Stockport Town returned to winnings ways in the Hallmark Security League thanks to a 3-1 home win over Prestwich Heys on Tuesday evening at Stockport Sports Village.
Town were on their “A’ game as Adam Kay, Adam Latham and Andy Graham found the back of the net, meanwhile Heys made a game of it in the second half after Daniel White reduced the deficit from the penalty spot.
The Lions came into the match on the back of a 4-2 away defeat to City of Liverpool last Friday and were raring to go right from the first whistle to put that match to bed.
From the first minute Town looked a different side from their time on Merseyside, pressing high up the field, as one unit, and forcing Heys into quick passing and ultimately dispossessing them on numerous occasions.
With 11 minutes on the clock, the Lions struck with their first shot on target. A swift counter attack led by Ruben Abreu found Graham in the middle who teed up Kay to bury his strike into the bottom corner, leaving Heys keeper, Kallum Campbell-Rose stretching for thin air.
After taking the lead Town raised their level and consistently troubled the Prestwich defence with every attack for a 10 minute period following the opening goal.
Town captain Warren Gaskin guided a powerful header towards goal following a whipped cross but the ball cannoned back off the post, with Campbell-Rose caught on his heels.
The Prestwich backline were doing enough to keep the Lions at bay and created their own chance through Dalton McLaughlin as his close-range shot was cleared off the line in a flurry of bodies back defending, much to the relief of Town boss Calum Sykes.
As the home side began pressing once again they forced the Heys keeper into a fumble following Abreu’s goal-bound effort, the ball bobbled in the six-yard area and Latham was there to tap home and double the lead.
The post came to Prestwich’s rescue once again just four minutes later as Graham curled a drilled shot past the Heys keeper but once again the ball cannoned off the upright and the defence were able to clear their lines and keep the scoreline at 2-0 going into the break.
The second half saw Heys come out fighting and almost reduced Town’s lead had it not been for Gaskin’s wonderful defensive recovery. McLaughlin bore down on goal, knocking the ball past the on-rushing Lions keeper, Dan Whiting, before striking only for Gaskin to clear a certain goal.
Stockport were caught napping just a few minutes after that as Heys took a quick freekick as the home defensive tried to organise, Ashley Reece sneaked through the backline and saw his one-on-one shot pushed wide by Whiting.
Following a couple efforts for Stockport to kill the game, Prestwich made a decisive change, bringing on Michael Itela whose pace caused all sorts of problems for Town in the final 25 minutes.
With 70 minutes on the clock Itela brought free of his marker but was fouled in the penalty box by Whiting who came to clear. Penalty Heys.
White stepped up and drove his shot under a stretching Whiting to half the deficit and spur his side on for a comeback.
The match entered the final 10 minutes as Abreu was brought down on the edge of the Heys area following a counter attack. Graham stepped up to bury the ballin the back of the net to reinstate Town’s two goal cushion.
A defensive mishap from the visitors saw Stockport sub George Blackwell one-on-one with a chance to make it four, but Campbell-Rose wasn't to be beaten this time as he saved down low to his right.
Liam Bennion then joined in on the action for the home side as he used Jay Mehmet as a dummy runner to provide space fore his shot which went just inches wide.
Prestwich had a late shout for another penalty in added time as Whiting was accused of fouling Paul Tierney when coming to clear the cross, but the referee pointed for a goal kick as Town held on for their second consecutive home win of the season.
Manager, Sykes, will have been happy that his side returned to winning ways and created numerous amounts of chances throughout the 90 minutes. The Lions are next in action this Saturday as they host Whitchurch Alport at SSV, kick-off 3pm.