Town drop first points as Stockport fight back

Simon Ainge nets Harrogate Town's opening goal at Stockport County. Picture: Town Pix
Simon Ainge nets Harrogate Town's opening goal at Stockport County. Picture: Town Pix

Harrogate Town dropped their first points of the 2017/18 season when they were held to a 2-2 draw at Stockport County.

Simon Weaver’s men went into Saturday’s fixture at Edgeley Park top of National League North following victories over Nuneaton Town and North Ferriby United in their opening two games.

And despite taking a 2-0 lead in the first half through Simon Ainge’s brace, Town were denied a third straight win as the Hatters fought back after the break to earn themselves a share of the spoils.

“We started really fast and created chances, eventually scored a super goal and followed it up with another so we were pleased to go in at half-time two goals to the good having played realy well,” Weaver reflected.

“Second half they got in the ascendancy, which you’d probably expect being in front of 3,000 at home, and we didn’t stem the tide.

“We weren’t resolute enough, or ugly enough defensively, we lost our shape a bit and it resulted in two goals for them.

“We’re disappointed, but as long as we learn from this, we go again.”

Ainge opened the scoring in the 24th minute in spectacular fashion, meeting Joe Leesley’s diagonal pass from the left flank at the back post with the sweetest of volleys.

Just five minutes later, Ben Parker sent a left-wing cross to almost the same spot inside the Stockport box and Ainge was there again, nodding the ball back across goal and into the far corner of the net for 2-0.

Town took their two-goal lead into half-time, Jason Oswell pulled a goal back for the County eight minutes into the second half.

With the hosts much improved after the interval, Oswell then struck again in the 71st minute to bring his side back on terms.

Warren Burrell and Ryan Fallowfield came close to restoring the Harrogate lead in the closing stages, but in the end they were forced to settle for just a point.

Weaver’s men, who now find themselves fourth in the league standings, return to action on Tuesday evening when they host Chorley Town at the CNG Stadium, 7.45pm kick-off.