Stockport County 0 Guiseley 3

TEN-man Guiseley ensured they remained second in the Vanarama Conference North table with a win at Edgeley Park that dented Stockport’s own promotion hopes.

The Lions took an early lead but had Shane Killock sent off early in the second half for a foul on Stephen O’Halloran. Yet, despite that setback, they sealed the three points against a strangely subdued Hatters side.

Oli Johnson showed Stockport just what they were missing as he ripped his former team apart with a goal, two assists and a shot against the post in front of 2,547 supporters on a freezing afternoon.

Scott Spencer had the first strike but it did not trouble Guiseley keeper Steve Drench as it was off target.

Johnson was soon into his stride, and a neat flick-on presented Adam Boyes with a shooting opportunity but he fired over.

Ten minutes into the game, the Lions broke the deadlock as Johnson’s ball into the area picked out Nicky Boshell, who drilled in from eight yards.

Johnson’s trickery took him around the Hatters defence again soon after and he elected to shoot himself but this effort hit the woodwork.

Stockport skipper Jamie Milligan saw a free-kick late in the first half well saved by Drench, while Gavin Rothery threatened the home goal before the break.

The hosts must have thought they were back in the game when Killock saw red but Lions boss Mark Bower made a change.

Boshell was substituted so Andy Holdsworth could come on and shore up the defence, and Stockport never really picked up their performance.

That allowed the ten men to keep on top, and they wrapped up the points with two goals in a nine-minute spell midway through the second half.

Johnson weaved his magic to set up Boyes in the 67th minute and then put the gloss on the victory with an inch-perfect low shot after a good run.

Bower was delighted with the victory, saying: “They (Stockport) have not been beaten there since the opening day up until Tuesday of last week when they drew, and to do it with ten men in the second half is all the more pleasing.

“The performances have been really good and we are controlling games. We have been unlucky with the ones that are going in our net and it could have been more than three at the other end.”

However, the Lions boss had a more mixed reaction to Killock’s dismissal. Bower said: “If you lunge into the tackle, which ‘Killer’ did, you run the risk of getting a red card.

“The other lad went in exactly the same and there is the argument that each player is looking after themselves.

“I can’t see how you say which one is being reckless or committing dangerous play and the other one is not. They both went in in a similar fashion.”

There was no doubt about his joy at how his team adapted tactically, though.

Bower added: “We dug in really well. We kept a good shape about us, and with the likes of OJ, Boyesey and Gavin Rothery up at the top end of the pitch, you are always going to have the chance to score.”