Football: Harrogate Town 3-1 Stockport County

Adam Bolder scored Town's first

Adam Bolder scored Town's first

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Three goals in five first half minutes helped Harrogate Town overcome fallen giants Stockport County 3-1 at the CNG Stadium.

Town bounced back perfectly after their dismal 1-0 Bank Holiday defeat at Barrow as strikes from Adam Bolder, Michael Woods and Chris Hall earned victory.

Substitute Iain Howard scored a late consolation for County but Town staved off the visitor’s pressure.

Worse was to come for the visitors after the full-time whistle when manager Ian Bogie announced his resignation, following five winless games.

Following the dour Barrow loss, Town boss Simon Weaver gave a fierce warning to his players urging for an improvement.

But he maintained the core of that team, with dynamic midfielder Michael Woods the only man to come into the starting 11 in Dominic Rowe’s place.

And it was the attacking midfielder’s presence in the box that presented an early chance for winger Ashley Worsfold, who fired over using the outside of his boot.

Second-bottom County, who have slid down the football pyramid over recent years due to financial troubles defied their lowly position for much of the first half, stifling Town’s passing.

Through James Tunnicliffe and Rhys Turner’s surging runs they showed an appetite to dribble at the defence.

And their frontman Aman Verma had an early chance but he flashed a half-volley wide from eight yards.

Town often sent the ball long, looking to use Chris Hall’s physical strength.

When Woods found space inside the County half, he excellently scooped the ball through the middle and Worsfold rattled the post from a tight angle.

Town’s keeper Craig MacGillivray was called into action for the first time after 25 minutes as he superbly palmed Phil Jevons’ free-kick away.

Stockport continued to dominate the opening 30 minutes. When Verma drove to drive at Town’s defence his long distance effort dribbled wide.

Out of nothing, Adam Bolder grabbed the opening striker with a splendid 25 yard strike into the bottom corner.

If County were smarting to be one behind, three minutes later they were out of the contest.

Full of confidence, Town attacked from kick-off and, with the fans still discussing Bolder’s wonder strike, they were rising to their feet again as Woods sweetly lashed home.

Everything Town touched turned to goals.

Woods was again in the heart of the action as he rode challenge after challenge and when the ball broke free, Chris Hall poked it past Iam Ormson.

County manager Ian Bogie sent his players out early after the break and their travelling support, part of the 918 fans to fill the CNG Stadium, were in good voice. “We’re going to win 4-3” came the cry.

But the anticipated urgency failed to arrive for Bogie’s men.

And it was Hall who carved out the first meaningful chance of the second period when he headed Craig Nelthorpe’s cross past the far post.

Jevons, who made his senior debut for Everton 14 years ago, reminded Town they were still in a game as he turned substitute Bobby Lofthouse’s cross over the bar.

Leigh Franks put Jevons under pressure for that chance, and it emphasised his and captain Shane Killock’s growing central partnership.

County’s lack of potency forced Bogie into changes up front with Jevons and former York City winger Adriano Moke leaving the fray.

Weaver also played his first card with Dominic Rowe on for Bolder and the pacy winger skewed a good chance over the 1919 bar in his first involvement.

Man of the match Woods then had a chance to double his tally. He raced through the defence and beat the ‘keeper but County defender Jordan Fagbola did well to scoop clear on his goal-line.

Town continued to be complete control without reaching top gear.

Worsfold looked to have been held back as he broke into the box, but the referee waved away his protests.

County substitute Iain Howard should have pulled a goal back but he couldn’t get his header on target from six yards.

Weaver changed his frontline for the final 10 minutes, throwing on Tommy Wright and Liam Hardy for Hall and Worsfold.

The visitors came back with vigour and Verma tested MacGillivray low down to his right from distance.

They scored a deserved consolation with three minutes to go as Howard swivelled inside the area and curled a shot into the corner.

But the three points were already sewn up for Simon Weaver’s side and they saw the remaining minutes out with little alarm.

Town moved into the promotion zone in fifth, with a trip to fourth place AFC Telford next up on Saturday.