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14 October 2023 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview - Stockport County (H)

13 October 2023

Town will look to make it four wins from five in League Two when they entertain high-flying Stockport County at The Envirovent Stadium on Saturday.

Victory away to Newport County a week ago saw Town move up the table and begin to eye the positions above them, currently sitting just four points off the playoff spots.

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Our opponents

In the return to the EFL last season County overcame a sticky start to make it all the way to the playoff final, where they were defeated by Carlisle United.

Unsurprisingly the club again reinforced their squad in the summer, adding in the likes of long-time Salford defender Ibou Touray and Nick Powell from Stoke City as well as capturing talented Aston Villa forward Louie Barry on a season long loan.

They are now on a run of six consecutive wins – scoring fifteen and conceding just three - that sees them come into the game in second position and within striking distance of leaders Notts County.

Last season

The two sides played out an uneventful goalless draw at Edgeley Park a year ago before County came away with all three points later in the season after Miles Hippolyte and Isaac Olaofe established a comfortable position at half-time. Kazeem Olaigbe gave Town hope on the hour mark but Will Collar secured the win with his strike fifteen minutes from time.

The man in charge

Dave Challinor is the man in charge at Edgeley Park, having left Hartlepool early last season after taking them into the EFL, securing promotion at the first attempt.

He will be a familiar face to Town fans having previously squared off against the club during his spell in the dugout at AFC Fylde, where he earned three promotions to take them into the National League.

After leaving the club in October 2019, he was appointed manager of Hartlepool a month later and guided them back into the EFL via the playoffs that season.

Challinor was also a former County player, spending two seasons there after starting his career at Tranmere. He later moved on to Bury where he finished his league career after almost 400 appearances.

Ones to watch

Isaac Olaofe comes into the game having bagged five goals in his last three outings, whilst Louie Barry has seven goals and two assists on the season.

Forwards Paddy Madden and Kyle Wootton, recently returned from a long-term injury evidence the strength in depth in attack.

In midfield former Bolton-man Antoni Sarcevic will be a key presence whilst Will Collar has two goals and four assists so far from a deeper role.

Keeper Ben Hinchcliffe has been with the club since the National League North days, making over 300 appearances to break the record for most appearances by a goalkeeper for the club.


Whilst the club were first formed back in 1883, they have been known as Stockport County since 1890 and joined the Football League ten years later.

In the post-war period the club would spend life in the bottom two divisions, earning a number of promotions but being unable to remain in the third tier for any sustained period.

The turning point in their fortunes came with appointment of Danny Bergara in 1989, with the Uruguayan earning a first promotion in the 1990/91 season as well as leading the Hatters to multiple Wembley trips.

The 1990’s would undoubtedly become the club’s most successful period, featuring in the old first division for five seasons as well as the League Cup semi-finals in 1996/97.

Dave Jones took over in 1995 and took the club into the second tier following promotion in 1996/97, before departing for Southampton and being replaced by Gary Megson – who led the side to a best-ever eighth placed finish in his first season.

The club fell back through the divisions in the early 2000’s though, before dropping out of the Football League altogether in 2010/11, and a further relegation to National League North was experienced in 2012/13.

2018/19 saw the club return to the fifth tier before winning the National League title in 2021/22 to seal a return to the EFL.

Team news

Rod McDonals, Levi Sutton and Abraham Odoh will all face late fitness checks, but Simon Weaver has plenty of in-form options to choose from otherwise.

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Match Reports

TOWN 1-3 Stockport County - Town fall to defeat at the hands of new league leaders

14 October 2023

Town fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Stockport County this afternoon with strikes from Antoni Sarcevic and a Warren Burrell own goal establishing a first-half lead before Will Collar’s header extended the advantage early in the second-half.

George Thomson pulled a goal back for Town from the penalty spot but Sion Weaver’s side couldn’t muster a comeback in a game that extended beyond the 100 minute mark following an injury stoppage to referee Thomas Parsons.

Aiming for their fourth win in five league outings, Simon Weaver kept the same starting line-up that won 2-1 at Newport a week ago. The visitors were also unchanged from the side that earned all three points thanks to a 1-0 home win against Doncaster.

It was a patient start from Town, happy to cede possession to the visitors who were content to play the ball around their own backline.

The game snapped into life though when a long ball was misjudged by the County defence. Josh March ran on to the ball and with nothing available in terms of support he cracked a shot away that surprised Ben Hinchcliffe and thundered back off the bar to safety.

County responded soon after when Macauley Southam-Hales cross the ball into Louie Barry but his header was tame and dealt with comfortably by Mark Oxley.

Out of nowhere though County had the lead. A short corner caught out the Town defence and Sarcevic struck past Oxley despite the narrow angle.

It could – and should – have been two a minute later. Barry breached the Town defence but as Oxley advanced his chipped effort went over the bar.

The visitors were confident on he back of the goal, with Town on the backfoot and needing a period of time to adjust and get a foothold back in the game.

George Thomson’s turn and shot on the half-hour was Town’s closest effort at goal but his shot was too close to threaten Hinchcliffe.

Stockport skipper Ryan Croasdale went into the book shortly after his challenge on James Daly.

Sarcevic almost caught out Oxley again from a short corner five minutes before the break but the Town keeper was alert to the danger and diverted the ball over the bar.

Less than five minutes after the re-start County doubled their lead. Barry weaved through the Town defence along the byline before striking low and hard into danger area with Burrell only able to turn the ball past Oxley.

Barry then caused the Town defence more trouble shortly after with only a desperate goalline clearance from Josh Falkingham keeping Town from falling further behind.

Town went ever so close to reducing the deficit on the hour when a neat exchange on the edge of the area saw Matty Daly accelerate in between two defenders to poke a shot at goal. Hinchcliffe was quick to get down low to his left and turn the ball away for a corner.

The visitors were not content with the two goal lead though and Barry in particular was a constant menace to the Town defence. Only a late Burrell interception thwarted further danger as they look to press their advantage home.

With twenty-five minutes Simon Weaver threw on the in-form Sam Folarin for James Daly in a straight swap.

Collar rose a couple of minutes later to out-muscle Burrell and head past Oxley to make it 3-0.

But Town were handed a lifeline less than a minute later when March was felled in the box and Thomson coolly slotted home to provide some hope of a late comeback.

The visitors made a double-change Paddy Madden and Kyle Wootton replaced the irrepressible Barry and Isaac Olaofe whilst Town were forced into a change when March limped off as a result of an earlier challenge, being replaced by Jack Muldoon.

The pace of Folarin caused problems for the visitors down the left-hand side following his introduction and he won a corner with ten minutes remaining that saw Town go close but time was beginning to run out and County in no mood to relinquish their advantage.

Odin Bailey crashed a volley against the post with five minutes left which could have made the scoreline and afternoon even worse for Town. For County, a seventh win in succession saw them move to the top of League Two following Notts County's earlier defeat.




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