Stockport County 1-0 Alfreton Town

FT: Stockport County 1    0 Alfreton Town

26 December 2017

Alfreton Town lost by a solitary goal to Stockport County on Boxing Day, but there was enough encouragement from their second half display to suggest that better things may come from the return fixture at the lmpact Arena on New Year's Day.

Former Reds' loanee Kallum Mantack scored the decisive 41st minute goal when he lashed home a precision cross from Darren Stephenson, but the same player had earlier been guilty of a glaring miss when he struck the post from close range. Mantack wouldn't finish the game due to a reckless and needless challenge from Cieron Keane early in the second period which left Mantack with serious injuries and hospital bound.

Reds' keeper Chris Elliott somehow prevented a rasping drive by Gary Stopforth from entering the net as Stockport dominated the early stages.

Craig Westcarr scooped over from close range after Frank Mulhern had won a 30th minute corner, Tom Allan having initially headed downwards from Brendon Daniels' delivery.

HT: Stockport County 0    0 Alfreton Town

After the break the best chance fell to Mulhern when put through by Bradley Wood, but hesitation allowed keeper Ben Hinchliffe to smother the ball.

Stockport survived when Daniels' free-kick was almost diverted past Hinchliffe by one of his own defenders, then in the closing stages Noel Burdett's darting run petered out with Hinchliffe's parry.

Other chances of note had seen Jason Oswell fire over from a good position in the second minute, Mulhern's driven cross three minutes later flashed through the goalmouth in response without making contact and Chris Smalley headed over for County when it looked easier to score.

Tom Platt, Ryan Jennings and Westcarr all had half-chances during the course of an improved second half from Alfreton's perspective, but this latest defeat has left the Reds hovering just one place above the drop zone.

Alfreton Town Team:

Elliott; Topliss, Shiels, Allan, Keane, Wood, Platt, Jennings, Daniels, Westcarr [Burdett 74], Mulhern.

Other subs: Sharp, Johnson, Disley, Cover.

Stockport County Team:

Hinchliffe; Cowan, Duxbury, Bell, Smalley, O'Halloran, Oswell, Stopforth, Mantack [Thomas 52], Winter [Dixon h/t], Stephenson [McKenna 79].

Other subs: Clarke, Ormson.

Attendance: 3453

Man of the Match: Tom Platt

Referee: James Bell Match Reports

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