Stockport Town maintained their unbeaten home run with a 3-1 victory over Abbey Hulton United on Saturday afternoon at Stockport Sports Village.
Goals from Aaron Dwyer, Ben Halfacre and Thomas Bane saw the Lions earn all three points despite finishing the match with nine men. Abbey Hulton saw Kieron Ball’s penalty get them back into the match but ended up being a mere consolation.
Dave Wild’s Stockport extended their unbeaten home run to eight games, with their last defeat at SSV coming back at the end of September against league leaders Silsden.
Saturday’s match was full of drama including goals, penalties and red cards for Stockport defender Tyler Devlin, followed by a stoppage time dismissal of goalscorer Aaron Dwyer.
The game got off to a slow start form both sides as Town attempted to play their fluid, passing football as seen throughout the current campaign.
With 10 minutes on the clock, the hosts came closest to an opener as Dwyer picked up a loose ball near the penalty area before seeing his shot cannon back off Luke Birkinshaw’s crossbar.
As the match went into a quiet period midway through the first half, the opening goal soon came in the 36th minute as Wild’s Lions took the lead. With Dwyer in possession, the winger drifted across the penalty area before hammering an effort past Birkinshaw via a slight deflection.
Within 60 seconds of the restart the Lions almost doubled their advantage as Halfacre saw his shot on target well saved by the Hulton keeper. But the Town striker wouldn't have long to wait for his next opportunity in the half.
As first half stoppage time arrived Stockport were awarded a penalty after Halfacre was taken down inside the box. The Lions top scorer stepped up and slotted his spot kick past Birkinshaw to double their lead at the break.
The second half kicked off and the hosts were in the mood for killing the game off. First Dwyer, and then George Blackwell both saw shots saved, before the former saw a top-corner effort tipped over the bar by Birkinshaw.
Shortly after Dwyer had seen another shot saved, the Lions saw Devlin receive a yellow card for kicking the ball away for a Hulton freekick. However within a minute of his first yellow, Devlin saw a second and then red for a handball inside the box as the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors.
Ball stepped up for Abbey Hulton and sent Dylan Forth the wrong way to get his side back into the game with over 15 minutes left to play.
There were late efforts for Town as Blackwell and Dwyer came close to a third for Wild’s men, but as the game entered it’s six minutes of added time the Lions were reduced to nine men as Dwyer saw red for an off the ball incident.
This saw Hulton press all they could forward, leaving themselves exposed at the back, and quick thinking from substitute Jamie Hinchliffe saw a through ball to Bane in acres of space and he buried his shot home to seal the victory as the game drew to a close.
Stockport Town will now have an extended rest period in their league campaign as they next face an away trip to Bacup Borough on Saturday 16th, kick-off 3pm.