Tag Archives: stockport county

Bury Stave Off Administration for Now, Curzon Ashton Boss Mark Bradshaw Talks Cup Chances, Rochdale Making Improvements

This is the EFL and Below Show, your look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson of the Football Manc Cave for this week’s podcast.

Bury have struggled off the pitch in recent weeks as financial worries surround the club – is there a light at the end of the tunnel at Gigg Lane?

Curzon Ashton manager Mark Bradshaw chats to us as the Nash chase Manchester Premier Cup success for the first time since 1990.

We reflect on Salford’s promotion ambitions and Rochdale’s chances of safety in League One.

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Acast – https://play.acast.com/s/eflandbelowshow/manchesterfootballsocial-eflandbelowshow-burystaveoffadministrationfornowcurzonashtongaffermarkbradshawtalkscupchances-rochdalemakingimprovements

Itunes – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/manchester-football-social-efl-below-show-bury-stave/id1449475076?i=1000434701033


Two Key Fixtures That Could Halt Curzon’s Push To Their Highest League Finish

With only seven fixtures left, we are really getting into the business end of the season for the Nash.

There is still a great chance of Curzon Ashton beating their previous highest league finish of 11th in the 2105/16 season, but if they are going to they really can’t afford to be dropping points.

There are a few difficult games in this run in and the stand out one’s for me are both away fixtures.

The first of these is against AFC Telford, who like a lot of teams in this division started strongly, and then have started to wobble a bit. However, their home form is good, and while their defence can be a bit questionable, they are more than capable of finding the back of the net, only failing to score in two games all season.

This could prove problematic for Curzon, who have struggled with their defence at points this season. It could be a high scoring game, which is good for the neutral! However, the Nash will need to make sure they keep things tight, and not make the mistakes they were making earlier in the season where they were scoring and playing well up front, but letting in a few too many easy goals at the back.


The penultimate game of the season for Curzon is likely to be one of the toughest of the season, against the once mighty Stockport. They have been in flying form this season, and playing them away so close to the end of the season while they are pushing hard for automatic promotion will not be an easy fixture. They have looked dominant in several of their games this season, and comfortably put two past Curzon back in November, Curzon need to be at their absolute best to try and stop this freight train and this looks like the one fans most need to worry about.

This fixture, I imagine is local for many Curzon fans, so if you can get down, do! It’s a huge important fixture and it’s so important to get behind the team!

Jim Gannon’s Barmy Army Continue To Show Promotion Credentials

On my first visit to Edgeley Park, I instantly got the feel how Stockport County is a much bigger club than their current National League North status suggests.

It was a huge match for County, as they hosted unbeaten in seven Spennymoor. With Stockport being on an unbeaten streak themselves in all competitions stretching back 21 matches, it was always going to be a tight affair between the sides.

The match in the first half was on a knife-edge, you knew one goal would secure the three points – it was that close, albeit Spennymoor did have the better of the chances in the first half.

Matty Warburton was at his creative best and looked really fired up for the match, which transcended throughout the team. Sam Minihan never stopped running up and down the right-hand side flank, alongside man of the match and match winner Sam Walker, whose long-range free kick 20 minutes from time gave the home side the three points.

A National League North record crowd of 6311 spurred the home side to victory, the atmosphere was one that, you got a sense of County are going up, that it was their year. They are the front runners, despite being second at the time of writing.

They’re very much the horse in second place throughout the race behind a leader who has led from the start, and then the leader starts to run out of gas near the final hurdles – and here come County on the outside edging ever closer, to eventually overtake and win the race.

A win over Boston United tomorrow night will see the Hatters take pole position, and it’s very hard to see them drop any lower. With 12 matches to play and a tie against Chorley three matches from the end of the season, it would be very much in their own hands.

The crowd were amazing throughout and really were the 12th man County needed in this must-win game. The reception at the final whistle erupted around the ground. The fans and players alike, both come across as they know this is their long-awaited chance of promotion and a step closer to where they belong in the football league.

For far too long the Hatters have been sleeping giants, and it’s fantastic to see them finally wake up in spectacular fashion under Jim Gannon.

Photo Credit: mphotographic.co.uk



AWAY FANS SERIES: We Caught Up With Not-so-Local Fan Akito, Who’s Looking To Bring a Bit of Stockport County To Japan

The Football Manc Cave caught wind of a thread inside a Facebook fan group. Akito hailing from Tokyo, Japan is trying to bring awareness of Greater Manchester team Stockport County – Who are flying in the National League North – by creating his own Japanese fan group.

I couldn’t fly over to Japan for a live interview, unfortunately, and with Akito explaining to me his English is not the best, we opted for a written Q&A to highlight probably the worlds most unlikeliest Stockport County fan…

Ian: Akito, tell me about how you started supporting Stockport County?

Akito: It all started in about 2011~2012, I like FIFA. I was playing Fifa 11 and used Stockport County in Career mode, from there I developed a special attachment to Stockport County. For that reason, I checked out Stockport County on YouTube and I realized that I love Stockport County!

Ian: Being from Japan, do you manage to catch many games on the internet?

Akito: I use the Stockport County Official Twitter page, Facebook, HP and Goal Live for my updates. I can see the match only through the Stockport County official YouTube channel uploaded match highlights.

Ian: Have you been fortunate enough to visit Edgeley Park?

Akito: No, I’m a university student here in Japan so I don’t have much money, but I’ll be sure to go to Edgeley Park in the future.

Ian: You told me you are looking to start a Japanese Stockport County Fan Group, have you managed to recruit many County fans?

Akito: Yes, a Japanese Stockport County fan group, I know of 3 people including me. The two people became a fan through my influence, one of them actually went to Stockport and bought me the Stockport County home shirt.

This is a precious keepsake.

Ian: What are your thoughts on this season?

Akito: I was a little uneasy at first, however when Stockport County won at Yeovil Town I got very excited! I believe Stockport County have to league champions!!

Ian: Are you hoping to get over to the UK to catch a live match?

Akito: I don’t know when I can go Stockport, but I know I have to go Stockport. Also, I hope that I can see live video match on the internet from Japan soon.

Ian: Good luck Akito, and thank you for your time.

The Tales Of Being a Ground-Hopper

I was bought up a dyed in the wool Manchester City fan, through thick and thin, from relegations to centurions, however, I also consider myself a Curzon Ashton fan, and have family ties to Sunderland AFC and Scunthorpe United. I have had a lot of ELF and non-league away days.

The main joys of the leagues are the eccentricities of the places and the grounds you visit. Luton, walking through a terraced house to get to the away end. Yorks bathroom facilities overlooking peoples gardens, the Stadium of light and its sweetshop-cum-nightclub as you walk from town to the ground, and so many more.

I have lost so many hours to researching the likes of North Ferriby, Grimsby and Morecambe. I have got inordinately lost trying to find Bower Fold. “I know all of Tameside like the back of my hand” I once proudly proclaimed. It turned out I do not.

I’ve said it before and I will reiterate, you will go to so many more interesting places once you drop out of the Premier League. I don’t want to spend £60 on a Pendolino to go to watch Chelsea. I will however happily wonder “where on earth is this place” looking at a teams name, and waste close to an entire weekend traipsing over there, probably with a slight existential crisis stuck in motorway traffic along the way. Don’t add up how much you spend on petrol and trains on these excursions. You could probably book yourself an all-inclusive break somewhere significantly more desirable than Nottingham.

You can have some great days out without leaving the home comforts of the Greater Manchester area too. Broadhurst park has a remarkable atmosphere for football of that level, attracting thousands to every game, and singing the whole game through. Stockport County, as you would expect from a team with their history, have a huge ground, tucked away down a terraced street, and adverts in the toilets stating if you buy a funeral with a local provider you get a free county shirt.

Salford City, perched on the top of a hill in Kersal with its sloping pitch and rapid development is worth going to now before they inevitably need to relocate. Oldham’s ground remains quite literally the coldest place I have ever been to, and Macclesfield’s ground (stretching the boundaries of Greater Manchester here, but it’s about a tenner on the train) is as old as time and utter beauty.

Sure you don’t have Aguero playing for Bury and Rashford kicking about for Altrincham, but there is a charm of following your team away in the leagues and National League, you might find yourself wondering if you will die of exposure stuck in stationary traffic on the A1 but also you will see the same die-hard faces every week, you’ll go to some hilariously cheap pubs, you’ll get unforgivably lost in Middlesborough, and go to a lot of seaside towns.

Make a resolution to go to a game or two away this season, you won’t regret it.

Is This Former Rochdale Man The Key To Jim Gannon’s Promotion Plan Starting With Blyth Tonight

Jim Gannon is enjoying his third spell at Stockport County and it seems that it may be third time lucky for the former Hatter’s player. 

County are currently enjoying an eleven match unbeaten across all competitions. This has hoisted them to within four points of the playoff places, with games in hand – one of which is against 16th placed Blyth Spartans tonight.

Many believe this current crop is one of the best seen in a long time at Edgeley Park and could do better than last years playoff quarter-final defeat to Chorley.

One of the reasons behind the recent success is the contribution of new signing Nyal Bell, the former Rochdale striker has a point to prove in the North West. With four goals and six assists, he’s looking like the final piece of the 4-2-3-1 jigsaw for Jim Gannon.

At 21 year old, Bell has already had a plethora of experience which has seen him play for eight clubs from loan moves to transfers. However, all that seems to be coming together for the Stockport lad playing for his hometown. Bell will be looking to add to his stats further and help the Hatters make it 12 unbeaten, as they start to build some real momentum heading towards the crazy winter months.

Stockport fans, what do you think?


Are National League North’s Sleeping Giants Finally Waking Up

Many people might be forgiven to have forgotten about Stockport County following thier decline for the old first division (now the EFL Championship) to The National League North through the 2000’s.

Stockport in the mid to late 90’s reached thier peak finishing eighth, two places off the old first division playoffs (thier highest to date) and reaching a League Cup semi-final, eventually getting beat off Middlesborough 2-1.

As the 2000’s hit, Stockport’s troubles started and the slow decline down the English tiers developed, despite a glimmer of hope in 2008. A constant turnover of managers and owners played havoc with The Hatters on-field presence in the League, eventually finding themselves in the National League North in 2013.

Five years on and Jim Gannon’s third spell at the club is seemingly lucky. The Hatters currently sit 10th in the League and into the second round of the FA Cup.

Stockport are currently on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions and there’s a feeling that this current squad of growing confidence game by game.

County face three teams in and around them in the coming weeks and the right results could see Stockport going into the new year on a real roll and a chance to realising their dream of returning to the Football League by 2020.

Is Gannon’s third spell finally the one to awake the giants or, are the years of upheaval going to take some time to iron out, we’ll see in the coming months.

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