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Stockport 2 Solihull Moors 2

This was Solihull’s first ever visit to the 11,000-seater Edgeley Park to face Stockport County who were relegated from the Conference Premier on the final game last season.

Junior English in the thick of the action for Solihull Moors during the draw at Stockport.
Junior English in the thick of the action for Solihull Moors during the draw at Stockport.

This was Solihull’s first ever visit to the 11,000-seater Edgeley Park to face Stockport County who were relegated from the Conference Premier on the final game last season.

Fourteen years ago, County were in what is now the Championship, since when they have fallen from tier two to tier six in English football.

Nevertheless, after a slow start to the season Stockport are now mid-table and their home form recently has been impressive

With two minutes gone, Rhys Oates outpaced Alex Dean and with only Jas Singh between him and the goal struck a thunderbolt, which rattled the upright.

Moors were straight back at their hosts and on seven minutes a long Exodus Geohaghon throw took Stockport’s defence by surprise and Ryan Beswick slotted home the first goal.

A fierce low drive from Jordan Gough was well saved by keeper Ian Ormson on 11 minutes while Junior English just failed to connect with a defence-splitting through pass from Darryl Knights.

Moors continued to dominate but Stockport were breaking out well from defence and Singh needed his wits about him on 30 minutes when under-pressure Rob Elvins’ back-pass was short but the keeper managed to clear.

Gough’s low drive across the box failed to achieve the necessary tap-in as the first half ebbed away with Moors disappointed not to have extended their lead.

Mark Battersby, making his home debut for the home side, replaced Adriano Moke at the start of the second period and immediately launched a goal-bound effort straight at Singh.

But the Hatters were playing with more flare and confidence and equalised on 53 minutes from a rare mistake by the Moors keeper. Singh rushed out to stem an attack down the right flank but his clearance was short and captain Phil Jevons lobbed him from 30 yards.

Four minutes later County found the back of the net again as Battersby drove the ball home from a difficult angle in off the far post.

Marcus Bignot substituted Dior Angus for Michael Blackwood as Moors looked for a way back. Gough tried a 20-yarder on 70 minutes and Blackwood fired over two minutes later.

With a quarter-of-an-hour left a Knights free-kick was bundled into the net by English but the referee yellow-carded him for deliberate handball.

As time ebbed away, Knights and Jay Denny made way for twin strikers Gary Birch and Michael Taylor and it was this combination that finally produced the goal Solihull so richly deserved – but not before they were denied by a superb reflex save from Birch’s volley.

With just five minutes remaining, Birch held off three defenders before executing an inch-perfect cross and there was Taylor to head home.

With three consecutive unbeaten games behind them, Moors ready themselves for Saturday’s home match against second-bottom Gloucester.

 

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