New Mills AFC 1, Stockport County 1
DIETMAR Hamann’s reign as Stockport County manager began with a very entertaining game against New Mills AFC at Church Lane last Friday evening.
Watched by a bumper crowd in excess of 800, The Millers drew first blood with an excellent goal in the tenth minute. County’s defence dealt initially with a set piece, but Justin Pickering retrieved the loose ball and delivered a beautiful pinpoint cross which was met in trademark style by Carlos Meakin who thundered a header past Matt Glennon from six yards.
The visitors, who are preparing for life outside the Football League for the first time in well over a century, went closest to equalising on the half hour when striker Martin Gritton’s looping header hit the top of the crossbar but despite enjoying a lot of territorial possession for much of the first half, resolute New Mills defending saw Stockport mainly restricted to long distance shooting.
County made ten outfield substitutions, many being trialists, at the interval and lively forward Leighton McGivern had the ball in the net inside the first minute of the second half but it was chalked off as the assistant referee had raised the offside flag.
McGivern was not to be denied for long though and equalised in the 55th minute when he chipped the ball over keeper Ben Procter.
Both sides continued to play good passing football without being able to grab a winner and ultimately the entertaining encounter finished in a stalemate.
New Mills starting XI: Ben Procter, Michael Bowler, Luke Horrocks, Clive Brown, Tony Barras, Chris Young, Anthony Field, Carlos Meakin, Matthew Berkeley, Dean Crowe, Justin Pickering.