Happier start to new year for FC Oswestry Town

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

Hallmark Security League Division One

FC Oswestry Town 0

Stockport Town 0

FC Oswestry Town ended a run of five straight defeats as they grabbed a point against Stockport Town on Saturday.

The visitors arrived in fragile mood, having lost 10-0 to promotion-chasing City of Liverpool FC on New Year’s Eve, and would have been delighted with a clean sheet.

The first chance came Stockport’s way in the third minute – Jonathan Hurst played a one-two with Jude Oyibu on the left before he fired a shot past Richard Cowderoy’s right-hand post.

The visitors had a better chance five minutes later, when Liam Bennion’s ball found Oyiba, who in turn found Hurst while continuing his run and narrowly missing the return cross.

The hosts nearly took the lead before the half-hour as Brendon Price’s through ball found Harrison Millington in space, and his first time cross found debutant Kevin Garland who couldn’t keep his header down.

Minutes later, Rob Shone found Millington, whose right-footed angled drive was pushed out for a corner by Stockport keeper Daniel Whiting.

Oyibu was lively for Stockport, and he forced Cowderoy into a fine save from 25 yards out with a fierce effort.

Cowderoy was determined to keep his clean sheet and was back in the action minutes later when he acrobatically clawed an unmarked Bennion’s header over the bar from six yards out.

Oswestry came close to the opener straight after the break, as Matthew Jones’s free-kick found Jack Harris, but his header was held by Whiting.

Town were putting pressure on Stockport; Millington’s cross on 59 minutes found Harris, but his header was blocked, with Alun Morris’s follow up cleared off-the-line.

Cowderoy was back in the action when he saved to his left from Mark German on 67 minutes, with Stockport finishing the game strongly.

Leon Murphy fired over from 30 yards on 72 minutes, and with six minutes left, Hurst and Oyibu combined, only for Cowderoy to foil the former again.

Both sides battled in vain for a winner, but settled for a point.

n Town face Widnes next Saturday at Barnton as Widnes’s ground is unavailable.

Town manager Michael Barton admitted a point against Stockport at any other time in the season would be below target, but admitted it was welcomed.

He said: “It’s a difficult period for us at the moment with a lot of comings and goings, so a point against Stockport wasn’t ideal but it stops the rot of four defeats on the bounce.

“We have another tough game on Saturday at Widnes, as they have already beaten us twice in the league and cup.”

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