly in the action for his side.
The away side did eventually seal victory through Dunkley-Hemlin which included a second assist of the game for Sherrington. The Lions winger swung another beautiful freekick into the box and this time it was the young striker at the back post who nodded past Hodge.
Stockport played out the remaining couple of minutes with ease and made it three away wins in a row against a St Helens side who themselves still have an eye on the playoff places.
Full-Time: St Helens Town 0-3 Stockport Town
Calum Sykes’ Lions now face an away trip to the rescheduled Northwich Manchester Villa match following last weeks abandonment due to Sam Scott’s leg injury. The match will be played at Mossley FC due to the Manchester Regional Arena being unavailable this Saturday, kick-off 3pm.