Stockport County



First Team

Sat 16 Sep 2017 | Emirates FA Cup | Away


Edgeley Park




Simon Mather



There will be no memorable FA Cup run this season after they crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle but they came within a couple of inches of securing a reply following what turned out to be an entertaining game.


The first half was eminently forgettable.  Curzon had the best of it.  Max Leonard sent an acrobatic effort wide on 7 minutes and midway through the half the ball was worked to Joe Guest who beat his man but then, with Niall Cummins in oceans of space in the box, produced a ball that was nowhere near the Curzon striker but it wasn't close enough to the far post to be considered a serious effort on goal either.


Towards the end of the half, similar efforts from Guest and James Baillie had Ben Hinchcliffe having to make a save but nothing that a competent keeper would consider difficult.


Stockport produced even less to make the home fans happy.  Their best move on 19 minutes saw a crossed whipped into the near post for Jason Oswell but Steve Howson made a great intervention and just before half time a goalbound header was deflected over the bar as Stockport applied a little pressure at the end of the half.


Curzon thought they had taken the lead in stoppage time but Cummins had controlled Chris Rowney's cross with his arm before he fired home, an act deemed worthy of a yellow card in the eyes of the referee.


If all that sounds like an entertaining 45 minutes, it was anything but.  Both sides indulged in spells of keep ball at a pedestrian pace which ultimately led nowhere until a misplaced pass gave the ball to the opposition.


Players needing treatment for injuries didn't help the flow of the game either in the first half.  Max Leonard, Danny Shaw twice Cameron Mason and County's Matty Warburton all required attention from the physio.


The second half saw both sides start with a substitution.  Curzon's Paul Marshall was already carrying an injury and was replaced by Matty Crothers whilst Warburton presumably didn't recover from the knock he collected in a challenge from Danny Shaw, his replacement being Tom Walker.


The second half began at a much quicker pace that the first and on 59 minutes Cameron Mason was forced into his first save of the match, turning away a rasping drive from Oswell.  Curzon never effectively cleared their lines though and when Adam Thomas received the ball on the edge of the box he curled a shot into the far corner to give County at that stage an undeserved lead.


Curzon responded with Baillie firing a drive just over with the keeper getting a touch.  From the corner Matt Regan headed over the crossbar.


The goal had put much more purpose into County and they began to look increasingly menacing as the game became more open.  Curzon had no choice but to push forward looking for an equaliser to stay in the competition, the result being a much more entertaining second half than the first had been.


Several times County sent a ball flashing across the face of the goal begging for a touch from one of their strikers and Oswell almost got on the scoresheet with a clever turn but his flick went the wrong side of the post.


Sam Madeley saw his shot blocked a couple of minutes from the end, but deep in stoppage time Curzon had one final chance.


Steve Howson was felled on the edge of the box.  The stadium held its' breath as Ben Hinchcliffe unconvincingly batted away Matty Crother's free kick but County survived as Matt Regan smashed the loose ball against the crossbar.


The final whistle went seconds later and Curzon's FA Cup dreams were over for another season.

Match Report by Ian Seymour


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