FT: Stockport County 0 Preston North End 5

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Preston North End hit five as they cruised past Stockport County in their Carling Cup clash at Edgeley Park on Tuesday night.

Callum Davidson, Matt James, Paul Hayes (2) and Josh King were on target in an emphatic victory.

The game sprung into life after a low key start in the 12th minute when Stockport midfielder Greg Tansey drove a 20-yard shot over the bar and into the 930 PNE fans behind the goal.

Within sixty seconds, North End had carved out their first chance, and really should have taken the lead.

Chris Brown did the spadework on the left side of the box, a neat turn giving him the space to square a pass into the path of the inrushing Paul Parry.

The winger took a touch before curling a shot beyond the far post with only goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams to beat.

Williams produced a fine save to prevent North End taking a 23rd minute lead.

Brown won a free-kick 30 yards out after being bundled over by George Donnelly, Paul Hayes stepping up to take it.

His powerfully struck shot looked destined for the top corner until Williams got a glove to it and tipped the ball over the bar.

There was a scare for the visitors soon after, Mark Lynch’s cross from the right flashing across the face of the six-yard box.

It evaded two Stockport players in front of goal before Danny Rowe, at full stretch, knocked it wide at the back post.

Matt James tried his luck from distance, the shot drifting harmlessly over the bar.

James set up North End’s best chance of the half in the 38th minute, threading a pass between the Stockport centre-backs to leave Coutts one-on-one with Williams.

But the keeper came out on top, spreading himself to smother the midfielder’s shot.

PNE made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time, Danny Mayor going over in the box under the challenge of Andy Halls.

Referee Mark Haywood gave the penalty on the say-so of his linesman, and it did look a touch harsh against the Stockport left-back.

Davidson made no mistake from the spot, hammering the penalty left-footed into the roof of the net.

Three minutes into the second half, County almost got themselves a fortuitous equaliser, Tansey’s free-kick from out on the left-wing bouncing across the box and dropping just wide of the far post.

It got a touch off a North End head on the way through, with referee Haywood awarding a corner.

Preston’s second goal arrived in the 57th minute, Davidson’s quickly taken throw-in releasing James in the box.

He flicked the ball past a defender before hitting a low shot across Williams and into the far bottom corner.

Mayor went close with a shot from 20 yards which travelled inches beyond the far post.

The third goal, like the first, came from the penalty spot, James this time tripped by Danny Swailes just inside the box.

If there was any doubt about the first one, then this was a stonewaller, referee Haywood not needing to consult his assistant before pointing to the spot in the 67th minute.

Hayes assumed penalty duties this time, confidently sending Williams the wrong way.

The former Scunthorpe striker grabbed his second and North End’s fourth in the 73rd minute.

Josh King, introduced moments earlier as a substitute, showed a blistering turn of pace to take him down the right-wing as PNE attacked on the break.

King crossed low into the middle, Hayes’ side-footed effort hitting the post and rolling in despite the best efforts of Mark Lynch on the line.

It was King who netted the fifth, latching on to Lonergan’s goalkick to run through and slot under the keeper.

Stockport: Williams, Lynch, Assoumani, Swailes, Halls, Poole, Tansey, Turnbull, Rowe, Donnelly, Conlon. Subs: Vincent, Partridge, Griffin, Mainwaring, Pilkington, Fisher, Ormson.

PNE: Lonergan, Gray, Wright, Jones, Davidson, Parry, Coutts, James, Mayor, Hayes, Brown.

Subs: Barton, King, Russell, McLaughlin, Proctor, Middleton, Arestidou.

Referee: Mark Haywood (West Yorks)

Attendance: 3,724