County claimed their place in the draw for the 1st Round proper of the FA Cup with five different scorers in this win over Stalybridge Celtic but the game began in dramatic circumstances with Danny Hattersley collapsing in the very first minute as he landed awkwardly following an attempted overhead kick. Hattersley lay stricken for 10 minutes before being taken to hospital. The striker was released later in the day having been given a clean bill of health.
The game restarted with Danny Rowe replacing the unfortunate Hattersley with the Hatters winning the first of a succession of first half corners. Jordan Fagbola's header being cleared off the line by Tim Ryan, the Celtic defender also clearing Alex Kenyon's goal bound effort.
Kenyon, Craig Hobson and Kenyon again heading chances wide as the corner count built up in the Hatters favour.
The visitors earned their first corner in a rare venture forward with Kristian Platt heading Adam Pepper's corner over Ian Ormson's bar.
The goal that County had threatened for much of the half came as Hobson, against his former side, picked up a pass from Rowe and turned to fire home passed Alex Cairns.
The Hatters had been on the front foot for the majority of the half and in the 10 minutes of added time they looked to have put the game beyond Celtic as Danny Whitehead side footed home following good work on the left from Sean Newton and Matt Mainwaring and straight from the kick off, following some poor defending by Celtic, Rowe smashed home from 25 yards to make it 3-0.
If County's supporters thought it was game over, Celtic's players certainly didn't. Jack Laird, taking advantage of slack marking in the Hatters six yard box, pulled a goal back and within a minute they were offered a gilt edged chance to score as they were awarded a penalty after Mitchell Austin went down in the box under a challenge from Andy Halls. Ian Ormson making a superb save to his left from Adam Pepper to keep his side two goals in front at the break.
HT: Stockport County 3 (Hobson, Whitehead, Rowe) Stalybridge Celtic 1
The second half began with chances for either side, Cairns making a brave save at Rowe's feet as the County striker got on the end of a Hobson knock down, with James Tunnicliffe stretching a long leg to block Laird as the striker found space after a long ball over the County defence had found him free.
The Hatters were then awarded a penalty of their own after Hobson had been upended by Mark Lees, Newton making no mistake as he blasted his spot kick into the top corner to put County 4-1 up.
As in the first half a goal came straight from the restart, this time it came Celtic's way as Corey Gregory slammed home from the edge of the box from Laird's neat knock down.
Sam Sheridan, on for the tiring Hobson, almost scored with his first touch as his well controlled volley was well saved by Cairns, but the midfielder wasn't to be denied a few minutes later as he picked up the ball in the middle of the park before striding forward to score with a superb solo effort, side footing home with his left foot to give his side a three goal cushion once more.
With the final whistle due, Laird completed the scoring as he curled a sublime effort into Ormson's top corner for his second of the game.
FT Stockport County 5 (Hobson, Whitehead, Rowe, Newton, Sheridan) Stalybridge Celtic 3
Starting XI: Ormson, Halls (Connor), Newton, Tunnicliffe, Whitehead, Kenyon, Hattersley (Rowe), Hobson (Sheridan), Fagbola, Mainwaring, Turnbull.
Subs: King, Connor, Collins, Sheridan, Brownhill, Rowe, Graham.
ATT: 2,123 (268)