Stockport County take on North Ferriby United this weekend, with the Villagers in 22nd place and apparent free-fall since their relegation from the National League North Premier last season.
For County, the game comes sandwiched between two FA Cup matches and will provide Jim Gannon’s side a welcome opportunity to move up the league table.
Until as little as a season ago, Ferriby were climbing through non-league at a rate that could have seen them enter the English Football League before too long. The Villagers won the FA Trophy in 2015 before securing promotion in 2016 to the National League Premier with a play-off victory over AFC Fylde.
But fast forward 12 months, and it’s a different story for United. After finishing 24th last season they find themselves back in regional football. It’s a transition that has not gone well for them, the East Yorkshire side are currently bottom of the division with only five points, scoring just three goals in 11 matches.
After a game-changing introduction in the FA Cup against Curzon last week, Jim Gannon could decide to continue with former Salford midfielder Gary Stopforth in the centre of the park. Jimmy Ball and Harry Winter also come back into contention as they recover from their minor knocks. At the back, Michael Clarke will miss out again with his split patella injury. Stephen O’Halloran and Chris Smalley look set to continue their defensive partnership in the vice captain’s absence.
Matty Warburton and Darren Stephenson will both miss out with knee and ankle injuries respectively. But winger Ben McKenna has been training all week following his injury and if picked, could find a chance to shine against a defence that has conceded 25 goals this season, including six at home to Spennymoor just two weeks ago.
The match will be played at Edgeley Park, with the Main Stand, Cheadle End and Popular Side open for home supporters and the ‘Pop side’ will be open to away supporters.
Edgeley Park, Hardcastle Road, Stockport SK3 9DD
Admission for the match comes in at £15/£10/£5, but if you’re not lucky enough to make the game, Imagine 104.9FM will have live commentary of the match.
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