Gloucester City spoiled Stockport County’s play-off party and denied them a chance at progressing to the post-season, after Zack Kotwica cancelled out Danny Lloyd’s penalty.
The big game atmosphere was clearly suiting the home side in the very early going as Tom Webb tussled with Mark Ross to concede a free kick.
Stockport’s incomparable Danny Lloyd whipped in the resulting set piece from near the touchline but it drifted past everyone and out of play.
Joe Hanks went close from distance as he set himself onto his left foot and shot from distance, but it flew a couple of yards over Hinchliffe’s goal.
Everyone inside Edgeley Park was wondering how how Odejayi hadn’t scored as, with an open goal from three yards out, he somehow put it back across the six yard box and into Singh’s arms.
A big chance befell Zack Kotwica after a looping cross by Keiran Thomas, but the Tigers forward couldn’t divert his header on goal.
Ed Williams produced a moment of magic and nearly opened the scoring. After a mazy run, he composed himself 18 yards out, bent it past Hinchliffe but it cannoned off the crossbar.
Jasbir Singh was on hand as he made a quite simply sensational save at point blank range to deny Michael Clarke’s free header.
City struck the woodwork again, this time it was Hanks’ volley that was deflected onto the post by Montrose before Hanks blazed the follow up over.
The second half started at a fever pitch and chances came for both sides, but it wasn’t until Danny Lloyd had the chance to break the deadlock form the penalty spot did either side have a ‘clear-cut’ opportunity.
Somewhat acrimoniously, former Cheltenham Town forward Odejayi went over Spencer Hamilton’s challenge in the box, before Lloyd stepped up to sweep it home from the spot.
Ed Williams was playing like a man possessed as he went unbelievably close with a screaming volley that would’ve been a special goal had it just dipped slightly more.
The pressure seemed to be getting to the hosts and City should have been level but for some great combined defending by the Stockport centre halves to thwart Kotwica.
Kotwica wouldn’t be denied on his 50th appearance for the Tigers as he drew his team deservedly level.
Williams was the playmaker again as he made a Messi-like run past six men before teeing off Kotwica on the edge of the box who rifled it home to silence the home fans.
City should have been in front as time ticked into minutes added on when Hinchliffe produced two stunning saves to deny Luke Hopper his 20th league goal of the season.
There would be no more breakthrough though, as the Tigers finished their greatest ever National League North season in possibly the greatest game they’ve ever played at this level.
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Ross (capt), Cartwright, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley (Meppen-Walters 75’), Duxbury, Brazel (Marsden 78’), Odejayi (Amis 62’), Ball, Lloyd
Subs not used: Minihan, Ormson
Gloucester City: Singh, Thomas, Hall, Hamilton (Deaman 90’), Avery, Knowles (Mullings 62’), Hanks, Webb (capt), Hopper, Kotwica (Parker 86’), Williams
Subs not used: King, Moseley
Referee: Marc Edwards
Star man: Ed Williams