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Posted Sat 06 Apr 13 at 17:37 PM

Hatters claim vital win on the road

Alfreton Town 2 Stockport County 3

County came away from the Impact Stadium with all three points thanks to goals from James Tunnicliffe, Mark Cullen and Jon Nolan. The home side had taken an early lead before Tunnicliffe levelled before half time. Cullen and Nolan then put the Hatters two goals clear before Nathan Arnold had the travelling support biting their nails with a late second.

County were under pressure from the home side early on,  as Nathan Arnold looked to get the better of temporary full back Sam Sheridan filling in for the suspended Andy Halls.

A succession of early corner kicks brought chances for Louis Soares, who blazed his effort wide, and Dan Meadows, who's cross shot fizzed just wide.

The Hatters best early efforts coming the way of Mark Cullen and Nolan, neither testing the recalled Phil Barnes in the Town goal.

Anton Brown missed the chance of the half as he somehow shot wide of Richard O'Donnell's goal as another corner kick landed at his feet in the box. The big midfielder limping off the field with what appeared to be a hamstring injury minutes later.

Whilst the home side were down to ten men, they took the lead, Arnold skipping inside Sheridan to deliver a pinpoint cross to Meadows at the far post, the midfielder heading firmly home. Josh Law replacing Brown before play restarted.

County earned their first corner as Barnes tipped an effort from Cullen over the bar. The striker thought he had levelled the scores from the resulting kick as he headed home James Tunnicliffe's flick on, the linesman's offside flag denying him for the second game in succession.

The home side almost grabbed a second as a succession of corner kicks put pressure on the Hatters defence, Theo Streete heading a chance wide, Paul Clayton's header was cleared off the line by Sheridan and a superb save by O'Donnell denied Streete as his shot was deflected goal wards.

Pretty much against the run of play the Hatters were level before the half time whistle. Tunnicliffe rising above the home defence to head home Jon Nolan's corner kick to the delight of the massive travelling blue and white army behind the goal.

HT: Alfreton Town 1 Stockport County 1 (Tunnicliffe)

The Hatters took control of the game early in the second half pressing well and putting pressure on the Town defence. Their reward coming as Cullen scrambled home after Jon Macken had won the second ball from Nolan's corner kick. 

The on loan striker was proving to be a constant thorn in the side of the big central defenders and neat interplay between him and Alex Kenyon saw another effort saved by Barnes.

The home side were now playing on the counter attack such was the Hatters control, O'Donnell saving comfortably from Soares, Quinn heading over from a corner kick.

Further pressure from County saw them move further ahead, Barnes claiming under pressure from Macken, Matt Mainwaring shooting just wide of the post after Newton's neat pass before superb skill from Mainwaring and Cullen freed Nolan on the edge of the box, the midfielder smashing home to put his side two goals clear.

Cullen coming close on two further occasions before he and Mainwaring made way for Brandon Windsor and Paul Marshall, the former making his debut after spending the last month out on loan at Nantwich Town.

The home side piled on the pressure as the game entered its final stages, O'Donnell called into action as he raced quickly off his line to clear the danger, Arnold having beaten the offside trap. The County stopper then making a superb save to tip over an long range effort from Dan Bradley. 

The travelling support were biting their nails as a long ball over the top was seized upon by Arnold who slotted the ball past O'Donnell to reduce the arrears in added time. The big County keeper then tipped Streete's header over the bar to ensure the points came back to Edgeley Park.

FT: Alfreton Town 2 Stockport County 3 (Tunnicliffe, Cullen, Nolan)

Starting XI: O'Donnell, Newton, Tunnicliffe, Kenyon, Sheridan, Cullen (Windsor), Nolan, Fagbola, Mainwaring (Marshall), Macken, Bullock.
Subs: Ormson, Marshall, Schofield, Brownhill, Windsor

ATT: 1,105 (604)  
 

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