AFC Telford United v Stockport County
A much changed County side returned from the New Bucks Head with a point after a pulsating game against Telford with young striker Danny Whitehead grabbing two goals in a 2-2 draw.
James Gannon rang the changes following the home defeat against Gateshead on Friday night with Andy Halls, Danny O'Donnell, Craig Hobson and Jon Nolan being replaced by Jordan Fagbola, Carl Piergianni, Whitehead and Danny Rowe.
Both keepers gained an early touch of the ball with Ian Ormson in action as early as the second minute as he calmly claimed the first corner kick of the match. Ryan Young in the opposite goal with a similar save from County's fist corner a couple of minutes later.
The Hatters settled the earlier of the two sides, looking bright in possession with Whitehead curling an early effort just passed Young's far post. The keeper quick off his line to deny Danny Hattersley on 12 minutes as a long clearance from Ormson was misjudged by former County player Jordan Rose.
Nathan Rooney, with the home sides first chance, found himself free in the County box only to slice his effort well wide. Striker Kieron St Aimie then headed over the bar when well placed in front of goal on 17 minutes, after a cross in from left had found the former Tamworth man.
A minute later and the big striker missed an even better opportunity as he trod on the ball inside the 6 yard box with the goal gaping, as the home side started to apply pressure on the County defence.
Sam Sheridan and Rowe both tried their luck from distance, Young dealing with both efforts comfortably, whilst Ormson was tested by an effort from Steven Leslie, the County keeper getting his body behind to make comfortable save.
County missed their best chance of the half as Sean Newton slung over a great cross from the left on 26 minutes to find Sheridan free at the far post, the midfielder heading a glorious opportunity wide of the post.
Both sides looked dangerous on the break, a Newton snap shot on 30 minutes being well saved by Young whilst Rooney slammed an effort over the County bar on 36 minutes after quick break down left by home side.
A teasing run from Luke Hubbins create an opportunity for James Spray who blazed his effort over the bar and a few minutes later Ormson flapped at a Hubbins cross with Piergianni heading clear.
It was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken and on 42 minutes the first goal came the way of the Hatters.
Good work by Rowe and Sheridan on the right saw Sheridan's cross laid off to Whitehead who blasted home to give his side the lead.
With the half time whistle approaching Alex Kenyon found himself in Referee Backhouse's book for a foul on danger man Hubbins.
HT: AFC Telford United 0 Stockport County 1 (Whitehead)
Veteran Steve Jones replaced James Spray for the start of the second half as the home side looked for more firepower. Gannon replacing Sheridan with Jon Nolan just 6 minutes in.
A scrappy opening 10 minutes, with neither side putting together a move of note was suddenly altered as Hubbins cut inside to lay the ball in for St Aimie to tap home and level the scores.
With the crowd now behind them and their backs up, the home side were looking dangerous again. There were loud appeals for a penalty as Jones went down in the box under a challenge, with a goal kick awarded by referee Backhouse and Rooney flashing an effort just wide after good work on right by Jones on 59 minutes.
The game swung the way of the Hatters again on the hour mark as keeper Young literally handed another goal to Whitehead.
Having reached a tame through ball well before the young County striker, Young inexplicably allowed it to slip through his fingers, Whitehead calmly slotting home in front of the delighted 'blue & white army' behind the goal to put his side ahead again.
Jones created a chance for himself on 62 minutes, turning inside Piergianni before shooting wide, before manager Gannon made another change replacing James Tunnicliffe with O'Donnell.
The home side were back in the game on 64 minutes as once again Hubbins created a chance, his right wing cross being met firmly at the far post by Ryan Valentine who's header levelled the scores again.
Rooney earned himself a booking after he kicked the ball away on 74 minutes, with Kenyon was replaced by Hobson during the break in play.
Hobson was immediately in action earning his side a corner kick.
Hattersley and Rose appeared to clash heads as they challenged for the corner causing a lengthy delay in play. Both players eventually returning to the action after treatment.
With time running out both sides created opportunities for each other.
Young was almost embarrased for a second time as his misplaced punch saw the ball sail towards his own goal, Valentine saving his blushes by clearing the danger, whilst Ormson's poor clearance was picked up by Rooney who's clipped effort cleared the County bar.
Nolan saving a certain goal in 3rd minute of 6 added minutes as he raced back to clear the ball off St Aimie's toes after an error from County skipper Connor.
FT: AFC Telford United 2 Stockport County 2 (Whitehead 2)
Starting XI: Ormson, Newton, Connor, Tunnicliffe (O'Donnell), Whitehead, Kenyon (Hobson), Hattersley, Piergianni, Sheridan (Nolan), Rowe, Fagbola.
Subs: King, O'Donnell, Hobson, Darkwah, Nolan.
ATT: 2,079 (563)