The Hatters lost in the league for just the second time on the road this season, as they were beaten 4-1 at The New Lawn by Forest Green Rovers. A combination of poor defending and missed chances the major factors in the heaviest defeat of the campaign to date.
Both sides had half chances in the opening few minutes before Rovers took the lead on 4 minutes. Jordan Fagbola, under pressure from Yan Klukowski, failed to clear the ball with the home midfielder striding forward to slot the all passed Ian Ormson for the opening goal.
County were quick to respond with keeper Sam Russell saving from Danny Whitehead and Craig Hobson missing a glorious chance to level the scores on 12 minutes after Matt Mainwaring and Sean Newton combined down the left, his header well over the bar. Russell made two blocks in quick succession to keep his side in front.
The home side were two goals ahead on 14 minutes and again it was down to a defensive error, Matt Taylor claiming the goal although it appeared that James Tunnicliffe headed passed Ormson from a corner kick given away cheaply by Fagbola. The defender being replaced by Alex Kenyon at the restart.
Again County looked threatening on the attack, Eddie Oshodi making a goal saving block to deny Hobson whilst Mainwaring and Hobson again headed chances wide.
The home side looked to have made the game safe as early as the 25th minute as James Norwood tapped home at the far post after neat build up play down the left had opened up the Hatters defence to create the chance.
County were guilty of missing chances to claw their way back into the game with Kenyon shooting wide and Danny Hattersley heading wide before Whitehead missed a one on one chance against Russell, shooting tamely at the keeper after Hobson had played him through on goal. Hobson also missing a chance before the break.
Ormson made a superb save from Norwood after the ball had found its way through the County rearguard to keep the score at 3-0 at half time.
HT: Forest Green Rovers 3 Stockport County 0
Having allowed the game to flow in the first half the referee brought his cards out early the second half, booking Andy Halls and Paul Green for fouls, although many in the ground were expecting a red for the home midfielder's lunge on Hattersley. Tom Collins replacing Halls on 52 minutes.
Both keepers made decent saves in rare attacks from either side, Ormson's dive to stop a 35 yard effort from Chris Stokes whilst Russell saved well from Mainwaring's shot from the edge of the box.
The Hatters finally found a way into the game as a late challenge on Collins in the area saw the linesman flag for a penalty on 74 minutes, Newton sending Russell the wrong way from the spot.
Danny Rowe replaced Whitehead with 10 minutes to play but it was home substitute Reece Styche who had the last word, firing home the loose ball after Ormson had initially saved his effort in the last minute.
FT: Forest Green Rovers 4 Stockport County 1 (Newton)
Starting XI: Ormson, Halls (Collins), Newton, Connor, Tunnicliffe, Whitehead (Rowe), Hattersley, Hobson, Fagbola (Kenyon), Mainwaring, Turnbull.
Subs: King, Collins, Kenyon, Sheridan, Rowe.
ATT: 1,176 (174)