Non-league Matters: Life after Jim Gannon starts with a superb win for Stockport County

By Matt Simpson & Ross McLean

Bad weather wreaked havoc across the lower reaches of English football, with many games called off, but two matches involving Greater Manchester teams survived.

Managerless Stockport County moved out of the Blue Square Premier relegation zone with a vital win over fourth-placed Forest Green Rovers at Edgeley Park.

Goals from Sean Newton and Jon Nolan sealed a 2-1 victory for the hosts in their first game following Jim Gannon’s departure.

With only minutes of the first-half remaining, defender Newton lashed home a free-kick after striker Connor Jennings was brought down 25 yards out.

And only three minutes into the second-half, the lead was doubled when Jennings played Nolan through to finish from close range.

Substitute Reece Styche superbly replied for the visitors, but it was not enough as County saw out the final half hour to hold onto a precious three points.

Unfortunately, Stalybridge Celtic could not replicate the result as they went down 4-1 to the Blue Square North’s runaway leaders Chester at the Exacta Stadium.

The table-toppers were three goals up at half-time after Nathan Jarman, George Horan and Marc Williams tore through the visitors – without keeper Alex Cairns through suspension.

Jack Laird replied for Stalybridge, but a second-half comeback failed to materialise before Wes Baynes secured the win in the dying minutes leaving the Celts seventh.

Hyde’s home game with Cambridge United was called off, but the Tigers did play a hastily arranged friendly against AFC Fylde on an indoor pitch at Preston College.

A goal from Luke Ashworth and a Scott Spencer double were enough for the Blue Square Premier side to secure a 3-3 draw in an end-to-end match.

Hyde will be hoping this run out was good preparation as they travel to third-placed Grimsby Town on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere, in the Blue Square North, Droylsden’s trip to Colwyn Bay and Altrincham’s home game with Solihull Moors did not survive the freezing conditions.

Hopefully the weather will improve by Tuesday, when Altrincham are scheduled to play Boston United at Moss Lane in a game postponed from December.

There was a blank programme throughout the Evo-Stik League with each and every game called off due to the bad weather.

Clubs in the league were given special dispensation to postpone matches from midday on Friday.

With weather warnings in place, the specially implemented measures were intended to ease the strain on clubs and travelling fans.

This week’s midweek action sees Curzon Ashton host Burscough in a Doodson Sport Cup second round tie on Monday evening.

Radcliffe Borough take on in-form New Mills at Stainton Park in a Evo-Stik League Division One (North) fixture on Tuesday night.

Wednesday sees to a return to cup action for two of our sides as Ashton United entertain FC United of Manchester in a Doodson Sport Cup third round match.

Picture courtesy of, with thanks.

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