Date: 12th August 2007 at 11:49am
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Stockport County got off to a perfect start to the new campaign with an encouragingly comfortable home win against new boys Dagenham & Redbridge.

Jim Gannon went with five new players at Edgeley Park yesterday, with Dominic Blizzard and Chris Adamson on the bench. Conrad Logan took up his place in goal, James Smith played right back, Paul Tierney played left back, Gary Dicker played central midfield and Matty McNeil played upfront.

The full team was: Logan, Smith, Owen, Williams (C), Tierney, Poole, Dicker, Taylor, Griffin, Elding, McNeil.

County started the strongest of the teams and had two clear cut chances in the first 15 minutes or so.

First of all some good build up led to Adam Griffin being given the opportunity to shoot from the edge of the area, but the Dagenham keeper dived brilliantly to his right to stop it going in.

Moments later fantastic build up play resulted in a cross from Adam Griffin, where David Poole volleyed just wide of the left hand side of the goal.

Anthony Elding then had his first chance of the new season, he was played through with a ball over the top by Jason Taylor. Elding beat the defender to the ball but his shot just rolled past the far post to the Dagenham’s fans delight.

Dagenham had their first attempt on goal with Benson found himself one-on-one with Logan, Logan was fantastically out of his goal and smothered the shot with his body. It turned out Benson was offside after a brilliant tackle from Smith in the box ended the attack anyway.

Matty McNeil had his first chance when Anthony Elding brought the ball down and laid McNeil off at the edge of the area, McNeil got his shot through the crowd of players but it was well saved by the Dagenham keeper.

The first half of the new season ended with another County chance, Poole volleyed again and it was well saved by Tony Roberts in the Dagenham goal once again.

So it was the first half time of the season, a time when fans gathered and discussed their thoughts of their team this season. My thoughts were the County looked really good, the first half was quite even on reflection but in the second half attacking the Cheadle End we should get a goal at some point. Conrad Logan has made the team, he is a good keeper and looks comfortable. James Smith is giving the team an extra dimension down the right hand side, he looks eager to attack and it is good that he has overlapped Poole several times.

County had a ten minute blitz from half time, we were literally camped inside the Dagenham half. Gareth Owen & Ashley Williams, who were both fantastic, had little to do. The full backs were playing as wingers, Tierney and Smith were in the Dagenham half at every opportunity.

Anthony Elding got played through for the first chance, he tried to bury the chance in the bottom corner but it was straight at the Dagenham keeper.

County, and the Cheadle End, then thought they had the goal we desired. A mix up saw David Poole finally lay the ball off for Adam Griffin, who put the ball in the back of the net, but the referee ruled the goal out for offside.

Poole then went close when Elding played in a fantastic ball from the left hand side, but the Dagenham defender just got his head to the ball first to stop Poole heading home.

Then we had the first bit of controversy of the new season with 15 minutes to go. A Dagenham played tried to roll the ball back to Roberts in goal, but Proudlock intercepted the pass and took the ball past the keeper on the edge of the area. However the keeper brought Proudlock down, the referee wanted to play on but the linesman stopped play. Chants from the County fans wanted the keeper off, but the referee gave him a yellow card. I don’t know why because the keeper would have been on the floor and Proudlock would have had an open net, its clearly denying a goalscoring opportunity is it not?

Taylor took the free kick right on the edge of the area, and it would have had to take a top finish to get it in from there. The box was crowded, he hammered it straight at the wall and it rebounded.

County had all four strikers on the pitch, Gannon was going for broke.

Liam Dickinson jinxed inside on his right foot and slid a shot across the face of goal, seven minutes left, would County find this goal or were Dagenham going to snatch it at the death?!

But finally County go the goal they deserved with just five minutes to go. Adam Proudlock got the ball on the right hand side and put the an absolutely fantastic cross in, Liam Dickinson met it at an acute angle and fired the ball into the net to send the County fans wild.

And that was that. County got their first victory of the season and went into sixth place, Chesterfield away next in the league. It’s going to be a good’un isn’t it?!


2 Replies to “County Back With A Bang”

  • Great report yet again Jack. From my view on the half way line I thought McNeil in the second half was a real threat. Chuffed to bits for Dicko – he really is beginning to develop into a decent player. Must admit I did have my doubts last year. Glad to be proved wrong

  • well deserved win overall. but i think we showed everyone that we’ll be no pushovers or whipping boys

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