County delivered a dominant performance against a limited FC United side as they ran out 2-1 winners in front of a record National League North crowd.
County lined up with two changes from the side that acquired a point at Alfreton a week previously, with Kaine Felix and Connor Hampson coming in for Scott Duxbury and Mark Ross respectively, with Gannon adopting a 4-3-3 line up as his side chased a play-off spot.
The tactics were working for The Hatters, as they restricted United to a single shot off target in the first half, but despite good chances from Lloyd, Amis and Ball, County had to wait till the 44th minute to find a breakthrough.
After an injury forced FC United down to 10, a corner from the right side caused confusion in the FC United box, and in the commotion, Danny Lloyd found Elliot Osborne on the left who lashed it home from 10 yards to put his side 1-0 up at half time.
HT: County 1-0 FC United
County came out attacking the Cheadle End and had two chances to extend their lead before FCUM had chance to catch breath, on both occasions, stand in stopper Dave Carnell kept his side in the match.
United then had their first meaningful attempt of the match, a good bit of play from Harry Winter saw Ben Hinchliffe forced into a save with his legs to keep County in front.
Thankfully, Stockport doubled their lead in the 70th minute, a long throw from Minihan was missed by Lloyd and Brown which allowed Scott Duxbury to slot home just minutes after coming on, 2-0 County.
Just four minutes later, however, and FC United were handed a lifeline, Josh Amis handled in the area and Jerome Wright smashed his penalty straight down the middle. Despite FC failing to threaten all match, they were now back in with a chance, 2-1.
In the closing stages, both sides had chances and County could have made it 3, 4 or 5 goals but couldn’t convert. Thankfully, United didn’t have any more clear cut chances and the game finished 2-1, but not before Chris Chantler was sent off for an elbow to (man of the match) Minihan in the dying seconds.
FT: County 2-1 FC United
Team: Hinchliffe, Minihan, Hampson, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley, Felix (Duxbury, 64), Osborne, Amis (Gonzales, 78), Ball, Lloyd (Ross, 87).
Unused Subs: Ormson, Marsden.
Attendance: 5,630 (957 away).