MATCH REPORT: Stockport County 2 Bolton Wanderers 2

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Dapo Afolayan in action for Wanderers against Stockport.
Dapo Afolayan in action for Wanderers against Stockport.

WANDERERS were made to work hard by League Two Stockport County as their unbeaten start to pre-season was preserved.

Elias Kachunga and Conor Bradley grabbed the goals at the Hatters’ Carrington training base but the League Two side earned a share of the spoils thanks to Will Collar and Miles Hippolyte.

Wanderers took a while to find their rhythm, with Stockport keeping them pinned in during the opening stages and looking confident on the ball.

Ollie Crankshaw was the main threat throughout the first half, finding plenty of space behind Kieran Sadlier. He pounced on a good flick from target man Kyle Wooton 10 minutes in to get a view of Joel Dixon’s goal but failed to get a good connection with his attempted lob.

The same man got the wrong side of Ricardo Santos a few moments later but delayed his shot just long enough for the Bolton skipper to get a challenge in.

After fending off the early pressure, Wanderers started to get a feel of the ball again in midfield. MJ Williams sprayed a fine pass out to release Declan John on the left, the Welshman working his way into the penalty box but unable to keep his shot down.

Amadou Bakayoko then had arguably the two best chances of the half. Dion Charles created the first with a well-timed pass but Mark Kitching managed to get just enough on his challenge to divert the ball over the bar.

Charles also had a say in Bakayoko’s second opportunity, working the ball with George Thomason on the edge of the box, but the Sierra Leone international could not keep his shot down.

The game opened up when both sides swapped virtually their whole starting line up, just after the hour. Before that, Joel Dixon had done remarkably well to keep the scoreline level, making excellent sdaves at close range from Crankshaw and Wooton.

Stockport grabbed the lead a matter of moments after James Trafford’s arrival on the pitch.

Will Collar fired low past the Bolton keeper after the Whites had struggled to clear the ball on the edge of their own penalty box.

Within a minute Wanderers were level. Kachunga seized on a loose back-pass and though his first shot was saved by keeper Ben Hinchcliffe, he headed into the empty net for a quick equaliser.

And almost immediately, Bradley produced an impressive finish in the bottom corner after being picked out by a fine pass from George Johnston.

Stockport would argue they deserved a draw – and they got one with another fine effort, Hyppolyte curling his shot around a defender to beat Trafford.

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