A FRUSTRATING afternoon for Stockport County in the FA Trophy ended in a 2-0 defeat against Nantwich Town at Edgeley Park.

An 81st minute goal from Andy White put the visitors ahead, which came off the back of increasing pressure from County.

A late penalty was awarded in the 94th minute to Nantwich – and a clean hard strike from Liam Shotton doubled the lead to kill off the tie.

The afternoon saw a well fought match between the Hatters and the Baggies in which the home side dominated in the second half and created many chances. They will feel bitterly disappointed that they are not progressing.

The game, at a very wet and blustery Edgeley Park looked like a stalemate from the offset, with both teams looking compact and little space available.

Signs of good link up play were shown around the 10th minute as County’s midfielder Glenn Rule connected play well, especially with Kayode Odejayi, manoeuvring the ball well to create space. However, no breakthrough could be found.

The deadlock seemed to have been broken and the home side looked to be in trouble as Shotton placed the ball in the County goal, only to be ruled offside.

Joe Garvin who was resolute in attack and defence from the outset, as he began probing down his left wing winning free-kick’s. His supply to the box for County created chances throughout the game.

A deceiving cross from Garvin in the 34th minute had the keeper beaten but just lofted over the bar.

A well struck effort from Darren Thornton looked like it may give the Baggies the lead just before half time, but a deflection sent the ball for a corner.

Both teams had battled well during the first-half and the game looked difficult to call.

County came out after half time in search of a goal and dictated play.

Stockport’s best chance came in the 63rd minute when Rule struck goal wards but had his attempt parried into the feet of Jonny Margetts. He manufactured an angle and shot, but his effort was cleared off the line by Matt Bailey.

The pressure continued to build and substitute Micah Evans looked bright; adding strength and pace upfront. He had chances himself and at times should have been more adventurous.

Both keepers must have felt a clean sheet was on the cards, with both being called into action and saving well.

County debutant Andreus Arestidou had managed to keep his sheet intact until a late blow from White. Nantwich’s keeper Krystian Burzynski’s clearance found White and his drilled strike from outside of the box found the bottom left of the goal.

Despite County’s dominance, it was Nantwich who came closest to getting the second and decisive goal of the game. Shotton went through on goal – but his shot bounced back off the post in the 89th.

Frustration must have set in to Neil Young’s Stockport County. Their possession and chances had not been converted.

County continued to press, but any hope of progressing to the next round was thwarted when a hard and true 94th minute penalty was fired home by Shotton.

Nantwich are currently lodged in top position in the league below Stockport but certainly proved they can compete should they get promoted this season.

The Baggies await their fate. Their next round opponent will be revealed once the draw is made on Monday.

As for Stockport, they will face F.C United of Manchester at home next weekend, where they will be in search of their first league win in five matches.


Stockport County: Arestidou, Morton, O’Hanlon, Connelly, Garvin, Rule (Colley ’80), Ledsham, Tongue, Baggie, Odejayi (Evans ’56), Marggets.
Subs not used: O’Hara, Ellison, Joyce.

Nantwich Town FC: Burzynski, White, Thornton, Moran, Bailey, Osbourne (Cooke ‘75), Jones (Gordon ‘67), Hall, Shotton, Bell, Short (Hancock 48’).
Subs not used: Smith, Harrison.

Referee:  Shaun Hudson (Tyne & Wear)
Assistants: Nicholas Hawksby / John Key

Attendance: 1066

By Patric Dook at Edgeley Park

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