In spite of traffic congestion delaying the players arrival, Stockport Sports produced arguably their best performance of the season at Surrey Street against Glossop, and were unfortunate to come away with a solitary point.
As expected Peter Withe made changes to his line up. Callam Gardner was preferred to Aliou Traore and Franck Atangana came in for Gomez Dali up front. New signing Barry Hogan slotted into central midfield for his debut in place of the unavailable Ryan Stayte. Club skipper again missed out through injury, Josh Symons retaining his place at centre-back in Evans absence.
The Saxons took control of the game from the early stages and were unlucky not to take the lead 13 minutes in. Gardner making his first start of the campaign struck a 25 yard free-kick beautifully and was unlucky to see it cannon back off the crossbar.
Just moments later Tyron Sealy should have given The Saxons the lead following a flick on by Atangana, but his touch was slightly too heavy in lifting the ball over the goalkeeper and his effort drifted just over.
Marsden, Gardner and Atangana all had half chances to score before the interval but none were taken and the first period came to an end with the match goalless.
The second half was a thrilling affair as both sides poured forward in their attempts to win the game, and it was the home side that struck first. On 48 minutes Russell Saunders in The Saxons goal pulled off a quite remarkable save to prevent a fiercely struck half-volley from 6 yards out, but he could do nothing to stop James Marshall's follow up strike. It was unfair on The Saxons who had undoubtedly been the better side, and they fought their way back into the game immediately. After neat football around the edge of the Glossop penalty area Gardner's well struck shot came back off the post and John Marsden was on hand to tap in the equaliser.
The Saxons should have gone ahead just moments later, Sealy worked an opening on the right before crossing for Atangana who sent a powerful header against the cross bar from inside the six yard box, Marsden was just unable to scramble in the loose ball. Marsden, Gardner and Atangana all had glorious opportunities to make it 2-1 just seconds later, but a combination of brilliant goalkeeping, poor finishing and bad luck saw the ball stay out of the Glossop net. The Saxons were now totally in command and Sealy raced clear on goal on the hour mark but could only slip his effort wide of the post. Finally the second goal arrived, Marsden turning home from 12 yards out following good work by Anane.
Gomez Dali was introduced for the injured Atangana and he should have scored with his first touch. A misplaced back pass sent him clear, but with only the keeper to beat he prodded his shot wide.
The missed chances were to prove costly for The Saxons as Glossop grabbed an equaliser on 86 minutes, an exquisite finish by Ben Connolly. Glossop may well have snatched the game at the death but for a stunning save by Saunders to keep out a close range header.
Overall it was a disappointing result for The Saxons considering their performance but again they failed to make their dominance pay and failed to take their chances. Peter Withe will have been pleased with many aspects of the game though as his team at times played some scintillating attacking football.
Post match Jamie Street and the Josh Symons spoke to The Saxons Media Team;
(Street) “We played great football throughout the match and showed great determination to come back from a goal down to lead 2-1, but we failed to put the match out of reach. We were annoyed to concede with not long to go, but it was positive to see us show some fight and make plenty of chances. We need to learn to finish teams off now”
(Symons) “We played well as a team however we gave them the chance to stay in the game, we have to start killing teams off, we are letting teams back into games too easily. We didn't take as many chances as we should have, if we had taken one or two more chances Glossop would never have fought their way back into the game”
The Saxons; 1. Russell Saunders, 2. Ricky Anane, 3. Aaron Best, 4. Liam Irwin (c), 5. Jamie Street, 6. Josh Symons, 7. Tyron Sealy (Joe Greenhalgh), 8. Barry Hogan, 9. John Marsden, 10. Franck Atangana (Gomez Dali), 11. Callam Gardner