1 - 3Full Time
Spennymoor Town were beaten 3-1 by Stockport County on an off-night for the promotion chasers at the Brewery Field.
Stockport raced into a two-goal lead in the first half thanks to goals from Matthew Warburton and Sam Walker.
Stephen Brogan’s superb free-kick gave the Moors hope going into the final half an hour, but a late mix-up in the Moors defence gifted the visitors all three points, when James Curtis and Matthew Gould mis-read each other’s intentions and Nyal Bell capitalised to send the travelling fans home happy.
Stockport fashioned the first real opportunity of the game on 12 minutes, when a marauding Frank Mulhern played Warburton in on the right-hand side of the box, but he could only blaze high over the bar.
Jake Kirby then came close, swivelling on a sixpence 18 yards out, before ripping a strike just wide of the left-hand upright.
Sam Walker went into the book for the visitors on the half-hour mark for a high challenge on Robert Ramshaw.
Warburton got his reward for persistence on 34 minutes when he spun into space on the edge of the box and saw his driven shot deflected past Matthew Gould.
Stephen Brogan tried to haul Moors into the game, driving down the left, but Adam Boyes could only glance his whipped delivery narrowly over.
But it got tougher for Moors when they were punished for giving away too many free kicks on the edge of their own area. Walker stepped up from 20 yards and curled a left-footed effort around the wall, which Gould will be disappointed he couldn’t keep out as it nestled in the centre of the net.
The second half started with Spennymoor showing some desire to push higher up the pitch and this resulted in their best moment to that point 12 minutes after the break. Ramshaw’s 25-yard strike was deflected inches past the post. It was starting to feel like one of those nights for the hosts.
Jason Ainsley looked to shake things up with a change on 63 minutes. Ryan Hall was called on to replace Shaun Tuton, looking to get his injury-hampered season up and running.
Hall was immediately into the action. He drove down the right and his mis-hit cross almost looped into the far corner.
Moors’ were back in the game on 68 minutes and it was free-kick specialist Stephen Brogan who gave his side a lifeline. He whipped a super strike from 25 yards into the top corner for the second time in two games.
Finally, that was the wake-up call Moors had been waiting for. Hall sprinted onto a Mark Anderson through-ball two minutes later but was denied by Ben Hinchcliffe, who stayed big to deny the substitute a heroic introduction.
Stockport were reduced to 10 men in the closing minutes when goal-scorer Walker was sent off for a lunge on Hibbs, receiving his marching orders for a second yellow card. This should have given Moors a boost for the remaining period, but the onslaught never came.
In fact, it was the Hatters who had the final say, when Gould and James Curtis made a hash of a long ball upfield and substitute Bell raced onto it for a simple finish, sending County home with all three points.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|