STOCKPORT County came from behind to beat North West rivals FC United of Manchester in the Rebels’ first competitive game at their new Broadhurst Park stadium.

Rory Fallon wrote his name into the FC United record books by scoring the first league goal at the £6.5 million ground in Moston after 25 minutes.

However, a stunning curling effort from new boy Calum Dyson put County level shortly after the hour mark as the Hatters took control after the break.

And the winner came just nine minutes later with striker Kayode Odejayi powering home a header from a corner in front of the 500 travelling County fans – who made up a healthy crowd of 3,199, with the attendance restricted by police due to segregation.

FC United of Manchester sign outside Broadhurst Park
New home: FC United had played twice before at Broadhurst Park against Benfica and Wrexham during pre-season

Evo-Stik Premier Division champions FC United came into the game looking for a win following their opening day defeat to Gloucester, while Stockport were looking to make it two wins from two following their 2-1 victory over Boston United.

FC United came closest to opening the scoring early on as the County defence failed to clear Liam Brownhill’s long-range free-kick but Matt Wolfenden scuffed his tame shot at goal.

Stockport replied by setting their stall out in midfield, using their considerable size and strength to win possession, and keep FC United in their own half.

County launched an aerial attack on the hosts, testing the mettle of the FC United defence, but the Reds repelled them and were able to launch a number of counter attacks of their own.

Attacking midfielder Fallon set his sights on goal but was only able to send his shot ballooning harmlessly over Danny Hurst’s goal.

Fallon made up for this miss in the 25th minute, crashing his shot home from 20 yards out after County failed to deal with an FC corner.

Stockport came straight back at the Rebels, again using the aerial route to try and penetrate the defence, but young central defender Nia Bayunu was equal to the challenge of the sizable Stockport forward line.

Captain Jerome Wright came close to doubling FC’s lead as he let fly from range, however he was unable to keep the shot down, and it fizzed over the Stockport bar.

Stockport continued to dominate possession and build pressure on the FC United goal, former Wigan Athletic player Lewis Montrose alongside Glenn Rule pulling the strings from midfield.

However FC United’s defence remained organised and continued to protect their keeper well, they will have been relieved to hear the half-time whistle however.

Stockport came out in the second half in a similar mood to which they finished the first, immediately establishing themselves in midfield and pegging the hosts back.

As the second half progressed, the tension steadily grew and the game became scrappy, as Stockport looked to use their physical advantage over the hosts.

County came close through a header from new captain Sean O’Hanlon, which skewed over Carnell’s head and into the travelling supporters behind the goal.

There was a sense that an equalizer would come sooner rather than later and indeed County confirmed the inevitable when Dyson curled a wonderful shot home from outside the box to level the scores.

County continued to carry to momentum after restoring parity and it wasn’t long before they took the lead, Odejayi scrambling home in the 75th minute to send the travelling support into raptures.

After taking the lead, County sat back and allowed FC to come back into the game. Substitute Cameron Murray came the width of a stud away from equalising, only for his shot to travel wide for a corner.

Bayunu came within inches of scoring a dramatic late equaliser, only to send the ball inches over, and Stockport saw out the game for a deserved 2-1 victory.

The Hatters maintain their 100% start to the new campaign in the National League North while, for newcomers FC United, the wait for their first win in the sixth tier, and at their new stadium, continues.

Teams:

FC United of Manchester:  Carnell, Brownhill, Brown (Murray 82′), Stott, Bayunu, Ashworth, Wolfenden (Daniels 77′), Fallon, Greaves, Wright (c), Lindfield (Madeley 72′).
Subs not used:  Cooke, Birch.
Booked:  Brown (53′), Brownhill (55′)
Goals:  Fallon (25′)

Stockport County:  Hurst, Morton, Roberts, O’Hanlon (c), Thorniley, Rule, Dyson (Robinson 89′), Montrose, Odejayi, Gonzales (Baggie 31′ (Garvin 79′)), Ledsham.
Subs not used: Colley, Ellison.
Booked:  Thorniley (48′), O’Hanlon (64′), Montrose (68′), Dyson (82′)
Goals:  Dyson (66′), Odejayi (74′)

Referee:  Jonathan Hunt (Liverpool)
Attendance:  3,199

By Lewis Smith at Broadhurst Park
@SmithyJourno

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