STOCKPORT COUNTY remain outside the National League North play-off places despite winning Saturday’s derby against FC UNITED.
The game attracted a record crowd for step two with 5,630 – including 957 away fans – cramming into Edgeley Park. And they saw Elliot Osborne and sub Scott Duxbury score either side of the break for County, before Jerome Wright’s 74th-minute penalty gave FC hope of a comeback.
But the Hatters were assured of a 2-1 victory when FC full-back Chris Chantler was shown a straight red card at the death. That made it 12 unbeaten in the league although FC Halifax’s win at Worcester means they stay outside the top 5 on goal difference.
“The crowd was brilliant,” said County boss Jim Gannon (above). “I just wish we’d got a 3rd goal to send them into raptures. We worked their keeper quite well 2nd half and probably deserved another goal so it could have been more comfortable. I’m disappointed we gave them a chance to come back so we’ve got a bit to do with the discipline. We need to iron that out.”
SALFORD CITY were also derby winners, with Mike Phenix bundling in the only goal on 57 minutes to give the Ammies a 1-0 home win over STALYBRIDGE CELTIC and send them back into 2nd place.
That saw Salford bounce back from last week’s league defeat away to Gloucester and avenge their midweek defeat by Stalybridge in the Manchester Premier Cup semi-finals. Bridge remain second-bottom after Steve Burr’s first league game back as boss, 15 points from safety.
Joint Salford manager Bernard Morley said: “It was scrappy but they posed a much bigger threat than what the league table shows. They were well organised, they worked hard and they made it a game. A new manager’s come in, everybody wants to impress and they replicated what they did on Tuesday night against us, except they didn’t get the result. They might feel a bit aggrieved that they haven’t taken anything out of the game.”
Matty Warburton scored CURZON ASHTON’s first hat-trick at step two as the Nash romped to a 5-0 home win over Alfreton. The former Salford forward struck either side of the break, with Ryan Hall and Niall Cummins sealing victory before Warburton completed his treble at the death. That saw Curzon leapfrog FC United to 12th, leaving the Rebels in 14th.
Rock-bottom ALTRINCHAM earned a 0-0 draw at home to Harrogate Town to finally move into double figures for points gained this season. They’re still 20 points from safety though.
Up in the National League, MACCLESFIELD TOWN bounced back from their midweek setback against Barrow to win 2-0 at home to Braintree. Strike pair Connor Jennings and Chris Holroyd pounced late on although the Silkmen remain 9th, 6 points off the play-off places.