Stockport Town slipped to a 3-1 defeat away to Alsager Town on Tuesday evening in the Hallmark Security League.
The match was ultimately decided in the first half after goals from Michael Lennon, Kyle Stubbs and Warren Holmes put the hosts 3-0 up at half-time. Lee Constantine replied late on in the game with Stockport’s consolation effort.
The match started off with the Lions dictating the early possession and, despite the bobbly pitch, they were able to string a number of chances together as Conor Downes went close first after seeing his shot go wide of the post.
Constantine, playing on the right of midfield, intercepted the ball following a Lions corner and saw his effort on goal well saved by Christopher Fletcher in Alsager’s goal.
However it was the home side who took advantage of some sloppy defending from Stockport as they went ahead when Lennon latched onto a long ball over the top before chipping the on-rushing Lewis Fielding.
Minutes after the goal Stockport were on the hunt to bring the scores level, and following another Constantine shot deflected for a corner, Liam Bennion connected with the cross well but headed straight at Fletcher who saved, pushing the ball away from goal.
Strikers Ben Halfacre and Edward Driver had wonderful opportunities to get Stockport back in the match midway through the first half. Firstly Halfacre capitalised after Fletcher had mishit a clearance but the Lions attacker miscued his volley high and wide.
Then shortly afterwards Driver was sent through on goal following a great pass from Alec Mudimu in midfield but the striker’s effort was saved for another Lions corner.
Despite the chances, once again Alsager struck and doubled their lead in the 32nd minute. Stubbs, after turning on the edge of the penalty area, rifled his shot into the bottom corner just seconds after the home side appealed for a penalty for handball.
The match was then put beyond the visitors just two minutes before the break as another defensive mishap saw Holmes find a throw-in land at his feet inside the six-yard box before guiding his shot in at the near post.
Following the break Stockport improved and maintained their possession of the ball early in the second half but they were coming up against a resolute Alsager defence who only had defending their lead on their minds.
Downes came close agin just as he had done so in the opening minutes, this time driving into the box before striking across goal, hoping for someone to tap in, but the ball deflected wide for another corner.
Alsager came close to making it four on the night after Mark Grice was put through on goal after beating the offside trap, but Fielding did well to put the striker off and save his goal-bound shot.
Into the 87th minute and with the result and comeback diminishing for Stockport, midfielder Constantine struck with a deflected effort on goal, beating Fletcher finally and giving his side some minor hope.
However Alsager would hold onto to their lead and secure all three points as the Lions rued chances in the first half and were to blame for some complacent defending for at least two of the goals conceded.
Dave Wild’s Lions return to action this Saturday afternoon as they travel to Sandbach United for the final game of the league season. With Sandbach guaranteed a playoff place and at least one further fixture to come, the Lions will look to capitalise on a possible depleted and rested Sandbach squad.
All the action gets underway at the Sandbach Community Football Centre, Hind Heath Road, Sandbach, CW11 3LZ. Kick-off is 3pm!