Magpies fail to take first half chances in defeat at Stockport County

Neil Maskell

Captain Alan Massey hit the crossbar with a header on his 299th start for the Magpies

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Stockport County 3, Maidenhead United 0

The Magpies recent upturn in form was checked somewhat at the home of new league leaders Stockport County on Tuesday night, but had they taken their first half chances the outcome might well have been different.

The visitors made almost all of the running in the first half in front of a large crowd at Edgeley Park of 5,352 which was bigger than all bar one of the EFL League One and Two matches played on the same evening.

Shaun Donnellan – restored to the starting line-up went close to scoring with an audacious chip from all of 40 yards before Will De Havilland shinned a presentable opening wide of Ben Hinchcliffe’s goal following a Maidenhead corner.

The in-form Josh Kelly set off on a breath-taking run from his own half before seeing his effort on goal deflected wide and later crashed a gilt-edged opportunity into the side netting after a quick break led by Ryheem Sheckleford.

Between times, Captain Alan Massey – in his 299th start for the Magpies – saw his header crash back off the crossbar following another dangerous United set piece and the consensus was that Maidenhead had dominated the opening 45 minutes against a side looking for a ninth consecutive win in league and cup.

United started the second half brightly and when Emile Acquah found himself clear through on goal with only Hinchcliffe to beat another big opening came and went.

Within a minute the hosts led when Antoni Sarcevic’s header following a Macauley Southam-Hales cross wrong-footed Dan Gyollai and just after the hour United were two behind when Ryan Croasdale scored from the edge of the box.

Even then the visitors continued to fashion openings with the clearest-cut chance falling to debutant substitute Shawn McCoulsky who was crowded out before he could pull the trigger when finding himself well placed.

Gloss was put on a flattering final score in injury time when John Rooney converted a cross from Ollie Crankshaw.

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