Gainsborough Trinity ease Conference North drop zone fears by beating nine men of Stockport County

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Gainsborough Trinity further eased their relegation fears with a second win on the bounce, beating nine-man Stockport County 2-0.

A goal in each half sealed an all-too nervy victory for the Blues, and they were thankful to over zealous refereeing decisions which benefited them.

The Blues were forced into one change from last weekend’s victory over Gloucester, ecalling Dan Clayton to the starting line-up for the injured Danny Forrest.

It was a very undramatic start to proceedings as seven minutes had passed before the first entry into the statistics book.

Gainsborough number one Jan Budtz had to be sharp to thwart on loan Altrincham winger Greg Wilkinson in his tracks twice in a couple of minutes, to keep the game tied.

The second of which the big Dane had to tip over the bar as the ball swerved ferociously in the air.

Trinity were limited only to a half chance as Paul Beesley saw an opening from the edge of the box drift wide.

A first half of little excitement came to an abrupt end though as on the stroke of half-time Gainsborough were awarded a penalty.

The decision to award it wasn’t contentious but the decision to send off Stockport defender Jordan Fagbola was.The centre half up ended Johnathon Margetts who had been threaded through after industrious work by winger Dan Clayton.

The referee had clearly deemed Fagbola as last man and duely gave him his marching orders, to the bemusement of most.

Ciaran Toner took the responsibility and sent Trinity with a goal and a man advantage.

The second half was merely five minutes old when County were left with nine men.

Wilkinson joined Fagbola for an early bath for a reckless challenge on Dominic Roma.

The second red galvanised the visitors for the majority of the half and they began to move the ball around and looked dangerous.

Their efforts took their toll and Margetts was able to settle the tie in the 78th minute as he calmly finished a Simon Russell through ball, after a swift counter attack move.

The Hatters did force keeper Budtz into several excellent saves as they tried to claw their way back into the game.

Danny Glover curled in a free -ick from range that forced Budtz to scramble over athletically to the near post.

Trinity created several chances in the last minutes, with chances for Margetts and Toner but no further gloss was added to the performance.

Gainsborough boss Steve Housham was relieved to get the three points.

He said: “It’s a massive three points for us and I’ve just told the players the same.”

“Stockport County were in the Championship 10 years ago and Gainsborough Trinity have beaten them, albeit they have had a couple of sending offs”.

“Second half I thought for bits of it, they were the better team with nine men.”

“We’ve eradicated the problems we have had with two wins and two clean sheets.”

“Jan Budtz was superb again today and I am delighted that he is getting his form back.”

Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma (c), Davie, Dixon, Quinn, Salt, Clayton (Russell 56) Toner, Margetts, Beesley (Stamp 83) Davis (Binns 85). Subs (not used): Lacey, Karkach.

Stockport County: Ormson, Jacobs, Duxbury (Dennis 66) Lees (c), Fagbola, O’Halloran, Russell, Churchman, Glover, Wilkinson, Ryan. Subs (not used): Sharp, Lofthouse, Todd, Lazenbury.

Goalscorers: Toner (pen 45), Margetts (78).

Bookings: Salt, Margetts; Jacobs, Glover, Ryan.

Red cards: Fagbola (45), Wilkinson (50).

Attendance: 511.

Referee: Mr P Marsden.

Assistants: Mr L Doughty, Mr S Rudd.