Non-league Matters: Stockport County assistant manager Stuart Watkiss rues lack of cutting edge against Luton Town

By Matt Simpson & Ross McLean

Stockport County assistant manager Stuart Watkiss was disappointed with his side’s ineffectiveness in front of goal as they lost at home to Luton Town.

Jake Howells scored the only goal of a game where County created very little and the result leaves them looking over their shoulders in 17th place.

And Watkiss, who felt his side were on the wrong end of several decisions – including a handball in the build-up to the goal – was critical of the players’ inability to create chances.

“Obviously we’re disappointed. We’re always disappointed to lose a game of football,” he said.

“Maybe a couple of key decisions went against us – I’ve looked at it again and it is a clear handball in the build-up to the first goal.

“But saying that, we can’t rant at the officials because it is not their fault we lost the game.

“We didn’t create enough opportunities and we didn’t work their goalkeeper enough.”

Despite his criticism, Watkiss was pleased with the style of football on show, and made it clear they would be more clinical in their next game against Dartford.

 “It’s something we have to go and look at and try and put right in the next game,” he added.

“We passed the ball OK at times, but when we got to the last third of the pitch we didn’t carve out any clear-cut chances.

“It’s important that we group quickly, because we want to go down there with the ambition of coming back with all three points.”

Non-League Round-up

Blue Square Bet Premier

Christian Jolley’s first-half strike for Newport County was enough to condemn Hyde to a fifth straight defeat and leave them one point off the relegation zone.

The injury-hit Tigers were boosted by Phil Jevons’ return to the squad and now have seven days to nurse other injured players back to health.

Blue Square Bet North

A Damian Reeves double and a strike from Duncan Watmore secured the points for Altrincham as they continued their promotion push with a 3-1 home win against Oxford City.

Lee Sinnott’s side had trailed to Felipe Barcelos 20th minute opener before Alty hit back with an impressive second-half display.

Droylsden’s winless run continued as they were put to the sword by Bradford Park Avenue, with Alex Davidson and Richard Marshall both scoring twice in a 7-0 win.

Solihull Moors claimed only their third away win of the season, beating Stalybridge Celtic 3-0 at Bower Fold.

Goals from Junior English, Omar Bogle and Reece Fleet condemned the Celts to defeat, who have to pick themselves up ahead of their Cheshire Senior Cup tie with Runcorn Linnetts on Tuesday.

Evo-Stik Premier Division

The spoils were shared at the summit of the Evo-Stik Premier Division as FC United of Manchester and North Ferriby United traded first-half strikes.

After winning ten out of 12 games, the Red Rebels sit third in the league, ten points off top spot with four games in hand.

Ashton United followed up their midweek win over Kendal Town with maximum points from their trip to Nantwich Town, with Chris Amadi netting twice.

Evo-Stik Division One (North)

Curzon Ashton’s fine form in Evo-Stik League Division One (North) continued with an impressive 3-0 win at high-flying Trafford.

Ramsbottom United are up to second after defeating Salford City 3-2 at Moor Lane, while New Mills beat bottom side Garforth Town 4-3 to tighten their grip on a play-off spot.

Elsewhere, Mossley are now without a win in seven games after a goalless draw at Lancaster City while Radcliffe Borough went down 3-1 at Bamber Bridge.

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