Non-league Matters: Darije Kalezic gets winning start as Stockport County ease relegation fears

By Matt Simpson & Ross McLean

New Stockport County manager Darije Kalezic got off to a winning start in his first game in charge as his side edged out Nuneaton Town at Edgeley Park.

Connor Jennings and Danny Hattersley gave County a two-goal lead, but Nuneaton levelled with two Andrew Brown goals in five minutes before Jon Nolan secured a 3-2 win.

The Hatters are now five points clear of the danger zone and sit 16th in the Blue Square Premier table.

Jennings sent County on their way after just four minutes, after Nolan lofted his free-kick over the Nuneaton defence for the striker to slot home.

The lead was doubled seven minutes later when good work from Jennings allowed Danny Whitehead to play in Hattersley, who finished coolly.

Nuneaton hit back on 14 minutes when Brown’s scuffed shot beat keeper Richard O’Donnell before the striker headed in the equaliser five minutes later.

But Stockport were not to be denied and got the crucial winner with 67 minutes gone when Nolan superbly volleyed in from defender Sean Newton’s pass.

As a result of Stockport’s win, Hyde are now embroiled in the relegation battle at the bottom after they went down 2-1 away to Woking.

Billy Knott scored twice either side of a Scott Spencer goal to condemn the Tigers to a fourth straight defeat and leave them 18th in the table.

Damian Reeves’ 24th goal of the season and Shaun Densmore’s strike helped Altrincham continue their promotion push with a 2-0 win over Gloucester City.

The win extends the Robins unbeaten run to seven games and lifts them into fourth in the Blue Square North table.

Meanwhile Droylsden remain firmly entrenched in the relegation zone after losing 3-1 to fifth from bottom Histon – their third straight defeat.

The game was effectively over early as Histon scored a quick-fire treble through Harri Hawkins and two from Lewis Taafe.

Joe O’Neill scored a consolation for the Bloods, who finished the game with ten men after Ashley Palmer was sent off late on.

And a good performance from keeper Alex Cairns saw mid-table Stalybridge Celtic play out a goalless draw away at lowly Bishop’s Stortford.

In the Evo-Stik Premier Division, FC United of Manchester’s promotion charge gathered real momentum with an impressive victory at fellow high-flyers Buxton.

Matthew Wolfenden opened the scoring before a Michael Norton doubled ensured a maximum three-point haul for the Red Rebels.

Danny Johnson’s Ashton United also travelled to Derbyshire and returned home with a point from a game which had plenty of late drama.

Dennis Sheriff scored a late leveller as the Robins twice had to come from behind against Matlock Town to secure a share of the spoils.

A Thomas Moore penalty on the hour mark cancelled out an early Bradley Grayson spot-kick before an Alex Frost own goal looked to have won it for Matlock.

Mossley are still top of Evo-Stik League Division One (North) after drawing 2-2 with Salford City at Seel Park.

They will be nervously looking over their shoulders as Skelmersdale United recovered from their midweek humbling at Burscough to win in style at Curzon Ashton.

Skem hit the Tamseiders for six in their own backyard with John Flanagan’s men managing a solitary consolation, and are two points behind the Lilywhites with six games in hand.

In a day of surprising results, New Mills were beaten 5-1 at home to Bamber Bridge while Trafford lost 2-0 at Radcliffe Borough.

Ramsbottom United continued to enjoy a productive season as they defeated Wakefield 2-1 at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.

Image courtesy of zoominnl via YouTube, with thanks.

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