FC Halifax Town 2 Stockport County 0 - full report

The Shay Stadium east stand.
The Shay Stadium east stand.

The Shaymen recorded a two-nil win at home to Blue Square National side Stockport - but the result was marred by an knee injury to new signing Dan Gardner.

Gardner went down clutching his right knee after falling unchallenged towards the end of the first half.

He received treatment on the pitch for four minutes before being carried off on a stretcher.

The injury spoiled what had been a good day for the Shaymen, with a first half Dale Johnson goal and a Jamie Rainford penalty proving the difference.

Both sides began the first half nervously, with neither able to hold onto possession for long enough to create any sustained pressure.

The first chance fell to the visitors in the twelfth minute when, just like at Brighouse the previous week, Town switched off from a free kick on the half way line which was taken short to full-back Sean Newton, whose cross was put behind for a corner which came to nothing.

But the hosts re-grouped and broke the deadlock with the first moment of real quality just two minutes later.

A quick ball forward from Glennon was knocked down by Gareth Seddon, but the ball bounced up off an advancing Toulson and beyond the reach of Stockport defender Piergianni, allowing Johnson to race in behind.

With the angle shrinking, the new signing fired between the legs of Ormson for his first goal in Town colours.

Town could have been two up when Gardner’s raking 50 yard ball picked out Seddon, who saw his angled shot turned behind by the legs of Ormson.

The Shaymen looked good in attack, with St Juste and Hogan providing plenty of width from the full back positions, but didn’t look as comfortable at the back.

Danny O’Donnell wasted a great chance for County when he hooked a volley wide after a Stockport corner, and Danny Lowe did just enough to put Danny Hattersley off as he headed just wide.

With ten minutes until half time, Gardner jinked past two players but as he attempted to flick the ball with outside of his right foot to Johnson, he recoiled in pain.

Town players rushed to surround him, and after three minutes of treatment on the pitch he was carried down the tunnel on a stretcher.

The break, which resulted in five minutes added time, seem to unsettle the Shaymen, and with two minutes of the five added gone, Ben Futcher’s sliced back pass but Jason St Juste under pressure, and the stand in full back just managed to get a touch on the ball to divert Hattersley’s shot over the bar.

Neil Aspin made four second half changes, bringing on Luke O’Brien, Conor Qualter, Shelton Payne and Liam Needham for St Juste, Futcher, Toulson and Seddon.

As in the first half it took Town a while to settle before Liam Hogan saw his long range blast deflected out for a corner.

On the hour trialist Jason Jarrott saw his volley trickle agonisingly wide after good work down the left by sub Shelton Payne, before Stockport began to get on top.

The visitors missed a host of chances, down to brave defending and wasteful finishing, with Craig Hobson firing tamely at Glennon when released inside the area.

Town got their second shortly afterwards when Liam Needham was tripped just inside the penalty area on 75 minutes by Ben Say.

Jamie Rainford, on for the injured Gardner, coolly chipped the ball down the middle of the goal to seal the win.

Former Shayman Cameron Darkwah rattled the bar just two minutes after Rainford’s effort, but it was the closest the visitors came to getting back into it as Town controlled the final ten minutes.

FC Halifax: Glennon, Hogan, St Juste (O’Brien, 45mins), Jarrott, Futcher (Qualter, 45mins), Lowe, Toulson (Needham, 45mins), Gardner (Rainford, 42mins), Seddon (Payne, 45mins), Johnson, Marshall (Binns, 62mins).

Stockport: Ormson, Halls (Darkwahm, 64mins), Newton (Brownhill, 56mins), Connor (Obiago, 59 mins), O’Donnell, Sheridan (Nolan, 45mins), Whitehead, Kenyon (Fagbola, 59mins), Hattersley (Rowe, 45mins), Piergianni (Tunnicliffe, 45mins), Hobson (Say, 64mins).