A Liam Hogan own goal one minute from time denied Stockport County a much-needed home victory, as old wounds surface to leave the Hatters wanting late on.

The King is dead, long live the King

Dave Challinor’s second match as Stockport County manager ended in disappointment as a late Bromley equaliser denied the Hatters a first home win in the league since early October. 

Scott Quigley had set the home side off on their way midway through the second half, before a Liam Hogan own goal cost the hosts late on.

County had dominated for much of the 90 minutes, with old wounds leftover from the previous premiership surfacing in the closing moments.

Despite the late disappointment, the mood around Edgeley Park was of stark contrast to the last time County played a match on home soil, with a rendition of 'Dave Challinor's blue and white army' echoing around the stadium as the players departed the pitch. The King is dead, long live the King.

Bullish Quigley biggest threat for potent Hatters

If last weekend had been Quigley’s comeback tour, the striker whipped out all the best hits for Stockport this evening, as he shone at the tip of the Hatters’ attack. 

A trademark centre-forward performance was rewarded with the game’s opening goal, after Quigley worked some space for himself inside the Bromley box, before slotting home on his left foot.

The former Barrow man almost had a second to his name shortly after finding the net, but a mistimed header during a rare lapse in concentration prevented Quigley from doubling his tally for the evening. 

Quigley’s desire to put the game to bed would engross the forward as the game crawled to its conclusion, as he flashed a long-range effort just wide of the post, moments after mistiming his touch to deny a one vs one with the Bromley goalkeeper.

Paddy Madden was the next Stockport player to come close, hooking an effort just over the bar, as the frustrations began to set in from the home crowd. 

Bromley catch County cold late on 

Bromley had started the second period slowly and deservedly fell behind, yet as the search for a County second was prolonged, the London side began to feel their way into the match.

Michael Cheek squandered a great chance from a close-range free-kick before the Bromley marksman flicked a header towards James Alabi, who failed to convert. 

Their persistence would pay off with less than one minute of normal time remaining, as amongst a sea of bodies the visitors were able to bundle the ball home. 

After a spellbinding first fortnight in charge of the Hatters, it was a painful reminder for Challinor that there is stilll plenty of work to do for Challinor in his new role.

Ghost-like defending from the County backline allowed the Bromley attack to go unnoticed, with substitute Hogan accredited as the man to have the last touch.

The irony of the own goal mustn’t be lost on County, who most definitely only had themselves to blame in what is turning into a frustrating campaign at home.  

No knockout blow in cagey first half 

Potentially feeling the hangover from last weekend’s high-octane draw away to Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup, the hosts looked laboured to begin with and failed to threaten a resolute Bromley defence.

Instructed to move the ball at quick speeds by Challinor, County appeared to be playing with a newfound directness, but in doing so they surrendered the intricacy that had seen them break down the League One defence twice last time out. 

On the rare occasions, Stockport mustered an opportunity, determined defending by the Bromley backline thwarted the County attackers. 

Paddy Madden saw a back-post effort charged down by Jude Arthurs, whilst Antoni Sarcevic saw a tame effort saved by goalkeeper Mark Cousins.

Whilst their current league position may have caught some by surprise, Bromley have impressed throughout the current campaign and they may have taken the lead themselves midway through the half.

Sensing impatience amongst the home crowd, Bromley pushed towards the Stockport goal, yet Alabi was unable to direct his header goalwards. A let-off for County, who could’ve counted themselves lucky to bevel at the break. 

Match Information:

Stockport County: Ross; Keane, Palmer, Rydel; Crankshaw, Kitching, Rooney, Croasdale, Sarcevic; Quigley, Madden

Bromley: Cousins; Trotter, Arthurs, Sowunmi; Forster, Coulson, Bush, Webster; Alibi, Cheek, Alexander

Attendence: 5,515

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