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Preview: Grimsby v Stockport

By: Sam Kinnaird
Date: 13/09/2007

STOCKPORT County visit Blundell Park looking for their second win of the season, with Town looking for their first. Anything less than three points could see the Mariners bottom of the table come Sunday morning.

Home > 2007-2008 Season > Previews > Stockport (h)

The Opposition


The plight of the last few years of Stockport County can be compared to that of Grimsby’s, having fell from the old Division One to League Two in the space of 3 seasons. The Hatters spent five seasons in Division One after Dave Jones had led them to promotion from the Second Division and the semi final of the League Cup in 1997. But Jones was lured by the manager’s vacancy at Southampton and a succession of managers starting with former England midfielder Carlton Palmer failed to relive the success of the 1990’s. Palmer could not prevent the Hatters’ relegation in 2002, but vowed to build a squad capable of bouncing straight back the following season. The season did not live up to expectations and Palmer was replaced by Sammy McIlroy who was as unsuccessful as his predecessor. He was replaced a year later by Chris Turner who had previously managed Hartlepool and Sheffield Wednesday. By this time Stockport were in financial meltdown and bottom of the league, Turner failed to keep them up and they finished bottom with just 26 points. Having been relegated to League Two the club was bought by its fans, they again struggled and a 6-0 thrashing at rivals Macclesfield signalled the end for Turner who resigned the following day, leaving the club five points adrift at the foot of the table. Former player and local hero Jim Gannon took the reigns and lost just one of his first ten games, eventually keeping Stockport up on the final day. Last season was also a remarkable one, at one stage County won nine games on the bounce without conceding, but missed out on the play-offs on goal difference despite winning 5-0 at Darlington in the final game.

This Season
With expectations for this season high, Jim Gannon (above) looked to have made some shrewd summer signings to strengthen the squad. Midfielder Dominic Blizzard signed on a free from League Two rivals MK Dons, and £40,000 was spent on fellow midfielder Gary Dicker from Irish Club UCD. Other summer signings included Gareth Owen, Chris Adamson and Matty McNeil (left). However County have not made the start most people expected, they beat new boys Dagenham on the opening day and Tranmere 1-0 in the Carling Cup, draws against Chesterfield and Rotherham followed. The Hatters came from 2-0 down to winning 3-2 away at Championship side Charlton only to lose 4-3 to a stoppage time winner, and were then beaten 4-2 at Mansfield Town. Their last game was a 1-1 draw at home to rivals Shrewsbury.

Key Player
Ashley Williams. 23 year old defender came through the ranks at Edgeley Park and has made nearly 150 appearances so far for the club. The arrival of Jim Gannon at the club game him a fresh impetus and he became the mainstay of the defence that went 9 games without conceding a goal early this year. Apparent interest from Everton and Wolves led to him signing a new two year contract in the summer, after a 6 figure offer was made by an un-named championship side. Before signing the contract many expected him to move on having been named player of the year the previous season, and with Stockport just missing out on a play-off place. He is a defender who is said to be confident on the ball and often looks to play the ball out of defence.

Recent Form

WHuddersfield (JPT)(h)4-1
Currently 23rd in League Two.
LCharlton (CC)(a)3-4
Currently 14th in League Two.

Top Scorers

Ciaran Toner2
Paul Bolland2

Team News


  • Nick Hegarty will be unavailable having been sent out on a month’s loan to York City.

  • Defender Ryan Bennett could return to a defence that shipped 4 goals at Accrington, and Alan Buckley will probably revert back to 4-4-2.

  • If he does, one of James Hunt and Danny Boshell are likely to make way for either Danny North, Gary Jones or Andy Taylor.
  • Fresh from gaining his Uefa Pro License, manager Jim Gannon has no new injury worries ahead of the game.
  • Probable Teams




    Head to Head

    There have been 67 meetings between the sides in all competitions, with Town shading the wins column. The Mariners have won 28 of the games, with Stockport winning 23, and there have been 16 draws.

    P 67 W 28 16 L 23 102 A 85

    Stockport Head-to-Head (36th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Stockport 3-0 Grimsby (Saturday 30th December 2006)

    Stockport continued their rise up the table with a comfortable 3-0 win which was almost decided in the opening minutes. An error from Town keeper Phil Barnes put County 1-0 up before a number of curious decisions were given by the referee and the linesmen including the decision to send Nick Fenton for apparently handling in the box. Although he missed the penalty, Liam Dickinson made amends with a volley minutes later. The Hatters wrapped up the points when Michael Malcolm struck home with 12 minutes remaining.



    Mariners 3-1 Stockport

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