Elsewhere in the National League North, Alfreton Town continue to strengthen for the new season with the re-signing of Brad McGowan, their 2017 player of the year.
Chorley fans will also be pleased with the news of Jake Cottrell signing for a further season, the midfielder now enters his fifth season at the Lancashire club and has made more than 200 appearances for The Magpies.
Finally, highly rated Shrewsbury striker, Ethan Jones, has decided to sign for Southport, despite interest from a number of clubs. The 19-year-old has cited game time as the main reason for his move to The Sandgrounders.
The Hatters’ recent match against Chorley may have been a source of frustration for many County fans, with The Magpies just about clinging on to a point as they left Edgeley Park that day. But for Tom and Daniel, the guys behind the Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game blog, it was a chance to experience another lower-league atmosphere as neutrals, as they travel up and down the country.
“Jim Gannons blue white army” sing the fans, to the rhythm of a drum behind us. He changes beat and with it so does the song “Edgeley, Edgeley, we’re the famous Stockport County and we come from Edgeley”, once again he changes and the fans around us, lots of them kids, fall almost into a hypnotic trance, “blue army, blue army” they repeat, over and over.
The two provide a funny, insightful and refreshing view of what it’s like to come to Edgeley Park as a neutral football fan. You can catch their blog about the day by clicking here. Or take a look at their video of the day below.
Follow the guys on their travels by giving them a like on social media:
County were held to a 0-0 draw against 4th place Chorley FC in Saturday’s game at Edgeley Park, a result which sees Jim Gannon’s men remain in 6th position.
In a game where chances were few and far between, County had the upper-hand for the majority in the first half, with Connor Hampson forcing a good save out of substitute goalkeeper Brannagan and Jimmy Ball firing just wide. Chorley, on the other hand, were restricted to attempts from 25+ yards out and Hinchliffe was equal to their only shot on target in the 27th minute.
HT: County 0-0 Chorley
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first, and County remained in control of the game without threatening the Chorley goal too much. Hampson had another shot saved and Marsden had a shot blocked.
The lack of clear cut chances were down in part to Magpies defender Keiran Charnock, who was lucky not to be sent off on a number of occasions before he eventually was, the former County defender first tripped substitute Kaine Felix with the winger through on goal, then upended the same player on the edge of the box, before finally receiving his marching orders for cynically taking down an advancing Sefton Gonzales in the 91st minute.
Jimmy Ball fired the resulting free-kick just wide and the much-maligned referee ended the game shortly after. The result sees County sit four points behind Chorley and along with a couple of other favourable results at the weekend, sees County sit right in the mix for those coveted top five placings.
The Hatters take on Chorley at Edgeley Park this weekend in a match that could see County move back into the play-off positions on the Vanarama National League North.
County were without the industrious Sam Minihan last week as the right-back suffered with a groin injury, but Gannon is hoping the former Rochdale scholar will be back in contention this weekend and could replace Mark Ross in defence or Courtney Meppen-Walters in midfield.
In attack, Josh Amis, Kayode Odejayi and Sefton Gonzales are all in contention to lead the line up front, it’s likely that Gannon will choose between Josh Amis, who caused the Magpies trouble in the reverse early this year, and new signing Sefton Gonzales, who actually played for Chorley at Victory Park against the Hatters.
In three attempts, County have never beaten Chorley at Edgeley Park. In fact since relegation to the NLN, we’ve only scored once against the Lancashire side at home, a Jake Kirby strike from 20 yards last season.
More recently, County have been more fortunate, a Ben Hinchliffe assist and a Danny Lloyd goal meant that 1000 County fans earlier this year saw a first victory over The Magpies.
That game was our last victory before a tricky November month, which saw County win one match in seven.Since then, however, County have lost only one league game, which came last week in an away defeat to Kidderminster Harriers.
At Edgeley Park, The Hatters are actually unbeaten since the unfortunate 2-1 defeat to Bradford Park Avenue 4 months ago, a game in which Danny Lloyd hit the bar from the penalty spot, an opportunity that would have seen his side go 2-0 up.
Chorley in 2017 have been indifferent and unpredictable. Out of a possible nine games this year they have won four matches, with only one of those coming on the road. Out of the current top six, they look the most likely to be caught by County after a struggle for consistency since Christmas. They have, however, won their last two matches in the league against Alfreton and Kidderminster and will no doubt be dangerous tomorrow.
The game will no doubt be a popular one tomorrow and is arguably more important than the FC United match a fortnight ago. Chorley are travelling in numbers and their official coach services have sold out in anticipation of the game. Expect 400+ Chorley supporters to make the trip and another potential 4000+ crowd when you take the Blue & White Army into account.
Tickets can be purchased on the day and cost £15/£10/£5 respectively. The club have advised supporters to turn up early to beat the queues or to use the cash turnstiles in operation at the Cheadle End and Danny Begara stands.
It’s that time of year again, where social media and fan forums go into overdrive at the thought of a potential new signing or former player returning. We’ve rounded up a few of the rumours we’ve heard over the past few days.
Just been released by Oldham and there are some out there who believe he could want to come back and play under Jim & Lordy in a lower division with more of a guarantee of a starting XI place. Besides the former County and Alan Lord connection, it’s a totally unfounded rumour at the moment so don’t expect Rhys to walk through the doors any time soon.
Currently at Scunthorpe, the 18 year old goalkeeper has recently started following County on twitter. The youngster has been with the Irons since 2009 and is now a regular in the academy squad for the league 1 side. Despite the recent follow on Twitter, there’s been no solid evidence of interest from either party regarding the move.
Sam Ashton, James Dean and Courtney Meppen-Walter:
The trio for Chorley have all ‘apparently’ been approached by County boss Jim Gannon, illegally, according to Matt Jansen the Chorley boss. County deny outright any wrong-doing. But this won’t be going away just yet and if any of the three Chorley players mentioned above decide to join the Hatters, expect sh*t to hit the fan.
If we’re looking for positives, then it has to be that we finally managed to score against Chorley. And that’s progress. However, if we’re looking for negatives, and there was plenty of them, then we can say that in 4 occasions we still haven’t managed to lose to Chorley by less than 2 goals margin.
I’d write a match report, but nobody would want to read it, so here’s the stats instead: