Stockport Town were denied yet another home victory on Tuesday evening as they lost 3-2 against FC Oswestry Town at Stockport Sports Village.
The Lions had fought back after Jack Harris’ brace had given the visitors an early 2-0 lead, but goals from Stockport’s Andy Graham and Lee O’Brien looked to have salvaged a point, only for Tom Halton to smash in a late winner.
The match started off at a blistering pace, as just 40 seconds in George Blackwell had his shot cleared off the line after he had found space inside the area and chipped goalkeeper George Austin.
With four minutes on the clock Oswestry had taken the lead through Jack Harris. The striker lingered inside the Stockport penalty area and was there to tap home following a cross from the right wing.
The visitors could have doubled their lead just minutes later as Harris did well to find Liam Molloy on the penalty spot with an open goal beckoning, however the winger skied his effort over the bar.
Only 15 minutes in and Oswestry had doubled their lead, this time from the penalty spot. Warren Gaskin was judged to have brought Harris down illegally as the referee pointed to the spot, to which Harris slotted away his second of the match.
With the away side looking to kill the game off early, the Lions stepped up and began playing some good football. Adam Latham and Liam Constantine both came close to finding the net and halving the deficit but both shots went wide of Austin’s post.
It took a well worked set-piece to get Stockport back into the match midway through the half. Ruben Abreu played Andy Graham in from a corner as the central midfielder rifled his shot through bodies and high into the net from 25 yards.
The home side would have equalised just two minutes later had it not been for a world-class save from Austin to deny O’Brien’s goal-bound header following Graham’s freekick into the area.
Calum Sykes will have been wondering how his side didn't go into half-time all square after his side spurred a glorious chance. Warren Gaskin found George Blackwell inside the area as the winger rounded Austin, but instead of shooting he passed. The eventual shot was then blocked on the line before Gaskin’s sliding effort to strike home was deflected for a corner.
Blackwell almost made amends early in the second half as Leon Murphy’s cross found him on the edge of the box, cutting inside on his left foot the winger’s shot was well saved by Austin in goal.
The match then turned against Stockport despite their efforts for an equaliser. Graham was shown a straight red card following an incident off the ball as the home side were reduced to 10 men.
The Lions knew they had a mountain to climb but they did not give up as Kiarno Samms and Blackwell came close again but Austin and Oswestry’s defence were not letting up.
Stockport’s supporters were soon cheering again after O’Brien smashed home the equaliser inside the penalty area after Samms’ header came back off the post following Abreu’s freekick.
As both sides searched for a late winner, the Lions felt they had the momentum to push on, but poor defending after being hit on the counter attack saw Halton left unmarked as he fired past Whiting in goal.
Harris almost secured the win and a possible hat-trick in style as he broke free of the Lions defence and rounded Whiting in the box, however his off-balance effort rose over the bar.
The clock wound down as Stockport launched the ball forward in hope of finding a second equaliser, but it was to no avail, Oswestry held on to secure all three points and their fourth away win of the season.
Stockport now travel to Alsager Town on Saturday afternoon in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round, kick-off 3pm.