STOCKPORT County made it three consecutive league wins as they easily dispatched struggling Hednesford Town 3-0 at Edgeley Park on Tuesday evening.
First half goals from Obi Anoruo and Richard Brodie set County on their way with substitute Kayode Odejayi putting the gloss on a comfortable victory for the Cheshire based side.
Jim Gannon initially named an unchanged side, keeping faith with the players who had tasted victory over Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday, but defender Paul Connolly picked up an injury in the warm-up which meant he dropped out of the side with Jamie Menagh taking his place.
There was familiar face in the Hednesford line up with former County striker Danny Glover leading the line for the visitors.
It was the perfect start for the hosts as they went in front inside eight minutes with their first attempt on target.
A flowing move involving a number of County players ended with Gareth Roberts putting in a pinpoint left wing cross that was headed home on the edge of the six-yard box by the leaping Anoruo.
It was nearly two shortly after as Stockport pilled on the pressure, this time it took a goal line clearance from Hednesford’s Kennedy Digie to deny Menagh.
The Pitmen were looking lively themselves when going forward and tricky winger Shelton Payne nearly levelled from a narrow angle, luckily Ian Ormson in the home goal was alert and tipped his effort onto the post and away.
Unperturbed by the that close shave the Hatters had the next effort on goal inside an incredibly lively opening 20 minutes.
Full-back Danny Morton whipped in a free-kick from the right which was met by the head of striker Brodie but Hednesford keeper Dan Crane was equal to his effort and plucked the ball majestically out of the air.
It was nearly 2-0 soon after as County miraculously had five attempts on goal in a matter of seconds, Crane made three consecutive point blank saves from Brodie, Onoruo and John Marsden before Marsden had a fourth attempt blocked, with Roberts blazing over a fifth effort.
On the 30th minute mark it was the home side who went close again, this time Lewis Montrose firing wide from distance.
On the stroke of half-time Gannon’s side turned their dominance into goals as the impressive Brodie picked up the ball 25 yards out and smashed an unstoppable effort towards the net, beating the helpless Crane and going in off the underside of the bar.
Hednesford boss Frank Sinclair was clearly unhappy with his side’s first half performance and made a change at the break bringing on an additional striker in Chester loanee Tom Peers.
It was a scrappy start to the second-half as the rain teemed down onto the Edgeley Park surface but soon the visitors were threatening.
Substitute Peers brought a fine save out of Ormson and from the resulting corner the influential Roberts was at hand to clear off the line from a Ben Bailey header.
Entering the final 25 minutes County made a change in both shape and personnel as Joe Garvin replaced goalscorer Anoruo, shifting the men in blue to a 4-4-1-1 formation to try and solidify their lead.
Sinclair responded to Gannon’s move shortly after as he brought on pacy attacker Ahmed Obeng as his last throw of the dice, whilst County introduced giant forward Odejayi to the fray.
And it was the powerful striker who made it 3-0 with seven minutes remaining as he expertly headed home Menagh’s set-piece delivery to put the game to bed.
Stockport County: Ormson, Menagh, Roberts (Joyce ’89), Montrose O’Hanlon, Smalley, Morton, Anoruo (Garvin ’65), Brodie (Odejayi ’80), Marsden, Ledsham.
Unused subs: Smith.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Fitzwater, Truelove, Bailey, Digie, Cleet (Peers ’46), Thorley, Williams, Perry (Ennis ’61), Glover (Obeng ’71), Payne.
Unused subs: Ransome, Trainer.
Booked: Williams, Digie.
Referee: Jonathon Hunt
Assistants: Mick Ainsworth and Mark Brown
By Joe Canavan at Edgeley Park