Lambs are spot on for win
19 February 2013
After Saturday's point (that thrice could have been three) at Telford, Dale Belford brought The Lambs squad to face The Hatters at Edgeley Park, and handed a debut to Jake Hessenthaler the 18 year old having signed on work experience term from Gillingham earlier in the day, coming in for the suspended Lee Hendrie. With Hendrie suspended, Duane Courtney was given the honour of wearing the captain's armband for the evening.
Stockport got proceedings underway, kicking towards the Lambs fans in the open seating terrace behind the goal.
In the early exchanges, it was obvious that the home side wee looking to make an early impression and Marshall has to be strong and clear his lines.
On 3 County were awarded a right sided corner via a deflected shot from distance and Oji cleared but Stockport regained possession and kept the ball in the final third for a short while, but Tamworth were having one of it and forced the ball back to O'Donnell in the home goal.
Lloyds strike from the left wing took a deflection on 7 and allowed Hassenthaler to swing the corner in the box but Oji was unable to curl his boot around the ball enough and it went wide of the far (right hand) post from a central position.
Afoul on Cunington on 8 allowed Kelly to curl the deadball into the box and Courtney got his head on it but it went just wide of the same post.
Oji fouled Cullen outside in left channel as the County player advanced towards the edge of the area on 12 and Nolan brought an easy catch from Breeden from the freekick.
Hassenthaler was looking lively in an attacking midfield role and put a good chance inches wide of the mark from the edge of thebox on 14.
Hassenthaler and Thorpe combined down the right and when the latter made headway into the area he was tripped by Newton for a Lambs penalty which Cunnington dispatched with a sure right foot into the far right corner to make it 1-0 on 16.
County fans started to show their annoyance at a few wayward passes as the clock hit the 20th minute and Hassenthaler threw himself at a shot to block a more incisive Stockport move shortly afterwards, before being involved in The Lambs move forward which earned a corner on the right on 22. Kelly's ball in may have been too long, but Tamworth did not give up and kept the ball in the County half with some slick Belford prompted passing moves.
On 26 Cunnington's low ball into the danger area forced a sliced clearance behind from Fagbola but from the resultant corner a push in the box halted play.
27 and Marshall was on hand to hook Cullen's low ball from the left byline away, while Oji had to head the cross back in behind as Nolan swung the left sided corner in and Wright headed it over and out for a flag kick on the other side which Lloyd booted away.
Lloyd unleashed a right footed drive from the left channel on the half hour and it took a slight deflection for a left sided corner which Wright glanced just wide of the mark.
The Lambs continued to be more than a match for their hosts and displayed a vigour and workrate that denied County a chance to think.
Cunnington sprinted onto a ball into the right of the box on 40 and chipped it into the centre of the box for Wright but his header, under pressure, went over the target.
Stockport enjoyed a spell of possession in the Lambs half as the first period drew to a close but there was no way through the Tamworth defence which was being bolstered by almost everyone as and when required which sometimes saw Cunnington slot into left back as Courtney made brief foray's through the centre.
Wright took an accidental blow to the head as one minute added time was shown by the fourth official and went the referee brought the first half to a close the travelling faithful cheered their team, but the home supporters didn't...
Cunnington almost made it two inside the first minute of the second half when Gudger threaded a ball through to Hessenthaler who saw his shot turned away by O'Donnell but the Lambs leading marksman, following up at the far post was unable to get a touch before the covering defender knocked it away for a corner on the right which came to nothing.
On 52 Cunnington cut right in the box and hit a low shot at O'Donnell which the keeper parried and just managed to smother before Wright got a toe to it to prod it in the net.
County started to resort to long range efforts with Cullen trying his luck on 53, hitting the shot straight at Breeden.
A the other end on 55 Lloyd fired a bouncing cross across the box from the left and Cunnington tried to turn it back first time but his strike was cleared for a corner which Stockport worked out past the half way line.
In a rare close range attack by the home side Breeden denied Cullen with a superb save with his feet on the hour then Gudger and Marshall combine to nip the ball off the feet off Cirak as he tried to advance into the box on 62.
At the other end, The Lambs pushed forward again which Wright feeding Cunnington before the home defence got in the way and cleared.
A handball spotted by the linesman following a Cunnington shot on 65 prevented the 52 travelling Lambs from hoping for something from the half chance and on 68 Oji and Cullen both went in strongly at height for the same ball leaving both prostrate on the floor and needing treatment.
The freekick eventually fell to Halls who raced on to the loose ball in the right of the area but his shot lifted high over the target and failed to threaten Breeden.
Byfield came on for Wright with 18 to go and The Lambs formation changed slightly, pushing Cunnington more up front on his own, allowing the midfield to become a little tighter but no less determined.
Hessenthaler's ball from the right wing found Lloyd past the last defender past the far post on 74 and his cut in took a deflection for a corner but Lloyd was unable to get the right direction on it and it went out for a corner.
A quick move out from Breeden on 76 then allowed Lloyd to hit a low shot from the right of the box but O'Donnell watched it roll past his far post .
On 82 Oji was penalised with a yellow card for a foul on substitute Macken as the Stockport player tried to make his way towards The Lambs penalty area. There was a vocal disapproval from the home fans about the colour of the card which might have been another colour on another day but thankfully for Oji and Tamworth, wasn't.
From the freekick by Newton 25 yards out directly in line with the goal, Breeden made a fantastic save to his right to deny the deadball and then Oji hooked it away as it dropped towards the line.
With the minutes ticking away, Halls won a freekick with a deflected cross on the right but it was a poor flag kick and Tamworth were able to clear but when the ball went back in Nolan appeared to go down under a sandwich challenge but the referee, with a better view than up in the press box, was having none of it and waved the claim away.
Hassenthaler then made good use of the ball down the Lambs right wing and pulled it back for Cunnington but O'Donnell was able to stop his diagonal shot.
Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game as County put increased pressure on The Lambs as soon as they saw the board but The Lambs had an answer for everything Stockport tried and deservedly celebrated the three points and fifth unbeaten game.
Tony BREEDEN (GK), Marcus KELLY, Tom MARSHALL, Adam CUNNINGTON, Tommy WRIGHT (Darren BYFIELD 72), Duane COURTNEY, Jake HESSENTHALER, Connor GUDGER, Daniel LLOYD, Jonathon THORPE, Sam OJI
Subs: James WREN (GK), Richard TAIT, Michael WYLDE, Stuart HENDRIE
Stockport County Team:
Richard O'DONNELL, Andy HALLS, Sean NEWTON, Johan HAMMAR, James TUNNICLIFFE (Jan MACKEN 79), Darren HATTERSLEY (Adnan CIRAK HT), Sam SHERIDAN, Mark CULLEN, Jon NOLAN, Jordan FAGBOLA, Mat MAINWAIRING (Simon HACKNEY HT)
Subs: Ian ORMSON, Danny WHITEHEAD
Referee: Mr. J. Whiteley