Town beaten by moment of magic

Harrogate Town goalkeeper Peter Crook was beaten from 30 yards as a moment of magic settled the Boxing Day clash with Stockport County. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Harrogate Town goalkeeper Peter Crook was beaten from 30 yards as a moment of magic settled the Boxing Day clash with Stockport County. Picture: Caught Light Photography

A moment of magic from substitute Courtney Medden-Walters proved to be the difference as Stockport County’s impressive away form continued with a 1-0 Boxing Day win over Harrogate Town.

Following a first half in which Michael Clarke clattered a header against the home cross bar, and JP Pittman went closest for the hosts , Jim Gannon introduced the eventual match winner after 66 minutes of action.

And just moments after entering the fray, a mix-up between Town custodian Peter Crook and Joe Colbeck resulted in the ball falling to Medden-Walters 30 yards out on the left touchline.

The County man then showed great poise to expertly lift the ball over Crook and into the back of the net.

Town tried to force a leveller, with Joe Leesley sending dangerous crosses into the box, though the visiting defence held firm to move up to eighth place in the National League North.

Earlier, boss Simon Weaver handed a first start of the season to James Cadman since the attacking midfielder’s return to the club.

The visitors came within a fraction of breaking the deadlock six minutes in as a free-kick was headed onto the bar by Clarke, though Crook eventually gathered the rebound.

County had another chance just after the 10-minute mark as Danny Lloyd got in down the left wing, but saw his ambitious chipped finish caught by Crook.

Town soon found their feet and offered a threat themselves as Leesley fired wide on his right foot from 25 yards, before floating a cross inches over the head of Jack Emmett.

Emmett then almost created the opener when he drove at the County defence and slotted through Pittman whose finish was just wide of the post.

County captain Mark Ross then tried his best to open the scoring, but dragged his shot wide of the near post.

Pittman had a strike off target minutes after the re-start, but the visitors will have felt hard done by not to have been awarded a spot-kick after Lloyd went to ground under pressure inside the Town box.

In the end it was a split second of brilliance from substitute Medden-Walters that broke the deadlock, lobbing into an empty net from way out on the left touchline.

Town tried to force a leveller, with Leesley sending dangerous crosses into the box, though the visiting defence held firm to move up to eighth place in the league standings, two places above defeated Town.