NLN Round-up: Fagbola extends FC United stay

Former County defender, Jordan Fagbola, has extended his stay at FC United after signing a one year contract with the Moston-based club.

The 23-year-old defender, who spent four years at County under a number of different managers, joined the club in January of this year after a short stint at Solihull Moors.

Fagbola started the last eight matches in a row for FCUM, and his performances in the latter part of the season were enough to earn the former Rochdale defender a 12 month contract.

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.

2016/17 NLN Average Attendances

We compiled data from a number of different websites including football web pages and The Linnets to determine a list of average attendances for the 2016/2017 season.

Notable mentions should include AFC Fylde, who improved their attendance by 275% on last season and Salford City, who achieved 117% improvement on their 2015/16 attendance.

County can also be pleased with a 12% jump whilst the FC United hierarchy may be worred with a 21% drop in support last season.

  1. Stockport County – 3,477
  2. FC United of Manchester – 2,660
  3. FC Halifax Town – 2,156
  4. AFC Fylde – 1,961
  5. Kidderminster Harriers – 1,837
  6. Darlington 1883 – 1,739
  7. Chorley – 1,454
  8. Salford City – 1,430
  9. AFC Telford United – 1,182
  10. Altrincham – 1,149
  11. Boston United – 1,081
  12. Harrogate Town – 901
  13. Tamworth – 825
  14. Worcester City – 636
  15. Nuneaton Town – 626
  16. Gainsborough Trinity – 612
  17. Stalybridge – 569
  18. Alfreton Town – 546
  19. Gloucester City – 483
  20. Bradford Park Avenue – 453
  21. Brackley Town – 427
  22. Curzon Ashton – 405

In addition, the teams that were relegated/promoted to the league had the following average attendances:

  • York City – 2,558
  • North Ferriby United – 615
  • Southport – 1,140
  • Blyth Spartans – 648
  • Spennymoor Town – 623

 

Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game – Stockport Visit

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:

Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

County 0-0 Chorley

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. 

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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.

Over 4,000 saw the match at Edgeley Park last weekend


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.

FT: County  0-0 Chorley

Starting XI: Hinchliffe, Ross, Hampson, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley, Minihan, Ball, Gonzales, Marsden (Felix, 57), Lloyd.

Unused Subs: Ormson, Meppen-Walters, Odejayi, Duxbury.

Man of the Match: Danny Lloyd.

Attendance: 4,073

 

Match Preview: Stockport County vs Chorley

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. 

Chorley_fc

Team news: 

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.

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Previously: 

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.

Form: 

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.

Table: 

table
County could go a point behind The Magpies with a victory this weekend, whilst bettering Halifax’s result would see County move into the play-offs, temporarily at least. 

Tickets: 

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.

More information on Chorley, click here.

Predict in the Everything Hatters prediction league here.

Player statistics for 2016/17 can be found here.

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Transfer Rumours: Weekly Round Up

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.

Rhys Turner: 

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.

rhys-turner-4x343-971797_478x359

Ben Ledger: 

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.

County 1-3 Chorley

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:

County 1-3 Chorley


Scorers: Kirby (41)

Starting XI: Ormson, Tonge, Roberts, Connolly, Killock, Cham (Garvin, 63), Baggie (Coban, 63), Montrose (sent off), Odejayi, Evans (Robinson, 70), Kirby.

Unused Subs: Hurst, Ellison

Att: 3,408

Prediction League: 

It’s always easy to go through and update the league when County lose, because not many seem to predict it. There were a few correct attendances and scorelines though, so here’s the updated table:

Top 10

Rank Name Score
1 Andy Mills 80
2 Paul Mottershead 50
3 Vic Simon 48
4 Chris Mills 47
5 Matthew Standing 45
6 Paul Plummer 41
7 Patrick Knowles 39
8 Alan Gilmour 39
9 Darran Moores 39
10 Aaron Kirk 35

See the full table here