Match Reports

Stockport County 2 York City 0

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York City suffered their first defeat of the year after a couple of first-half goals from Stockport County brought them a 2-0 reversal at Edgeley Park.

One-time City target Darren Stephenson made the breakthrough with a decent finish midway through the opening half before Matthew Warburton’s drive from outside the area caught out goalkeeper Adam Bartlett.

The visitors were without midfielder Aidan Connolly due to illness, with Josh Law reintroduced at left-back having recently lost his place to newcomer Connor Brown. David Ferguson was pushed further forward.

Recalled County front-runner Warburton immediately dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box before Chris Smalley headed over a corner.

Hamza Bencherif then blocked a Harry Winter drive at the expense of another corner as the hosts maintained their bright opening.

The more advanced Ferguson’s replying cross was soon fingertipped over by Ben Hinchcliffe, while there were also a couple of hurried, scrambled clearances inside the home area.

Home striker Jason Oswell next drove speculatively wide and Bartlett superbly turned aside from Warburton before there was a block on the line from the resultant corner.

The Hatters still moved in front just beyond the midway point of the half, with Stephenson collecting Warburton’s pass and driving across Bartlett and into the far corner.

Leading marksman Jon Parkin hoisted a reply over before next scuffing Ferguson’s delivery directly at Hinchcliffe.

There was a narrow escape for the home side, though, when Parkin’s effort from an Adriano Moke set-up was cleared off the line by Dan Cowan.

But it was County doubling their advantage around the half-hour mark as the unchallenged Warburton’s shot from outside the area went right through Bartlett.

Parkin had a further couple of attempts, while Jonny Burn received the first caution for pulling back Oswell as the visitors completed a decidedly poor first-half performance.

Manager Martin Gray made a double-change at the break with Amari Morgan-Smith and Daniel Parslow displacing the on loan Raul Correia and restored Law, this in a revised wing-back formation.

Home keeper Hinchliffe was soon turning aside Heslop’s well-struck volley before Morgan-Smith fell under challenge inside the area after Parkin’s effort lacked sufficient force.

Morgan-Smith had an excellent chance to reduce the deficit when Hinchcliffe blocked from just eight-yards – and Parkin lashed over as another opportunity instantly arrived. Bencherif also screwed comfortably wide from long-distance.

Hinchcliffe again collected when Parkin’s free-kick from just outside the area diverted off the defensive wall following a fine individual break from Ferguson.

Goalscorer Stephenson’s deflected reply was blocked by Bartlett before Bencherif avoided serious punishment after a late challenge.

Twenty-five goal Parkin then saw a header spectacularly cleared off the line and Brown’s follow-up was denied full-length by Hinchcliffe – but it wasn’t long until travelling supporters were streaming out of the ground.

Substitute Scott Duxbury had a late effort narrowly over for the otherwise largely containing home side, while former County man Sean Newton lashed wide ahead of a heated confrontation on the touchline between the rival managers at the final whistle.

Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Cowan, O’Halloran, Ball, Smalley, Stott, Thomas, Winter, Oswell (Dixon 72), Warburton (Duxbury 52), Stephenson (West 87)

subs (unused): Ormson, McKenna

Goals: Stephenson (24), Warburton (31)

York City: Bartlett, Brown, Burn, Bencherif, Law (Parslow 46), Moke, Heslop, Newton, Ferguson, Correia (Morgan-Smith 46), Parkin

subs (unused): Smith, Gray, Simpson

Ref: D. Bourne

Att: 4,407 (607 York)

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