County had Danny Lloyd to thank once again as they salvaged a replay against a strong Brackley side at Edgeley Park, the winger firing home from 20 yards in the 95th minute.
Our 7th home cup tie of the season saw Brackley return to Edgeley Park for the second time this season, the first being when they outclassed County in he league, running out 4-2 winners. Gannon named a strong side for the tie, as he looked to exact revenge on the Northamptonshire Side.
The game started evenly, County with the majority of the ball but Brackley looking dangerous on the counter. Lewis Montrose had County’s first real chance of the match, but fired straight at Walker, Stopforth followed up but the ball was bundled away for a corner. Duxbury and Lloyd had further chances but couldn’t find a breakthrough.
HT: Stockport County 0-0 Brackley
The second half saw County attacking the Cheadle End, neither team made changes but it was Brackley out of the traps quicker, and they made their dominance pay with a goal on the 49th minute, Diggin slotting past the reinstated Hinchliffe in the County goal, queue wild celebrations from the 6 travelling Brackley supporters.
County focused their attentions and Odejayi should have levelled, a Duxbury cross was met by Odejayi five yards out but the ball rattled off the bar before being turned away by Luke Graham.
Gannon acted quickly, Mark Ross and James Ball making way for Marsden and Felix, both players impressing midweek against Winsford. Felix made an immediate impact, disposessing Byrne on the halfway line and running for goal, only a last ditch tackle from Graham stopped a one on one, to the frustration of the Cheadle End who felt Felix should have squared the ball to Lloyd.
County toiled and toiled, Brackley were starting to creak at the back and received two yellows in quick succession. However, Town were looking slick moving forward and continued to look like they could add to their single goal lead.
5 minutes of injury time were announced by referee Andrew Miller and County were throwing the sink at it. A corner in the 94th minute saw Hinchliffe ask Gannon if he could join the attack, however the request was denied and it’s a good job it was. Brackley failed to notice County’s short corner (despite putting two men there for every corner beforehand) and Lloyd’s overlap saw him strike the ball sweetly from 22 yards out. Match saved. Goal number 17 for Lloyd.
Referee Miller blew the whistle soon after and County will now travel south on Tuesday for the replay. Many suggest that it’s a game County don’t need but the delight on the player’s faces when Lloyd equalised suggests otherwise.
FT: County 1-1 Brackley
Starting XI: Hinchcliffe, Ross, Duxbury, Montrose, Clarke (Capt.), Smalley, Minihan, Stopforth, Odejayi, Ball, Lloyd.
Subs: Cartwright, Ormson, Marsden (1), Felix (2), Meppen-Walters.
Goals: Lloyd (94)