WORCESTER City’s sorry start to the season continued as Stockport County inflicted a fifth defeat in their first seven games with a 1-0 home success.

Manager Carl Heeley arrived at Edgeley Park hoping to see an improved performance from his side but the Hatters went ahead on 41 minutes thanks to a superb free-kick from Danny Lloyd.

And Stockport had plenty of chances to add to their lead as they put City under all sorts of pressure in the second half.

The loss capped off a miserable opening month for Worcester, who also slipped to the bottom of the league on goal difference.

With Sam Oji out injured, centre-half Tom Sharpe was recalled to the starting line-up which featured midfielder Ebby Nelson-Addy, returning from suspension, and goalkeeper Ethan Ross in for Nick Draper.

Fit-again Richard Batchelor was also among four changes made to the side who lost 1-0 to Chorley on Saturday and the midfielder found himself in two decent shooting positions in the opening 10 minutes.

Firstly, his 25-yarder was comfortably saved by Ben Hinchliffe before he dragged a shot wide after Chekaine Steele did well to win the ball.

Stockport midfielder Lloyd hit the crossbar direct from a corner on seven minutes but City were going toe-to-toe with their opponents despite losing defender Graham Hutchison midway through the first half with a blow to the head.

Winger Steele was consistently snapping at the heels of Stockport’s players, while lone striker Colby Bishop held the ball up well.

Batchelor also went close again on 37 minutes with a header from Danny Jackman’s corner but Stockport were always threatening with Lloyd and Danny Montrose both having chances.

And, with four minutes left of the opening period, Stockport broke the deadlock with a superb 20-yard free-kick from Lloyd, which proved too good for Ross.

The midfielder almost added a second moments later when he beat the offside trap but this time the West Bromwich Albion loan keeper was equal to his strike.

John Marsden had a shot from distance, which Ross easily gathered, as the home side finished on the front foot and then started the second half brightly.

Lloyd stung the hands of Ross with a thumping effort from the edge of the box as City found themselves quickly under the cosh.

When Worcester did get hold of the ball in promising positions, they were unable to find the quality in the final third to worry Stockport.

Josh Amis went agonisingly close on the hour mark when his header crept past the post after the Hatters drilled the ball into the box.

Stockport were pinning City back with numerous long balls into the box but they were struggling to put their opponents to bed as Amis and Michael Clarke headed wide.

Tyler Weir then breathed a sigh of relief as his sliced clearance came off the top of the crossbar.

With just one goal between the two sides, City pushed forward in search of an unlikely equaliser but the hosts had the best chance in the closing stages.

Marsden was sent clean through with only Ross to beat but a heavy touch allowed the keeper to gather.

City (4-5-1): Ross 6; Weir 5, Hutchison 6 (Gallinagh 23, 5), Sharpe 6, Keane 6; Nelson-Addy 5 (Murphy 65), Jackman 7, English 6, BATCHELOR 7, Steele 7; Bishop 6. Subs not used: Craig, Fitzpatrick, Murphy, Gater.

Stockport (4-2-3-1) Hinchliffe; Ross, Clarke, Smalley, Duxbury; Montrose, Minihan; Stopforth, Marsden (Meppen-Walter 91), Lloyd (Rule 81); Odejayi (Amis 56). Subs not used Ormson, Spencer.

Attendance: 2,514.