ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1, STOCKPORT COUNTY 3
Louie Barry created a post-war goalscoring record for Stockport County in their Sky Bet League Two victory at Accrington Stanley.
The Aston Villa loanee found the net for a seventh successive league fixture when he netted a second half penalty.
And the exploits of Barry, who had a spell in Barcelona’s academy, even eclipsed strike partner Tanto Olaofe.
The former Millwall man was on target again with a seventh goal in his last nine appearances.
The pair have certainly seized their opportunities in the absence of the injured Kyle Wootton, Myles Hippoloyte and Nick Powell.
Barry, delighted to have the record, admitted he will have to maintain peak form to hold down his place.
He said: “Those who are out are top, top players, I have seen some of them in training as they are coming back.
“There is a lot of competition which is healthy. From a selfish point of view, I want to continue scoring so I can play every week.”
It was a bizarre game in which Stockport, 3-0 ahead in the 87th minute, were hanging on at the end.
Once substitute Jack Nolan scored what looked like a late consolation, Stanley staged a storming finish.
Rosaire Longelo forced a fine save from Ben Hinchliffe, Nolan’s in-swinging corner struck the crossbar and there were other goalmouth scrambles with efforts blocked.
Had one of them found the net in the seven minutes of added time, it would have made an interesting finish.
It was a stark contrast to what had gone before as County have been in complete control as they posted a fourth straight league win which has lifted them from near the foot of the table to three points off top spot.
Two goals in a four-minute spell from Olaofe and Will Collar put County in a commanding position just after the quarter hour.
A neat build up down the left ended with Olaofe cutting inside and firing home a low shot.
That was quickly followed by Will Collar running on to an Antoni Sarcevic through ball and slotting the ball through the legs of debut making keeper Jon McCracken who is on loan from Norwich City.
Barry wasted an easy chance by his standards before getting his chance to smash the record from the spot just short of the hour.
County manager Dave Challinor admitted it was a “soft penalty” as Odon Bailey went down as he was sandwiched between two opponents.
Barry grabbed the ball as he was not to be denied his moment of glory as he sent McCracken the wrong way from the spot.
County were in cruise control as they made all five changes to rest players for Tuesday’s home game against Forest Green Rovers.
But it could easily have backfired as Stanley, with more clinical finishing, would easily have wiped out the three-goal deficit in the latter stages.
Hardly surprising, therefore, that Challinor said: “I was happy with the result, but not overly with the performance.
“It was like a basketball match. We could have scored three, four or five more but on a different day we could have been punished.”