Davenport adds edge

Stockport County 1 Armstrong 56 Huddersfield Town 2 Jepson pen 34, Gannon og 71 Attendance: 5,383
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The Independent Online
REMEMBER Peter Davenport? Manchester United fans may not care to, but he has pitched up a few miles south of Old Trafford, on loan to Stockport County. Yesterday he won the man-of-the-match award in an entertaining game his new team were unlucky to lose.

Davenport's beautiful touch and cleverness near goal remain, but so does his legendary shyness when invited to make nets bulge. He still lopes about diffidently, looking more a leftish schoolteacher than a professional footballer. Yesterday Davenport's shielding of the ball brought an extra dimension to County's honest endeavour. At one point he controlled with his groin, before trapping, spinning and shooting just wide. An understanding with striking partner Alun Armstrong was slow to develop, but on materialising looked too good to be wasted on a mid-table Second Division side. Davenport created a chance for his left-back Lee Todd, whose volley was perfect but tipped on to a post by Steve Francis. Huddersfield, possible champions, looked anonymous, but they suddenly won a penalty for a push on the high- scoring Andy Booth. Ronnie Jepson almost as prolific as Booth, smacked the kick past Matt Dickins.

Iain Dunn's seam-picking dribbles helped to disguise the fact that Booth - just picked for the England under-21 squad - was off form. Soon after half-time he was off the pitch with a pulled muscle.

Shortly afterwards Davenport, through on goal, shot tamely at the keeper. A few seconds later Armstrong was in the same spot to sidefoot Davenport's downward header past Francis. Armstrong was transformed by his equaliser, laying waste to the Yorkshiremen's flanks. But for the second time, Huddersfield scored against the play, and in the luckiest manner. A hard cross by Lee Duxbury flew off defender Jim Gannon's head and landed inside the near post for a classic own goal.

Stockport should have done themselves justice when Davenport rolled a perfect pass to Armstrong, who failed to tap in from three yards. Dunn, who had been contained after his effervescent first half, emerged to nearly score twice at the other end. Then Gannon fired just over with a minute left before the 1,500 travelling fans could finally express their relief.