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PREVIEW | STOCKPORT COUNTY

A look ahead at tonight’s Sky Bet League Two opponents Stockport

13 September 2022

Club News

PREVIEW | STOCKPORT COUNTY

A look ahead at tonight’s Sky Bet League Two opponents Stockport

13 September 2022

THE MANAGER - Dave Challinor

A former County captain, Challinor played for the Club between 2002-2004 as a centre-half, and had successful spells at Tranmere and Bury as a player. Since stepping into management, Challinor has forged a successful career throughout the lower divisions, with five previous promotions to his name. He was transferred to Stockport County for a fee of £120,000 in January 2002.

On 11 November 2019, Challinor was appointed manager of National League side Hartlepool United. In his first full season in charge, Challinor guided Hartlepool to a 4th placed finish and a place in the National League play-offs. In the play-off eliminator, Hartlepool defeated Bromley 3–2, scoring three goals in seven first-half minutes before Bromley scored two in the second half, ultimately proving to not be enough.

In the semi-final, they travelled to Stockport County where Rhys Oates scored with fifteen minutes left to book Hartlepool's place in the final. On 20 June 2021, Hartlepool faced Torquay United in the play-off final at Ashton Gate Stadium. After Luke Armstrong gave Hartlepool the lead in the first half, Torquay goalkeeper Lucas Covolan scored a last-minute equaliser to take the match to extra-time. Despite both sides missing their first two penalties, Hartlepool eventually won the shootout 5–4, returning to the Football League for the first time since their relegation in 2017.

In the 2021/22 season, Challinor left Hartlepool to join Stockport County, who were playing in the National League. Challinor rewarded County’s faith in their former player by securing promotion back to the Football League. Challinor’s county won the National League title by six points, seeing off fierce competition from Wrexham, who made a late surge for the title after their takeover.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Paddy Madden

A well respected and recognised name across the EFL, striker Paddy Madden has scored an impressive 193 career goals in less than 600 appearances with over 100 goals at League One level. Former clubs include Fleetwood, Scunthorpe and Yeovil, with the Irishman landing at Stockport in March 2021. 

Madden led the line for the Hatters last season as they were crowned National League champions. His tally of 23 league goals saw him named in the Vanarama Team Of The Season as well as picking up both the Player Of The Season and Players Player Of The Season awards at Edgeley Park.

With a history of scoring goals against Crawley, Reds’ fans will be hoping for an off night at The Broadfield this evening,

Will Collar

Those with a knowledge of Sussex football may be aware of Stockport’s Will Collar - The Horsham born midfielder spent over a decade in the youth ranks at Brighton and Hove Albion including a senior appearance in the Carabao Cup. Departing the south coast in the summer of 2019, Collar signed for Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academical where he made 22 appearances scoring once. 

His next move brought him back to England to team up with his former Seagull's youth boss and ex Crawley midfielder Simon Rusk at Stockport. Following the appointment of current manager Dave Challinor, Collar was transformed into an attacking threat for the Hatters. Instrumental last season, the 25 year old found the target on nine occasions in the league, including scoring the 2nd and final goal of the campaign in a 2-0 win over FC Halifax to help Stockport secure promotion and a return to the Football League for the first time in 11 years gaining promotion as National League Champions.

Macaulay Southam-Hales

Defender Macauley Southam-Hales is a product of the Cardiff City youth system, spending 12 years in the capital before dropping into non league with Barry Town. The 26 year old got a move back into the EFL signing for Fleetwood Town in 2019, heading out on loan to Hartlepool United later that season. 

The Welsh wing-back joined County in 2020 where he quickly established himself as a fans favourite with his driving runs down the right hand side. Another key component of Challinor's title winning side, Southam-Hales has already shown his quality in League Two this season registering two assists in five appearances.

FORM GUIDE

In the lead up to tonight’s game, Stockport have had an underwhelming start to the season, after being many people’s tip to win the title. They currently sit 18th in the League Two table after achieving seven points after seven games.

County have scored eight goals so far this season and have conceded 10, the same number as Crawley. Challinor’s side picked up a crucial win over AFC Wimbledon in their last league game, 1-0. This lifted them away from the relegation zone after they went five games without a win in all competitions.

Stockport’s other league win was a 1-0 win at home over Colchester United, with Kyle Wootton netting his only goal of the season so far. County defeated Harrogate 0-1 in the opening round of the Carabao Cup, but were knocked out in the second round after a brilliant effort against Leicester, the Premier League side were victorious on penalties.

Stockport started the season with two unexpected defeats to Stevenage and Barrow, sides who are right up at the top of the table after seven games, despite being tipped to finish near the bottom.

HOW THEY BET*

Crawley: 11/4

Draw: 12/5

Stockport: 19/20

*Odds correct at time of writing from league betting partners Sky Bet. Please gamble responsibly.


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