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Down to Ten: Stockport Report
By: Richard Lord
IT was difficult not to sympathise with the Mariners after they were overrun 3-0 by an in-form Stockport County side at a rain-soaked Edgeley Park yesterday.
Despite starting the brighter of the two teams, keeper Phil Barnes inexplicably fumbled a corner into his own net in Countyâ€™s first real attack of the game.
The Mariners couldâ€™ve had an early lead had the referee been brave enough to award a spot kick when Nick Hegarty was upended in the very first minute.
Town - playing the usual back four with Paterson and Rankin up front in a straight 4-4-2 formation - put together some promising moves in the opening exchanges.
However, Barnesâ€™s blooper - possibly his first touch of the game - handed the initiative to the opposition, and they started to work their way down the Marinersâ€™ left.
But Till and Paterson were combining well down the left, and Rankin looked sprightly - holding up the ball well and bringing the midfielders into play.
It was all change on 25 minutes when Stockport were awarded a penalty and Nick Fenton was rather harshly given his marching orders for handball in the area.
Liam Dickinson hit the upright from the resultant penalty kick, and the Mariners were still in it.
On a soggy quagmire of a pitch, Hegarty lost his footing and allowed a cross to be drilled to the near post, where Dickinson made up for his 12-yard miss with a thunderbolt of a volley into the roof of Townâ€™s net.
Former County man Danny Boshell was sent on to replace Nick Hegarty, with Croft reverting to left back, Newey to centre back, and Boshell to right back. Rankin dropped deep on the left.
At 2-0 down and with only ten men on the field, Buckleyâ€™s men had to hope that they could get something before half time in order to make a fist of it.
Indeed, their chance came when Till and Rankin combined to free up shooting space for Paterson on the edge of the area, but his effort was tame and failed to trouble the keeper.
There was a huge shout for handball when a County defender appeared to stop the ball rolling with his arm when on the ground, but the referee waved away the appeals, despite similarities with Fentonâ€™s dismissal.
The report continues in Part 2
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