Sport

Non-League Matters: Manager-less Stockport County look to return to winning ways… weather permitting

By Matt Davies

All of Manchester’s non-league teams are due to be in action this weekend, but with snow falling across the region, many of the fixtures could fall foul of the weather.

Here, MM takes a peak at the match-ups due to go ahead this weekend, assuming the ice, rain and snow don’t play their part.

Blue Square Bet Premier

Stockport County v Forest Green Rovers

Stockport County welcome Forest Green Rovers to Edgeley Park, looking to turn around their fortunes after manager Jim Gannon was sacked on Tuesday.

The board acted immediately after the club’s 3-1 home defeat to Mansfield Town, leaving Gannon’s old assistant Alan Lord to take charge of this encounter.

County have won just seven games this campaign, and one of their last nine games, a run of form which ultimately led to Stockport legend Gannon’s departure.

Since entering the Blue Square Bet Premier, County have not fared well against Rovers, taking just a point from three previous meetings.

The club can be boosted this week by the news that Ryan McKnight will take up the position of Chief Executive at the club from February onwards.

McKnight has ten years’ experience in the football industry and will continue to act as Chief Executive of the World Football Academy alongside his County role.

His role at the academy has involved working with the managerial expertise of former Holland coach Guus Hiddink and Gary Speed’s assistant with Wales, Raymond Verheijen.

He joins Stockport aiming to turn around their fortunes after the club slipped into the relegation zone, and is very much looking forward to the challenge.

Following his appointment, McKnight said he intends to move the club forward, and away from the way it has been run in past seasons.

“What’s happened here at Stockport has been horrendous mismanagement over the years and completely unnecessary” he told the club’s website.

However, McKnight fully intends to implement a new philosophy to the way the club is run and is highly ambitious when it comes to what the club can achieve.

“We can be equal to what they are doing down the road at City or down the road at United in the areas where resources are concerned and that is exactly what we are going to do,” he said.

A pitch inspection is planned for 8:30am on Saturday morning ahead of this encounter.

Hyde v Cambridge United

Hyde host Cambridge with the visitors well-placed to make an assault on the play-off places in the second half of the season.

The Tigers have excelled in their debut season in the BSB Premier and face a United side who sit six places above them in eighth.

A defeat last time out to Nuneaton ended a run of nine games unbeaten for Cambridge while Hyde look for a first victory of 2013 which has eluded them to date.

 

Blue Square Bet North

Altrincham v Solihull Moors

Altrincham welcome Solihull to Moss Lane, looking to extend their run of five games unbeaten in the BSB North.

Alty are among the top scorers in the division and can further consolidate a playoff place after drawing 0-0 with promotion rivals Worcester City last time out.

The Moors are three points behind the Robins, and unbeaten in 12 league games, with Alty yet to register a win from three previous meetings.

Chester v Stalybridge Celtic

Stalybridge make the trip to face runaway leaders Chester, with the hosts 13 points clear at the top of BSB North.

Celtic went down 2-1 to Corby Town in their last game, despite Kristian Platt netting his second in as many games, just their second defeat in the last seven.

Stalybridge are just outside the play-offs, but have played more games than all the teams around them, while they were comprehensively beaten by Chester when the sides met in September.

Colwyn Bay v Droylsden

Droylsden travel to Colwyn Bay on the back of six consecutive defeats, and are eight points and two places behind their opponents.

The Bloods won the return fixture 2-0 earlier in the season but only bottom club Hinckley have a worse defensive record than Dave Pace’s side.

Droylsden have conceded 61 goals and won just three times all season, three fewer than fellow strugglers Colwyn Bay.

 

The best of the rest

A number of our sides in the Evo-Stik League will be firing up the engines this weekend ahead of testing away trips.

There are no home comforts in the Premier Division as FC United of Manchester head to Frickley Athletic and Ashton United make the trip to Marine.

The away form of both clubs eclipses that on home soil so hitting the road should hold no fear for either team.

In Evo-Stik League Division One (North), Steve Halford’s Mossley will look to hold onto top-spot when they entertain Farsley at Seel Park.

Hot on the Lilywhites’ heels are in-form Trafford who head to Stade France to take on Ossett Town.

Play-off chasing Ramsbottom United make the trip to Valerie Park where Prescot Cables lie in wait, with Radcliffe Borough heading in a similar direction to play Burscough.

Also on their travels are Curzon Ashton with John Flanagan’s men at Irongate to face Bamber Bridge.

New Mills host struggling Goole while Salford City play Shaun Reid’s Warrington Town at Cantilever Park.

Picture courtesy of jaholland, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles