Simon Russell saw a second half penalty saved as Gainsborough were denied a point by a supreme goalkeeping display in a 2-0 Vanarama National League North defeat at Stockport County this afternoon.
Ian Ormson produced a string of excellent saves to deny Trinity a point or possibly more and give County the win.
The game was remarkably similar to the fixture at the Martin and Co Arena earlier in the season when in an even contest, the former football league side edged to a win.
The result condemned the Blues to their second successive defeat.
The squad was certain to change after last week’s defeat to Solihull with the big surprise in the starting line-up the omission of Jan Budtz.
The Great Dane gave away a penalty in that match and in came Jonathan Hedge for his full league debut.
Hedge had previously starred in the Lincolnshire Cup Final victory over Scunthorpe in November.
There was another new addition in the squad, as Lincoln City loanee Eliott Hodge made his debut for the Blues.
Further changes to the team that lost at home to Solihull saw Jonathan D’Laryea return to the line-up after injury and Darryn Stamp in for the injured Craig Reid.
Only five minutes had passed before Hedge had to pick the ball out of the net. John Marsden pulled off the defender, swivelled and hit an early shot which found the corner of the net.
The Blues could have been further behind minutes later when Richard Brodie leapt to meet a corner and the header flew inches over the crossbar.
Trinity responded by looking dangerous on the counter, particularly Liam Davis.
Davis cut in from the left in the 14th minute and dragged a shot wide of the post, minutes before he hit a fierce drive on target when a free kick was not cleared by the County defence.
Gainsborough came closest in the first half when Stephen Brogan blocked a clearance, with the ball spinning into the path of Stamp. The veteran turned a defender and then tried to lift the ball over the onrushing Ormson who saved well.
Those two combined well five minutes later from a free kick, with Stamp heading straight at Ormson from eight yards out.
Brogan became an integral attacking threat as the half went on and after having a goal ruled out for offside, the former Rotherham player turned a man on the edge of the box and curled a shot on goal which somehow nobody got a touch to turn home.
The second half took a while to get going after what was a thoroughly entertaining first.
Brodie had the most meaningful effort before the hour, when he lashed a shot over the crossbar.
Trinity then seemed to have been given a lifeline when Stamp was dragged to the floor when challenging for a header, a penalty given.
Up stepped the ever reliable Simon Russell. He sidefooted to the keeper’s right hand side and Ormson was there to push the spot kick away and out of danger.
The Blues did not let the miss get to them too much as within a minute Nathan Jarman hit a dipping volley over the bar from the edge of the box.
The hope did not last long, as when Gainsborough could not clear their lines, up stepped Marsden to drill home his second from the edge of the box.
Trinity looked to have pulled one back late on but Ormson produced a stunning save to deny Marc Newsham what looked to be a certain goal in the 88th minute.
Two minutes later and he managed to push a Stamp header onto the post when it looked destined for the bottom corner.
Gainsborough Trinity: Hedge, Roma, Lacey, Brogan, D’Laryea, Picton, Russell, Davis (Newsham 74), Stamp, Jarman, Hodge (Yates 82). Subs not used: Quinn, Budtz, Binns.
Stockport County: Ormson, Connolly, Roberts, Montrose, O’Hanlon, Smalley, Morton (Joyce 82), Anoura (West 63), Brodie (Odejayi 73), Marsden, Ledsham. Subs not used: Smith, Menagh.
Goalscorers: Marsden 5, 79.
Bookings: Hodge, Brogan.
Referee: Mr S. Copeland.