Hats off to County
21 April 2012
For the penultimate game of the season, The Lambs made the journey to Edgeley Park home of the Hatters of Stockport County with both sides now safe in the knowledge that they would be kicking off the 2012-13 season in the same division.
Tamworth welcomed back Francino Francis in defence alongside Scott Barrow while Connor Taylor was given an opportunity with a place in the starting eleven.
Meanwhile, County, seeing their first season in non league football draw to a close were hopeful of a large crowd.
As the visiting fans entered the ground decked out in fancy dress a minutes silence was respectfully observed in memory of a Stockport club stalwart who had passed recently away.
County got the game underway kicking towards the away end but Ormson was soon called upon to clear his lines as Connro tried to chase down a long ball forwards.
Rain turned into sunshine as Courtney's clearance down the right sent a puddle over the home fans before Newton's cross was taken at height by Hedge.
On 5 Elliott headed through for Hattersley to chase and clattered with Hedge as the ball bounced in the area but there was no foul or intention of a foul and play continued.
Hattersley broke down the right on 7 and sent a good ball into the centre looking for Elliott but Hedge was on hand to collect.
Gudger forced a corner on the left on 9 and McDonald's ball in was cleared but The Lambs worked to get the ball back and moved it around nicely and Taylor did well to win the ball off Piergianni but was unable to get close enough to get a shot away.
Hedge punched a right sided cross away on 13 and then a corner was conceded. Hattersley headed goalward and with Hedge at full stretch Barrow was called upon to head off the line.
In the next move by the home side O'Donnell got his head to a long throw from the left but nodded the chance wide of the mark.
A freekick was conceded on 17 setting up County to strike for goal from 25 yards out. Sheridan set up Whitehead with a touch from the dead ball but the latter curled his shot just wide of the mark.
The Lambs lust failed to take the lead on 20 when Gudger latched onto a low ball through the middle and appeared to have sent it past Ormson with a deft touch but the keeper prevented it going past him with his toes and Stockport escaped.
While a minor distraction on the away terracing brought some boos from the crowd The Lambs continued to press without creating any clear cut chances although they definitely seemed to be relishing attacking a big stand full of spectators.
After a spell of home possession Taylor made a good run down the right wing and forced another corner, this time (the first time) on the right which McDonald planted onto the head of Green, but his attacking nod at goal was blocked and cleared.
Green sent a lovely long low ball through for Christie to latch on to but his resultant shot left a lot to be desired and really did hit row Z!
As the first half drew to a close Courtney got forwards and sent a right footed cross into the area but Ormson was more than equal to it.
One minute added time was shown at the end of the half and County won a pair of corners, the latter of which saw Francis headed the danger away before the whistle blew.
After a duo of County changes, The Lambs got the second half underway attacking the less populated terracing at the other end of the pitch.
But eth action was at the other end when a corner from the left came in and O'Donnell headed home with a touch off Christie at the far post. (0-1, 48 mins)
Thomas came on for Gudger shortly afterwards and made some in roads down the left wing but the offside flag halted play.
A fine ball from the centre of the park Green to Thomas on the left wing allowed the latter to link with Taylor on 57, but Ormson was quick off his line to catch the cross and thwart a Lambs attack.
Taylor made headway into teh area on the hour and found himself under close attention from Piergianni but his shouts for a penalty were not entertained by the referee.
Stockport then perhaps should have had their second when Hattersley struck the woodwork with a left footed finish from six yards. The ball came in from the right and the striker met the chance supplied by Halls sweetly enough but it lifted up onto the bar.
Lambs boss Law then made a change as Healy came on for Patterson and a few minutes later Oji pulled up off the ball, forcing Nix to come on.
The 162 travelling fans were now getting a little wet as Halls put another dangerous cross into the area from the right but Green was there to clear the danger.
After a short drinks break while an injury was attended to, a push on Christie, 30 yards from goal set up Barrow to strike for goal but it hit the five man wall and span out for a throw in which Stockport cleared to Green - the only man anywhere near the half way line.
As Tamworth pushed on, County broke and a through ball from Elliott to Sheridan was chipped over the despairing dive of Hedge allowing Hattersley to dive head home his fifth goal in as many outings. (0-2, 77 mins)
A second goal almost came on 80 for Hattersley but his shot went wide of the mark when well placed while at the other end on 82 Nix fired wide of the left hand upright with a right footed strike from the right of the area.
A long range drive from Whitehead struck the left hand post on 85 and County won a corner form the rebound but Hattersley was unable to flash his header on target.
The home side visibly grew in confidence as the minutes ticked by and as the volume of the home crowd increased two minutes added time was shown before the final whistle blew on the Stockport home campaign and one match at The Lamb remaining.
Jonathan HEDGE (GK), Duane COURTNEY, Francino FRANCIS, Sam OJI (Kyle NIX 68), Connor TAYLOR, Liam McDONALD, Kyle PATTERSON (Harvey HEALY 62), Paul GREEN (c.), Connor GUDGER (Danny THOMAS 51), Scott BARROW, Iyseden CHRISTIE
Subs: Sam HABERGHAM, Ashley GRAYSON
Stockport County Team:
Ian ORMSON, Euan HOLDEN (Jon NOLAN HT), Danny O'DONNELL, Danny HATTETSLEY (Jordan ROSE 87), Sam SHERIDAN, Danny WHITEHEAD, Sean NEWTON (Kyle BROWNHILL HT), Andy HALLS, Tom ELLIOTT, CARL PIERGIANNI, Joe CONNOR (capt.)
Subs: Lewis KING, Aaron COLE
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge