3:00pm - SaturdaySat 2nd NovemberNov 2019
Edgeley Park | Att: 3888

Stockport County
Stockport County
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Cards hoping November will bring change in fortunes

Glen Harrington
4:52pm, Fri 1st Nov 2019
Stockport County vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 2nd November 2019

The Cards will hope to put two difficult months behind them as they travel to Stockport County this weekend – looking to finally put an end to a 13-game winless run in all competitions.

Woking were given a lesson in clinical finishing by Notts County on Tuesday evening as Alan Dowson’s side suffered what was comfortably their heaviest defeat of the season. In fact, it was only the second time all season that the Cards have been beaten by more than one goal, and whilst there were flashes of promise from the hosts, it’s hard to escape the fact that they were soundly beaten by a team who had been below them in the league table ahead of kick-off. The Cards have now dropped out of the play-off places for the first time since early August, in eighth place, although a much-needed win could propel them back into the top seven before a two-week break from league action.

Like Woking, Stockport were promoted from the sixth tier of English football last season, although they went one better by winning the National League North rather than going through the play-offs. A close-fought title battle with Chorley saw County eventually emerge as champions by a single point. Managed by club legend and former player Jim Gannon, Stockport’s promotion saw the start of a potential revival for the Hatters, who were playing in the Football League as recently as 2011 and were a Championship-level club less than 20 years ago. They’ve had a mixed start to life back in the National League with seven wins, four draws and seven defeats seeing them accumulate 25 points so far, putting them in 17th place – although the still extremely close nature of the league table means that they’re actually only three points behind Woking, whilst they also have a game in hand.

As ever, the team would really appreciate your support this weekend, so please make the journey if you can and help the boys record that long overdue victory.

Woking Team News

Dowse made two changes against Notts County as Jack Cook and Kane Ferdinand returned in place of Nathan Collier and Max Kretzschmar. It will be interesting to see whether the Woking boss makes further changes for this game or instead opts to give the players the chance to redeem themselves. More defensive-minded alternatives include midfielders Shaun Donnellan and Godfrey Poku, or more attacking options could see Toby Edser or Paul Hodges handed a start.

Stockport County Team News

The Hatters are currently on a four-match unbeaten run in the league. Last time out they held leaders Bromley to a 2-2 draw away from home. Their team for that game included regular goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe, who has been with Stockport since 2016; in defence was Sam Minihan, another player with over 100 league appearances for the club since joining from Worcester, Ash Palmer, who has previously played at this level for Guiseley, plus Jordan Keane, teenage centre-back Festus Arthur and new signing Tyler Garratt, who has played Championship football with Bolton Wanderers.

In midfield was Adam Thomas, Sam Walker, Elliot Osborne, who was previously with Fleetwood Town but joined County from Southport, and Tom Walker, a recent loanee arrival from Salford City, who like Garratt has Championship football experience with Bolton. The striker was Frank Mulhern. One man to look out for from the bench is the experienced Adam Hammill, a product of Liverpool’s academy system, who has since had spells with Barnsley, Wolves, Huddersfield and St Mirren before arriving at County on loan from Scunthorpe United earlier this year.

Last Time Out

Stockport County 2-4 Woking – FA Cup (5th November 2016)

It’s been almost three years to the day since these two sides last met – in what was Garry Hill’s final season in charge of Woking. The Cards fell behind in this one to Jimmy Ball’s early goal, before Joey Jones and Gozie Ugwu goals saw the visitors turn the game around. Ball equalised on the stroke of halftime to make it 2-2 before Ugwu and a late Fabio Saraiva strike settled the game in favour of the Cards. Despite the goals Woking keeper Brandon Hall was nominated as Man of the Match. The Cards would go on to face Accrington Stanley in round two, losing 3-0.

Our last league meetings with Stockport came in the 2012/13 season with Woking winning 2-1 away and 1-0 at home. Loick Pires and Adam Doyle scored the winning goals in the respective fixtures.

On the Day

Edgeley Park can be found on Hardcastle Road; the postcode is SK3 9DD – a drive of around four hours from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Stockport Railway Station is located half a mile away from the ground. About a ten-minute walk. There is no supporters’ coach running for this game.

Tickets can be bought in advance, online, or at the ground on the day. Prices are £18 for adults, £12 for students, £12 for those 65+, £12 for fans with a disability, £5 for those aged 6-17 and free for those under the age of five.

Next Up

With the Cards already having been eliminated from the FA Cup we have a two week break currently scheduled before our next fixture – which comes at home to FC Halifax Town.

Magic Cards pull fantastic win out of the Hatters

Alex Thrower
12:00am, Sat 2nd Nov 2019
Stockport County 1-3 Woking
MANarama National League
Saturday 2nd November

A Jake Hyde double helped Woking to a convincing victory away to Stockport on a day that saw the Cards pick up their first win since the 31st August.

On their first visit to Edgeley Park in almost three years- a 4-2 FA Cup first round win on Bonfire Night in 2016- Woking were clinical in front of goal, with Jake Hyde picking up his 8th and 9th goals of the season either side of a Dave Tarpey cross-cum-shot. This was the perfect response to the home defeat by Notts County on Tuesday night and ends a frustrating thirteen-game winless run.

There was just one change for Woking from the side who started that heavy loss, with Shaun Donnellan preferred to Mark Shelton. Craig Ross and Josh Casey continued their records of starting every game this season, at the third largest stadium in the division - smaller only than Notts County’s Meadow Lane and Halifax Town’s ‘The Shay’. As the 3,888 fans took their seats, with 94 making the 416 miles round-trip from Woking, the blustery conditions suggested this was going to be a hard-fought afternoon if either side wanted to come away with a win.

Within two minutes Jamar Loza worked the ball well down the left, but his cross was forced inches over Dave Tarpey’s head by Hinchcliffe in the Stockport goal. After that the game fell into a pattern where the ball spent longer in the air than on the ground, hardly surprising given the bogged down nature of the pitch caused by the ever-increasing rain. The home side found themselves down the right through full-back Sam Minihan - now in his fourth season with Stockport - who found Elliot Osbourne with a low cross but having done well to get it out of his feet, the number ten blasted a shot high and wide of the Woking goal.

The Cards failed to respond to this danger and just three minutes later they conceded the greatest chance Stockport would have in the first forty-five minutes. A routine long ball down the left flank went undealt with by Woking, allowing Devante Rodney- brought in on loan from Salford last month- to make a run into the box. Cutting inside a well-recovered Ben Gerring, the 21-year-old could only hit his shot into the side-netting from no more than eight yards.

If Osbourne’s shot over the bar didn’t bring a response from Woking, Rodney’s opportunity certainly did. A quickly taken 23rd minute corner went short to Loza, the on-loan Chelmsford City forward playing a delightful cross into a crowded area. Moussa Diarra rose highest- hardly surprising at 6ft 4�- the French defender seeing his header well saved by Hinchcliffe before the ball fell to Jake Hyde, who blasted his shot into the roof of the net for a Woking opener.

Now full of confidence having taken the lead, the Cards kept working the Stockport defence, with Tarpey cutting inside from the right and eventually finding himself facing the goal 20 yards out, but his rasping shot was parried well away from danger by Hinchcliffe- the former AFC Fylde keeper whose 60-yard wonder goal won the club’s 2013 Goal of the Season award.

With the sound of fireworks coming from outside Edgeley Park, tempers flared shortly before half-time, Kane Ferdinand’s late tackle seeing him lucky not to enter the referee’s book. Following that, Stockport created just one more chance in the first half, a quick counter from a Woking corner saw Osbourne again only managing to find the side-netting. With only one-minute added, the Cards went in at half-time holding a one goal advantage.

Half-time: Stockport County 0-1 Woking

Having surrendered two leads past the ninety minute-mark in the last month, Woking knew that they still had plenty to do if they wanted to keep up with the sides above them in their push for a play-off place.

Stockport got the game back running; this time shooting towards the 5,044 capacity Cheadle End, hoping to find a way back into a game which would maintain their four-game unbeaten run in the National League. As in the first half, the home side started the brighter of the two sides but good defending from the Cards saw the storm weathered without even a half-chance conceded.

In the 54th minute, Glen Rea became the only player to enter referee Steve Copeland’s book for a challenge that, while he appeared to win the ball, was from behind. Merseyside-born Copeland - officiating just his fifth National League game of the season - had a quiet afternoon from then on, with both sides being well disciplined.

Shortly after Rea’s booking, Stockport substitute Mulhern forced Diarra into a good interception from a low cross. The resulting corner was swung in by Tom Walker, with County centre-back Ash Palmer heading dangerously across the face of goal before Walker’s shot from a tight angle was hit into the side netting. The Card’s got another let-off just a few minutes later when Osborne- a constant thorn in Woking’s side- picked out an excellent low ball into the box but no County players were in the box to meet it.

As the hour-mark passed, Woking took the game to Stockport, Hyde forcing a good double save from Hinchcliffe before Donnellan went down chasing the loose ball. The half-hearted appeals for a Woking penalty were correctly not heard, but it was a sign of things to come as the Cards produced one the finest ten-minute spells of their season.

In the 71st minute, some good passing in an ever-more open midfield saw Tarpey in space on the right-hand side. Advancing to just shy of the corner of the penalty area, the 30-year-old picked out a dazzling ball into the area which beat everyone, including an advancing Jake Hyde, to hit the back post and nestle in the opposite corner. After a brief conversation with the linesman for a potentially offside Hyde, the goal was given.

Tarpey shoots.....................................and scores - pics: David Holmes

If there was some debate surrounding whether Hyde got a touch on Tarpey’s cross-cum-shot, the third goal was unequivocally the Woking top goal scorer’s. Just eight minutes after the second, the ball began to get bogged down by the now saturated pitch. This worked to Loza’s advantage, battling with Minihan down the left in order to cut inside and produce a cross of real quality. With his back to goal and a Stockport defender fighting for the ball, Hyde met the cross with a startling backwards header that dipped over Hinchcliffe and sent the travelling supporters into ecstasy.

With the win now assured, Woking sensed a famous away victory. Tarpey’s long free kick into the area was met again by Hyde, who’s bullet header was saved brilliantly by Hinchcliffe high to his right.

Chasing a first clean sheet since their 2-0 home win to Solihull Moors on August 24th, the Cards were content to stay deep and defend, an 85th minute corner leading to a shot from substitute Hammill being excellently blocked by Diarra. Just a minute later however, Woking’s defence was breached when an interception by Casey from a low cross cannoned back off the post, falling perfectly for Mulhern to tap into the Woking net with Diarra and Gerring attempting to block on the line.

As the fourth official signalled there would be four minutes added, Stockport advanced again hoping to find the most remarkable of come backs. It wasn’t to be however, as a foul wide on the left by Ferdinand led to a long stoppage with the Woking midfielder coming off worse. Having taken the momentum away from Stockport, the eventual free kick was headed a way wide by Palmer and out for a goal kick.

One late chance did fall to Rodney, a pass forward beating the Woking defence, but it was just not to be the former Hartlepool striker’s day, curling his shot wide of the left post from ten yards with Ross advancing. This proved to be the final opportunity for the home side and once the final whistle went it was clear to see what it meant to the Cards’ players, staff and supporters to be back to winning ways.

This desperately needed and richly deserved victory moves Woking level on points with Notts County and keeps them 8th, outside the play-offs merely on goal difference. For Stockport, the defeat keeps them in 17th, but in a showing of how tight the National League is so far this season, they are now six points off both the relegation zone and the play-off spots.

Next up for Woking is a tricky home National League game against Halifax Town, but this win can only bring confidence on what could prove to be a season-defining day for the Cards. A special mention must be made to the fans who made the journey up despite there not being a supporter’s coach, who out sang Stockport for a large proportion of the match.

Woking (4-4-2): 13. Craig Ross, 2. Jack Cook, 3. Joshua Casey (C), 5. Ben Gerring, 6. Moussa Diarra, 7. Dave Tarpey, 8. Kane Ferdinand, 9. Jake Hyde, 16. Shaun Donnellan, 22. Jamar Loza, 23. Glen Rea

Unused subs: 1. Sam Howes, 19. Mark Shelton, 14. Godfrey Poku, 11. Paul Hodges, 18. Ibrahim Meite

Goals: Hyde 23’, 79’, Tarpey 71’

Bookings: Rea 54’

Stockport County (4-2-3-1) 1. Ben Hinchcliffe, 2. Sam Minihan, 4. Paul Turnbull (C), 5. Ash Palmer, 7. Adam Thomas (9. Frank Mulhern 57’), 8. Sam Walker, 10. Elliot Osbourne, 18. Festus Arthur, 22. Tyler Garrett (25. Adam Hammill 69’), 26. Tom Walker (21. Ben Jackson 75’), 27. Devante Rodney

Unused subs: 6. Jordan Keane, 13. Ian Ormson,

Goals: Mulhern 86’

Referee: Steve Copeland

Attendance: 3,888 (94 away)

Man of the Match: Moussa Diarra, was a titan at the back throughout the game and played a role in the first goal - an all-round fantastic performance from the Frenchman.
Stockport County LINEUP
1Ben Hinchliffe
2Sam Minihan
22John Garratt ('68)
5Ashley Palmer
18Festus Arthur
4Paul Turnbull
8Sam Walker
7Adam Thomas ('56)
10Elliot Osborne
26Tom Walker ('75)
27Devante Rodney
13Ian Ormson
6Jordan Keane
21Ben Jackson ('75)
25Adam Hammill ('68)
9Frank Mulhern ('56)
13Craig Ross
2Jack Cook
3Josh Casey
5Ben Gerring
6Moussa Diarra
23Glen Rea
16Shaun Donnellan
8Kane Ferdinand
22Jamar Loza
7Dave Tarpey
9Jake Hyde
1Sam Howes
14Godfrey Poku
19Mark Shelton
11Paul Hodges
18Ibrahim Meite

Stockport County 1-3 Woking | Ian Dyer Interview

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