Nas Bashir's side put United officials and supporters through every emotion possible at Edgeley Park before coming away with a hard earned point in a 3-3 draw which in truth was the least we deserved.
Both new signings, Lloyd Owusu and Dean Sinclair started the game and performed well, on the downside first half injuries to both Sam Argent and Steve Arnold, the latter looking serious put a slight downer on the afternoon.
Aside from a 30 yard drive by Jon Nolan in the fifth minute that went the crossbar, the opening quarter of an hour belonged to United.
A 7th minute push forwards by United put the County defence under intense pressure. Dean Sinclair won possession in midfield before feeding Louie Soares on the the of the County area, his shot being touched wide by keeper Matt Glennon. Soares corner was met by Dwane Lee whose effort was heading for the top corner only for defender Carl Piergianni to head the ball off the line and over his own bar. Soares following corner found Sam Argent on the far side, his centre being headed goalwards by Pierre Joseph-Dubois but Glennon had it covered.
In the 13th minute United got the goal their opening adventurous play deserved. Luke Williams outpaced Mark Lynch down the right side before cutting the ball back perfectly to Sinclair who swept home a debut goal from ten yards out.
This seemed to shock the home side into action as they started to push forwards themselves soon after. Jon Routledge tried his luck from 25 yards having made space for the shot but Steve Arnold had it covered. Three minutes later Arnold had to be at his best when John Miles deep cross was met with a powerful Tom Elliott header that the United keeper tipped around his post at full stretch. Miles short corner was centred to Nick Challinor, Arnold blocked his header and Sinclair was well placed on the post to clear the loose ball.
Just two minutes later a goal-line clearance at the other end stopped United going further ahead. Joseph-Dubois standing the ball up from the right, Soares put the ball back into the centre and Lloyd Owusu's header went past Glennon only to be headed off the line by Lynch.
Two mad minutes just before the half hour mark saw United go from leading to being a goal adrift. First to strike for County was Elliott. A neat step over by Challinor allowed the ball to continue on to Nolan who picked out Elliott who was alone and he slid the ball past the unprotected Arnold. The second came within two minutes as a Miles short corner to Routledge saw Arnold push out his swerving effort but straight to Piergianni whose snapshot deflected past Arnold.
In the 36th minute Stockport almost made it three. Recently arrived United substitute Elliott Legg, for Argent, slipped which gave Michael Paton room to advance to the edge of the United box where he hit a curling shot that only just went wide of Arnold's far post.
Arnold was by now not moving well having injured his leg in a previous collision but United finished the half strongly and could have gone in level when a quick break saw a three-on-three situation, Soares played the ball left to Williams who duly picked out the arriving Joseph-Dubois but his shot was always rising and cleared the County goal.
Arnold had to be replaced at the break and it saw another appearance from 35 year-old United goalkeeping coach Delroy Preddie, always a fans favourite. Preddie was soon called into action too as just four minutes into the half as a long Piergianni ball found Challinor who hit a left foot volley that Preddie did well to push around the post. Miles corner was met by Elliott but Preddie held on comfortably.
Preddie saved a shot from distance by Nolan before touching wide a Challinor effort as the Hatters skipper was through on goal. Just before the hour mark Preddie was beaten though as his muffed punch of a looping header from Miles corner fell to Piergianni who reacted quickest to fire home from close range.
Seconds later Owusu almost found a lifeline for United as he collected a Williams pass and hit a shot that Glennon fumbled with Routledge putting the ball out for a corner that was to come to nothing. Piergianni almost completed his hat-trick in the 70th minute as he got his head to a Miles corner but his effort just cleared the United goal.
United then started to really put pressure on the home side, and as has been shown many times by Nas Bashir's side, they never give up, this time it was to pay dividends. Williams found Sinclair just outside the area, his shot going just wide of the target and United should certainly have been awarded something when Joseph-Dubois was shoved into the hoardings as he tried to shoot, the decision had to be penalty or corner as the ball had previously come off a defender, the decision made somewhat bizarrelyby referee Duncan was, goal-kick!
Then with 14 minutes remaining Soares gave United hope with a fine goal. Having collected a cross-field Williams pass, the United top scorer hit a shot that flew over Glennon into the top corner of the Hatters net thus reducing the deficit to a single goal which seemed to create a panic in the home side that United were to take advantage of.
Miles was then allowed to run at the United area but his chipped shot was never going to trouble Preddie as United continued to throw everything at their hosts in search of an equaliser that duly arrived with 90 minutes on the watch. Skipper Mark Bentley and Williams started off a flowing move on the left that saw the ball moved across the park to Soares who was allowed to move inside almost unchallenged before firing a low shot that beat Glennon to give United a deserved equaliser.
United could and maybe should have taken all three points deep into stoppage time when substitute Tom Collins exchanged passes with Williams and moved into the Hatters box before hitting a cross come shot that only just evaded the tow of the on-coming Owusu before going wide of the far post.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Louie Soares.
Photos courtesy of: MPhotographic.co.uk