The Hatters opened the new football season with an away point after a 1-1 draw with Southend, with four players making their league debuts for the club.
Defenders Mark Lynch, Mansour Assoumani, Robbie Williams and striker Barry Conlon all pulled on the natty new white shirt for the first time as the Paul Simpson era in League Two officially kicked off.
County did have the bulk of the possession in the match and took the lead after 83 minutes when George Donnelly blasted home among protests from the home fans and players that a linesman’s flag was already up for an offside decision, but the goal stood.
Shrimper’s manager Paul Sturrock could not hide his disgust and took his protest too far and was sent to the stand to watch the remainder of the match.
Players from both sides seemed to get involved in needless debates as the decision really upset the home side.
As County hoped to seal their first three points of the season with an away win the fourth official held up the board with six minutes of additional time and this gave the home side the chance to get something from the game, which unfortunately for County they did!
With the clock showing 95 minutes, Southend sub and son of the manager - Blair Sturrock - was left unmarked and with a simple tap in to give his Dad and the rest of the team something to cheer about at last and leave County heart-broken.
An opening day draw is not too bad a result for the club to start with but, had they taken their chances and defended better near the end of the match, the result could have been a whole lot better.
County had their first and last taste of Carling Cup football for the season after they were dumped out of the Cup thanks to a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Darren Ferguson’s Preston.
Goals from Callum Davidson, James, Paul Hayes (2) and King gave County no chance of progressing to the next round of the competition and now all focus must be on getting vital League points and turning draws into wins.
A goaless draw was the result when Wycombe visited Edgeley Park, but County had a number of decent chances to make the breakthrough.
The best of the chances fell to Robbie Williams who hit the post from a free kick and George Donnelly who wasted a good chance after being put through by Greg Tansey.
Stockport boss Paul Simpson was pleased with his side’s display but knows only too well that they need someone up front to start putting the ball in the back of the net or this could be another long season for the Hatters fans.
Perhaps the answer could be young Preston North End striker 18 year old Jamie Proctor who has signed for the club on a month’s loan, and featured as a substitute against Wycombe.
For Paul Simpson the trick is finding an experienced striker for little or no money who is willing to come and play in Division Two.
I am sure that there are players without a club at this moment that would jump at the chance of joining Stockport County.
Before I end this article, I would like to pay tribute to two men.
Firstly, former Stockport manager Gary Ablett who has been having treatment for non-hodgkins lymphoma after falling ill at Ipswich Town’s training ground.
Gary had a difficult time in his time in charge of Stockport County last season when despite everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, he still went about his job with a smile on his face.
I would like to send my best wishes to Gary and his family and let him know that the football family at Stockport County are praying and thinking of him at this difficult time.
The other is Adam Stansfield of Exeter City who lost his life after his battle against bowel cancer.
I would like to express my deepest regrets to everyone at Exeter City Football Club and Adam’s family and friends for their loss, no words will ever be enough for them at this time.
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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