Stockport Town came up short in their trip to AFC Blackpool as they well short 2-1 at The Mechanics Ground on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions arrived at the seaside on the back of a positive 4-2 home win over Chadderton in the North West Counties Division One and looked to increase their charge on the playoff places.
However a dubious brace from Ben Duffield saw the hosts into a 2-0 lead before Jamie Hinchliffe pulled a goal back for Stockport, but an equaliser evaded the visitors.
The match got underway with the Lions all over the Blackpool backline and had a glorious opportunity to take the lead after Fitzgerald rose highest but glanced his header just wide, taking a whack from the goalkeeper in the process.
Aaron Dwyer came close for Town as his effort on goal was well saved by Callum Kirkland in the Mechanics goal, and the visitors came even closer just minutes later.
With Dave Wild’s Lions in the ascendancy George Blackwell played in a pin-point cross to Ben Halfacre inside the six-yard box, but the striker connected too well with the ball as it cannoned back off the crossbar and was cleared!
The second half saw Blackpool gain a foothold into the game and they came close to opening the scoring through Carnan Dawson but Lewis Fielding got down well in the Town goal to save.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the hosts did take the lead just minutes later as Duffield was adjudged to have been onside, despite looking off, and he raced in on goal to slot past Fielding.
Things went from bad to worse for Stockport as just five minutes later Blackpool doubled their lead as Duffield chested a looping ball in on the goal-line, however the initial shot from a Blackpool player should've seen Duffield flagged offside but the officials failed to pick up on Duffield contribution to the goal.
With Stockport upset with two major decisions not going their way, they went up the opposite end in search of a goal to get them back into the match, and with just over 15 minutes left on the clock, Hinchliffe snatched on a loose ball following a corner to grab a goal back.
As the clock ran down, Stockport pushed forward in search of a late equaliser, something they achieved last season with a 95th minute leveller, however this time the Lions would come up short as The Mechanics held on to secure a victory to push them in the playoff places.
The Lions must quickly regroup as they host Runcorn Linnets in the Second Round of the Macron Cup on Monday evening, kick-off 7:45pm.