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Match Previews

Match Preview - Stockport County (H)

13 October 2023

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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