Earlier in the season, Stockport Sports FC saw themselves knocked out of the FA Cup in a heartbreaking replay against Ashton Athletic. Their hopes of getting to Wembley, however, were not over. On Saturday the club had the chance to take yet another step towards the hallowed grounds, when they opened up FA Vase competition against Bootle, one of the best teams in the NWCFL.
Sadly, the Saxons weren't able to cash in this opportunity, either, as they fell 3-2. The loss was their first since a September 4 match at Runcorn Linnets. The Saxons had to choose from a limited number of players, as regular starters Matty Ward and Lee Madin were cup-tied, while Aliou Traore was also unavailable. This meant that manager Peter Withe had to play the sick Mike Tomlinson and Kyle Hamid, both of whom had been ill enough to have not played under normal circumstances.
Nevertheless, Stockport had a number of chances and simply could not capitalize, according to assistant manager Joey Dunn. "We had the better of the chances, if not the bulk of possession in the opening exchanges and should have been a couple of goals to the good before Bootle scored."
Despite the unfavorable overall outcome, Stockport did get to see Gomez Dali - a prolific striker who has recently returned from injury - score, and a second was added by Melford Knight. The two sides were even in the dying seconds of the match, but the Saxon's defense gave up on a ball they thought was offside only to see it get slotted past the keeper for an allowable goal.
The club will look to rebound from the loss with their match against Squire's Gate at the Stockport Sports Complex. Kick off is slated for 1500 GMT.
Up the Saxons!