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Stockport 1-1 Town - Cornelius on target as Town continue unbeaten start to 2024 at league leaders

3 February 2024

Match Reports

Stockport 1-1 Town - Cornelius on target as Town continue unbeaten start to 2024 at league leaders

3 February 2024

Harrogate Town continued their unbeaten start to 2024 with an impressive point away at league leaders Stockport County.

Another Matty Daly assist had helped Town into a 16th minute lead, his unselfish pass setting up Dean Cornelius for the finish.

County levelled after half an hour through Connor Lemonheigh Evans who continued his good run in front of goal, converting Macauley Southam-Hales low cross.

Simon Weaver made two changes from Tuesday night's win at Sutton with Derrick Abu replacing Charlton-bound Kayne Ramsay, and Matty Foulds returning from injury to replace Toby Sims.

With a big crowd behind them, Stockport started on the front foot, but needed a last ditch challenge from Macauley Southam-Hales to prevent Abraham Odoh a good opportunity at opening the scoring.

Town took the lead in the 16th minute, moments after Ben Hinchcliffe had reacted well to keep out George Thomson’s deflected effort, a skilful turn from Matty Daly took him away from a Stockport defender and into a shooting position, but instead of having a go himself he unselfishly squared the ball to Dean Cornelius for an easy finish.

The league leaders responded well with attack after attack, though found Liam Gibson in fine form at centre half to intercept dangerous looking deliveries from Evans and Bristow within minutes of each other.

An equaliser arrived on the half hour mark after an attack down the right, low delivery into the box and close range finish from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans.

The County attacks kept coming, from the left this time as Odin Bailey flung his head at a cross and saw his attempt land just wide. Moments later James Belshaw was forced to rush out and claim the loose ball when Tanto Oloafe got a toe to another delivery into the Town box.

Oloafe had a golden chance to put his side ahead just before the half time whistle, but headed wide of Harrogate’s goal from a few yards out.

The hosts created their first chance of the second half after three minutes, substitute Ibou Touray heading towards the bottom corner, but being denied by Belshaw at full stretch. Town’s keeper would go into the Referee’s book a few minutes later for what Ben Toner deemed time wasting.

Town managed to limit their hosts creativity after though, but were forced into a change on 65 after a strong Akil Wright challenge left Abraham Odoh needing help off the pitch, with Jeremy Sivi taking his place.

With 20 to play Evans was hunting for his second afternoon, receiving an intricate pass before firing across the face of goal, the last touch coming off a Town player, but the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Belshaw had to be at his best to stop County taking the lead in the final ten minutes as he twice denied substitute Myles Hippolyte, the first save a fine reflex stop to tip over a fierce strike.

That would be the closest the league leaders would come to a winner, with the 243 travelling Town fans heading back to Yorkshire with their 2024 unbeaten run still in tact.

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