Credit: Sporting Memories @amomentinsport
Stockport Town ended their season on a high as they were victorious at Sandbach United following a 3-1 away win in the Hallmark Security League on Saturday afternoon.
Sandbach took the lead midway through the first period after Aaron Knight’s strike, but Town replied before half-time through Reece Gray and Aaron Dwyer, before Dwyer added a third in the second half.
Dave Wild’s Lions finish their second season in the North West Counties Football League in a respectable 10th place following a difficult Christmas period before Wild came in. However the club is now on the up and attention is already set on preseason with a friendly set against the Isle of Man national side on Saturday 27th May, kick-off 2:30pm.
The match began with Stockport taking the game to their opponents and they came close through Ben Connolly and midfielder Ewan Stafford early on, before Connolly then went one-on-one with Elliott Lane but Utd’s keeper saved well.
With 30 minutes on the clock and Sandbach almost took the lead after Knight beat the offside trap before poking the ball past Lewis Fielding in Town’s goal but Alec Mudimu recovered to clear the ball away.
However just two minutes later the home side did take the lead, John Pritchard was caught on the ball on the edge of Stockport penalty box and Knight dispossessed the defender before slotting into the bottom corner past Fielding.
The away side looked to hit back immediately and they came close to a wonderful goal but Edward Driver’s cheeky back heel was thwarted by Lane in goal.
With assistant manager Phil Carratt, filling in for the absent Wild, forced into an early substitution after Thomas Bane’s injury, it would proved decisive. The visitors soon replied from a corner as Gray grabbed his first goal for his new club with a strike from a few yards out.
As half-time approached it was Town who ended the half the stronger side and they went in at the break in the lead as Dwyer grabbed his first of the game following a one-two with Connolly before firing into the far corner with a superb strike.
The second half got off to a similar start as the first had, with the Lions all over their opponents and they went close to a third had it not been for the post and the crossbar in the space of a few seconds following Connolly and Conor Downes’ shots on goal.
Sandbach replied with a dangerous attack of their own as Pritchard was once again caught on the ball but Fielding came to his rescue as Josh Lundstram saw his shot saved and cleared by the stopper.
With half an hour to go in the match Stockport capitalised on a loose ball before countering against the Sandbach defence. Connolly would break down the left wing before find Dwyer racing into the box, and the attacker duly delivered by rifling his shot past Lane.
As the game became to slow and the Lions began controlling possession they came close to a fourth through Driver but the striker placed his shot wide following Dwyer’s pass.
Stockport wide man Dwyer would provide another stellar cross, this time to substitute Ben Halfacre inside the box, but the towering forward saw his shot cleared off the line by the Sandbach defence.
Town would go on to see out the final minutes of the game as the referee brought the encounter to a close. The Lions will now enjoy a summer break before returning for preseason as they set high goals for the 2017/18 campaign.