County lost to local rivals Macclesfield Town in a seven goal thriller at Edgeley Park after a late James Tunnicliffe own goal decided an evenly balanced game.
The Hatters had started the game brightly, forcing the first corner kick in the third minute, headed clear by Matthew Barnes-Homer, with the recalled Sam Sheridan looking the pick of the players.
Good work by Sheridan in the centre of the park saw him find Cameron Darkwah out on the right, the wingers cross being cleared by Nat Brown. Danny Hattersley probably should have opened the scoring only for his header on 6 minutes to go straight at keeper Lance Cronin after a neat through ball from Danny Whitehead.
Peter Winn, playing out of position at left back, was finding Darkwah a handful, and after another superb ball by Sheridan again found the winger on the right, Winn needed all his experience to clear the danger.
The visitors forced their first corner, punched clear by Ian Ormson, before the young keeper was in action again moments later saving well from Chris Holroyd. Keiran Murtagh feeding the striker after breaking down a Hatters attack in midfield.
The Hatters were well on top and Cronin made a good save to keep the scores level on 16 minutes, blocking well from Alex Kenyon after the midfielder was found well in 6 yard box by Hattersley's knock down. The County striker had been found equally well by Darkwah after another superb cross field ball from Sheridan.
It seemed only a matter of time before a goal arrived, Winn again clearing the danger as Hattersley, through on goal after a delightful chip over the defence on 22 minutes, looked to have escaped his man.
The County striker was not to be denied though and on 24 minutes a quick throw from Sean Newton down the line found Kenyon who played a one two with Whitehead before whipping over a low cross for Hattersley to slam passed the static Cronin and give County the lead.
The goal stung the Silkmen into action and they were level within 3 minutes, Holroyd, picked up a neat pass from Murtagh on the left of the County box before planting the ball into the corner of Ormson's net to level the scores.
Straight from the restart and it was the Hatters back in front.
James Tunnicliffe's long ball to Hattersley was headed down to Kenyon who in turn laid it into the feet of Whitehead. County's top scorer touched it out of his feet before unleashing an unstoppable shot passed Cronin for his fourth of the campaign.
The game changed in favour of the visitors just after the half hour with two injuries.
Arnaud Mendy, having had treatment earlier, was replaced by left back Tony Diagne and with the visitors earning a fortunate corner, after Sheridan had been pole axed by a clearance, Macclesfield took the lead whilst County were down to ten men.
JP Kissock's poor corner wasn't cleared well enough, and when the on-loan midfielder picked up the loose ball he drove it across the 6 yard box for Holroyd to notch his second goal of the evening.
Jon Nolan replaced the stricken Sheridan before the restart, the midfielder's first action saw his free kick cleared for a County corner, Joe Connor heading Newton's kick wide.
HT: Stockport County 2 (Hattersley, Whitehead) Macclesfield Town 2
The visitors started the second half brightly with Ormson saving from Barnes-Homer on 47 minutes after a Jordan Fagbola clearance had landed at the strikers feet. The County keeper then coming through a crowded area to pluck the ball out of the air under pressure from Kieran Charnock.
The Silkmen took the lead on 52 minutes as Holroyd completed his hat trick.
Kenyon was harshly penalised for a handball on the edge of the County box as the ball struck him from close range. The initial free kick being cleared only for Kissock to keep the ball alive by feeding Barnes-Homer on the right. The striker played in a hard and low cross from right for Holroyd, with a neat finish to claim his and Macclesfield's third goal of the night.
County had an immediate chance to level after a foul on Darkwah on the edge of the Silkmen's box, Newton's free kick well held by Cronin.
Skipper Connor was caught in possession on 55 minutes, giving Murtagh an opportunity to extend the visitors lead, the midfielder wasting his chance by blazing well over.
Craig Hobson replaced Darkwah on 57 minutes as manager Jim Gannon looked to get his side back into the game and within minutes the big strikers presence helped level the scores.
Newton's corner in from the right was aimed at Hobson, and with the Macclesfield defenders concentrating their efforts on the striker, defender Danny O'Donnell forced home the ball at the far post to equalise on 61 minutes.
It was now becoming like a boxing match as the two sides slugged it out looking for a winner, Mackreth blazing a chance well wide on 64 minutes after long hopeful ball over the top of County defence, Hattersley denied a chance by a very late flag as the striker appeared to have timed his run to perfection before the Silkmen's 9th corner of game was headed over by Murtagh.
Tom Collins replaced Whitehead whilst former County player Amari Morgan-Smith and Anthony McNamee replaced Mackreth and Holroyd.
Hattersley then missed the chance of the evening as he shot straight at Cronin after he had been found by a defence splitting ball from Kenyon on 80 minutes.
Within 2 minutes the game was lost as Tunnicliffe, under no real pressure, turned McNamee's cross into his own net as Ormson looked to collect cross.
The Hatters picked up a flurry of bookings in the closing minutes as Connor, Kenyon, Fagbola and Newton were punished for fouls by referee Handley. Newton just moments earlier having an effort skimming just passed the post for the Hatters last chance of taking something from the game.
FT: Stockport County 3 (Hattersley, Whitehead, O'Donnell) Macclesfield Town 4
Starting XI: Ormson, Newton, Connor, O'Donnell, Tunnicliffe, Whitehead, Kenyon, Hobson, Darkwah, Sheridan, Fagbola.
Subs: King, Hobson, Collins, Say, Nolan.
ATT: 4,208 (754)