Southport v Stockport County
A deft first half header from Danny Hattersley and a superb display of goalkeeping from Lewis King saw County pick up a hard earned draw at a rain soaked Haig Avenue against Southport.
James Gannon had named the same team that started the second half in the draw at Braintree Town for the game and eearly pressure from the Hatters ended with a cross from Jordan Fagbola just clearing the far post whilst a free kick from Joe Connor was prodded wide by Sean Newton.
King was soon in action, his brave save at the feet of Karl Ledsham coming after he had palmed away a shot from Shaun Whalley
Neat build up play down the left from County brought a chance for Craig Hobson, his effort being blocked on the edge of the Southport box.
On 10 minutes a superb save from King kept the scores level as Ledsham sprinted through, the County keeper quick off his line to make the block, Paul Turnbull completing the clearance.
With the home side dominating possession King was forced into several saves, tipping a snap shot from the right over the bar followed by another fine save as a corner kick to the far post was headed goal wards.
A free kick to the home side was cleared by Turnbull, Andy Parry blasted an effort over the bar, whilst Whalley created a good opportunity for Chris Almond with a neat turn and cross. Almond's clearing the bar with his header.
On a rare break forward neat play from Newton and Danny Whitehead created a chance for Hattersley, the County striker putting his header over the bar.
King made further saves to keep his side in the game as he palmed away a header from another corner kick before making another fine save after his punched clearance was fired straight back at him. Alex Kenyon also blocking two goal bound efforts in the melee that followed.
Whitehead and Kenyon created a chance for Newton to cross from left, the overlapping fullback's cross headed wide by Hattersley under pressure from the home defence.
Against the run of play the Hatters took the lead on 41 minutes.
After they were awarded a free kick on the left hand side Newton delivered a cross that Hattersley flicked home to give his side the lead.
The half time whistle saw the home players leaving the field looking aghast at the fact they were behind in a half they had dominated.
HT Southport 0 Stockport County 1 (Hattersley)
Goal scorer Hattersley was replaced for the second half by Matty Mainwaring, the striker suffering from a muscle strain.
County had an early chance to increase their lead as Hobson found Newton on the left, the full backs cross finding Whitehead who's effort was cleared in the 6 yard box.
Hobson started the half well, having a right foot effort well saved by Tony McMillan before his glancing header from the Hatters first corner of the game was just wide of post. Godfrey Poku picking up a booking in his efforts to stop the big County forward.
Turnbull slammed an effort wide before Hobson struck the post with a neat flick from Andy Halls cross as County kept up their good start to the half.
The home side broke from the pressure with King again coming to his sides rescue with yet another superb save on 70 minutes.
Chris Lynch became the second home player to earn a booking for a foul on Hobson, hauling the County front man down after he had been turned. Newton blasting the resulting free kick over the bar.
King was finally beaten in the 84th minute and as in the first half the goal came against the run of play.
A deep cross from the left hand side beat everyone before rebounding off the far post and appearing to strike Newton before crossing the line. Kenyon earning a booking for keeping hold of the ball in an effort to delay the restart.
With their tails up the home side forced a couple of saves from King the last of which saw both the keeper and Connor down injured in added time. Sam Sheridan replacing the County skipper who left the field with a head wound.
FT: Southport 1 Stockport County 1 (Hattersley)
Starting XI: King, Halls, Newton, Connor (Sheridan), Tunnicliffe, Whitehead Collins), Kenyon, Hattersley (Mainwaring), Hobson, Fagbola, Turnbull.
Subs: Ormson, Collins, Sheridan, Meaney, Mainwaring .
ATT 818 (198)