MATCH REPORT – ECCLESHALL v STOCKPORT TOWN – SATURDAY 24th FEBRUARY

Eccleshall were looking to continue their recent good home form against Stockport Town – youth team player Miles Johnson retained his place and Callum Feeney returned to the starting line-up.

Stockport started the better of the two sides with a number of moves into the Eccleshall box. The pacy Jesurun Uchegbulam was particularly threatening. In the first twelve minutes, the home side were mainly penned in their own half. On 14 minutes, against the run of play, the Eagles took the lead when Serkari Ahmadi ran down the left and cut into the box – his shot beat ‘keeper Dylan Forth and Danny Needham applied the final touch at the back post. On 22 minutes, Needham fed Ahmadi with a great through ball and after outpacing the defence, his shot hit the post with Forth beaten. Tom Wakefield then had another chance before Ahmadi curled one wide of the post. The Eagles were now well into the game and Ahmadi had another chance before Forth saved Needham’s shot. At the other end, as Stockport searched for an equaliser, Ruben Goncalves de Abreu headed over from a corner. The same player then found Rhys Webb who headed wide. Justin Pickering then let fly from 20 yards, beating Matt Johnson but his effort was wide of the post. Stockport were forcing their way back into the game and levelled on 41 minutes when Uchegbulam beat Johnson. In added time, Eccleshall won a free kick just outside the box and Louis Downs’ shot was deflected over the bar for a corner.

Half Time – Eccleshall 1 Stockport Town 1

The game was evenly matched in the first ten minutes of the second half, with both sides having chances to score. Eccleshall went back in front on 58 minutes when Ahmadi was played through. Cutting into the area, he placed his shot under the diving Forth and found the corner of the net. Stockport came back again and Goncalves de Abreu’s powerful shot was well collected by Matt Johnson. Then Ahmadi’s pace caught Stockport again but Forth dived to save, with no Eccleshall player following up to net the rebound. Johnson was then forced into a diving save, tipping the ball around the post. Luke Hincks shot from 20 yards, which Johnson appeared to tip around the post for a corner, but referee Taylor gave a goal kick. Then it was Webb firing over as Stockport looked for the equaliser. A great cross by Ahmadi found Wakefield, who hit it on the volley but it was cleared off the line. Then Needham cut to the byline and his low cross was begging for the final touch. The Eagles then managed to put the match out of reach in added time as Shay Finney won the ball on the touchline and his cross into the box found Downs, who beat Forth to put Eccleshall 3-1 up. There was still time to go when Downs was played through again on 94 minutes and he advanced into the box before sliding the ball under Forth for the Eagles fourth goal. Eccleshall were full value for their third home victory on the trot and moved up a couple of places as a result.

Full Time – Eccleshall 4 Stockport Town 1

Team: Matt Johnson, Miles Johnson (Kyle Dovey), Bennion, Collins, Warren, Standbridge, Needham, Wakefield, Ahmadi (Dwayne Spence), Feeney (Finney), Downs.

Unused subs: Lewis Dunn, Ian Maitland.

Eccleshall visit Cheadle Town on Wednesday evening before another home game at Pershall Park next Saturday v New Mills (3.00pm)