STOCKPORT COUNTY came from behind to secure victory at home over Tamworth and push themselves into the play-off positions.

County striker Danny Lloyd played a key role as he created one and scored the winner after the visitors had taken a first half lead through Ross Dyer.

The result means the Hatters find themselves in fifth, the final play-off spot in the National League North, leapfrogging Darlington and Chorley and extending their unbeaten run to five matches.

The visitors meanwhile dropped to tenth, following wins for Gloucester and Brackley.

Hatters boss Jim Gannon named an unchanged side for only the second time this season following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw away at league leaders AFC Fylde.

Meanwhile Tamworth’s manager made four changes following his team’s injury time defeat at home to second placed Kidderminster Harriers.

On the sun soaked Edgley Park pitch, it was Stockport who made the brighter start. Mark Ross’ cross from the right flicked wide of the Tamworth goal by a County head.

With ten minutes gone, both sides had failed to create any meaningful chances, with both sides battling for possession in the midfield.

The first shot on target fell the visitors’ way, as Danny Newton managed to find some space in Stockport’s box, but his low shot was straight at keeper Hinchliffe.

With 20 minutes played, Danny Lloyd unleashed Stockport’s first shot in anger, his 20-yard effort lacking conviction and landing in the arms of Belshaw.

The opening half saw very little goalmouth action, as both sides struggled to win a combative midfield battle.

Tamworth scored the opener through the returning Ross Dyer after 29 minutes, albeit from relatively little.

The visitors pumped a long ball into the Stockport box and the County defenders were guilty of ball watching as Dyer came from around the back to head in from a narrow angle past Hinchliffe.

It gave the 59 away fans something to cheer.

The opener seemed to kick Stockport into life, as Danny Lloyd made a mazy run down the left and hit a low cross which failed to find a player in blue.

The home side continued to try and find an immediate response, and Connor Hampson drove through the centre of the park to within shooting distance, although his effort fizzed just wide of the left-hand upright.

Tamworth perhaps should have had a second. A defensive clearance found Paul Green whose first touch took him away from the two County defenders, but his half-volley sailed high over the goal from 25-yards.

Stockport’s best chance of the half came after 39 minutes, as Sam Minihan worked hard to win the ball back and lead a counter attack down the left.

His cross led to a goalmouth scramble 9-yards out to give Sefton Gonzales no less than three bites of the cherry, but his shots were blocked by a resolute Tamworth defence who managed to clear.

As half time approached, Tamworth threatened to extend their lead, as right back Andy Burns found himself with the ball just inside the right of the Stockport box, but saw his narrow shot skid wide of the right-hand post as the Midlands side went in ahead.

Sustained possession from the kick off saw an attack build down the left hand side, and the ball found its way to Sam Minihan 12-yards out.

His shot curled wide of the right hand post after good pressure from the Tamworth defenders.

The pressure continued and a burst down the right from Mark Ross saw him find his way into the box, his cut back finding Lewis Montrose who forced a smart save from Belshaw, only to be ruled offside.

It was a great period of domination for the home side, and they threatened yet again as Jimmy Ball was threaded a ball into the box, but his driven cross evaded Danny Lloyd, who was well marked by the Tamworth centre backs.

With 72 minutes gone and time running out, County found the equaliser.

A well worked corner from Danny Lloyd caused havoc in the Tamworth box, and a goalmouth scramble ended with Mark Ross lashing the ball into the roof of the net from 6-yards out.

And with 10 minutes left to play, County’s top scorer Danny Lloyd fired home to give the home side the lead.

Kaine Felix made a clever run down the right and his cross found Lloyd 12-yards from goal.

He fired a low shot low to Belshaw’s left and into the bottom corner for his 19th goal of the season and to give County a crucial lead.

The Hatters perhaps should have wrapped up the points in added time, Tamworth keeper Belshaw pulled off a superb point blank save to tip over Jimmy Ball’s powerful header.

The result leaves them just one point behind fellow play-off hopefuls Salford and Halifax as we enter the final stage of the season.

Line ups:

Stockport (4-3-1-2): Hinchliffe (GK), Ross (C), Hampson, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley (Felix 66’), Minihan, Winter, Gonzales (Odejayi 61’), Ball, Lloyd (Duxbury 87’)
Not used: Ormson, Meppen-Walters
Goals: Ross 72’, Lloyd 80’
Booked: Gonzales 56’

Tamworth (4-2-3-1): Belshaw (GK), Burns, Morley, Deeney, Jones, Lane, Powell (Fox 75’), Green (Clarke 75’), Newton, Dyer, Taylor (Jezeph 61’)
Not used: Styche, Davies
Goals: Dyer 29’
Booked: Newton 56’

Attendance: 3,349 (59 away)
Referee: Martin Woods
Assistants: Robert Wainwright and Lewis Raper

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