Stockport County finally got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over local (yes local, despite only bringing 200 fans) rivals Chester City, thanks to goals from Anthony Pilkington and Tony Dinning.
County fans were surprised as Wayne Hennessey was recalled on Sunday after Wolves keeper Matt Murray picked up an injury on Saturday. The news wasn’t announced until late on Saturday, so lots of fans were surprised to see Joe Lewis in goals instead of Hennessey – even though it would have been his last game.
Jim Gannon was also putting an appeal in for Liam Dickinson’s read card, which meant that he could play and that the outfield team would be the same as Saturday – the only change coming in goals.
And it was Liam Dickinson who got the first chance of the game for County, when he attempted a spectacular overhead kick from the edge of the area. It was on target but it was an easy save for Danby.
County started off at a high tempo and were dominating possession wise, but weren’t making many chances. Uriah Rennie turned down a blatant handball for a penalty, something the County fans didn’t agree with and let him know.
But County took the lead when Anthony Pilkington created a lot of space for himself, and put in a low shot towards the bottom corner. It bounced off the post, hit the keeper on the back and then went into the net! 1-0 to County and it was the first time County had took the lead since Hartlepool at home.
Anthony Elding then nearly scored a goal of the season contender, when the ball bounced up for him perfectly to curl a shot from 25 yards towards the goal. The ball was dipping beautifully under the bar, but Danby did fantastically well to save it.
County’s domination was so much that Chester boss Mark Wright made two tactical substitutions after just 35 minutes of the game.
The County chances again weren’t being created, and the two substitutions brought the County possession percentage down slightly before half time.
But straight after Half Time County were awarded a questionable free kick when Liam Dickinson was brought down. Adam Griffin took the free kick about five yards from where the foul was committed, and it made all the difference. Tony Dinning started off at the ball, and then ran around the outside of all the players before getting on the end of a beautiful set piece from Griffin and volleying into the back of the net with his left foot.
Joe Lewis had nothing to do for most of the game, but Stockport born Simon Yeo brought a good save out of him just after the 70-minute mark. Lewis got down well and stopped the shot with his leg, the ball bounced out and it was Griffin against Wilson in the air, Wilson won the header but headed over an empty net.
Anthony Elding nearly scored a goal, which would have been better than the chance before, an instinctive volley from 35 yards out bounced off the posts holding the goals up.
In the end County were too good for Chester and played as they had to do, it was a good performance and efficient for what County needed ahead of the local derby against Macclesfield.
Apart from when he came for a cross and missed it he didn’t put a foot wrong. He didn’t have a save to make but he organised the defence well, he is a commanding figure and was at the edge of his box for a lot of the game shouting at the defence. 8.
He’s good at winning the ball but he has no pace, which I think is where Jim wants the team to go (attack down the wings with full backs). Didn’t have a lot to do. 6.
Still gets caught out of position alot but getting more used to his left-back role I think. Gets up the field well and he uses his pace to his advantage. 7.
Made a mess of some clearances and every time he got the ball he hoofed it. He didn’t have a lot to do either but his distribution is very poor, needs working on. 6.
Kept Yeo quiet, won everything in the air and made good tackles. Didn’t give anything away. 7.
I think he has been ok in the last two games. His final ball has been poor recently but he’s improving slightly I think. Keep him in the team on Saturday. 6.
Great finish for his goal but apart from that he did very little. Some nice moves and touches but poor crosses. Upfront is where he needs to be I think. 6.
He was very strong and did well in tackles but there were so many occasions he tried a wonder pass and failed dramatically. 6.
Got his foot on the ball, played the simple pass every time. Great volley for his goal aswell. Getting fitter and getting a little bit quicker. Made some great challenges aswell. 7.
For me the MOTM. He worked so hard and yet he is still getting stick off some numpties. Worked very hard upfront and held the ball up well. 8.
I would have been tempted to get him off at 2-0 cause Dicko is going to be suspended so he could have had a 3 week rest. Worked hard and chased down every ball, him and Dicko are getting better together though. 7.