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Match Preview: Swindon Town v Stockport County

Look ahead to today's league clash back at home

11 November 2023

Club News

Match Preview: Swindon Town v Stockport County

Look ahead to today's league clash back at home

11 November 2023

Town will be looking to response from their recent results as they are set to host table toppers Stockport County today.

Stockport County have enjoyed one of their best starts to a league season in the club’s history.

County has enjoyed an 11-league game unbeaten streak with 10 of those being wins and only a single draw.

Due to their recent form, they sit five points clear at the top of the League 2 season.

A lowdown on the visitors:

Established in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, in 1890 the name was changed to Stockport County to reflect the town gaining County Borough status.

After winning the Lancashire League in 1900, the County gained admittance to the Football League, drawing their first match 2-2 away to Leicester Fosse (now Leicester City).

After finishing in the bottom three in their first four seasons, County failed to gain re-election in 1904 and so spent a season in the Lancashire Combination
County won the League for the first time of asking and made an immediate return to the professional ranks.

Joining the League meant the club soon outgrew their ground and in 1902, they moved south of the River Mersey to Edgeley Park, then home of Stockport RLFC and Stockport have played there ever since.

The club stayed in the 4th Division doldrums until the turn of the 90s when Uruguayan manager Danny Bergara turned the Hatters into regular top-of-the-table challengers.

Promotion came in 1991 and was followed by four visits to Wembley in two years – twice in playoff finals, twice in the Football League Trophy.

Unfortunately for The Hatters, they failed to win on each trip to London.

Following Bergara’s departure in 1995, Dave Jones took charge and gave the club its most memorable season.

In 1996/97, the Hatters won four games against Premiership opposition, including a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough in the League Cup semi-final.

Other runs in the FA Cup and League Trophy meant County played almost 70 games that season and finished 2nd in the Second Division.

After Jones departed for Southampton, the County consolidated in the First Division until relegation in 2002. What followed was a largely downward spiral back to the bottom division.

In came former player Jim Gannon as manager, who led the team to a remarkable run of form and, with an incredibly tense 0-0 draw on the final day against Carlisle, eventual safety.

This was followed by a promotion push in 2006/07 when County memorably set a new professional record of 9 consecutive wins without conceding.

But promotion was just out of touch, with a playoff place being denied by Bristol Rovers in the dying minutes of the season despite County winning 5-0 at Darlington.

That success finally came the next season. After finishing fourth, Gannon’s side beat Wycombe in the semi-finals followed by a thrilling 3-2 win over neighbours Rochdale, finally ending the club’s curse at Wembley.

Unfortunately, the Hatters couldn’t build on that success and went into administration before the final game of the season at Brighton.

In 09/10 administration took its toll, and County finished on a new record low of 25 points and was relegated back to the bottom flight.

In the summer of 2010, the club was taken out of administration by a group of local businesspeople, ensuring the club’s survival.

However, fortunes took a downturn on the pitch and the Hatters finished bottom of League Two, meaning that they would compete outside the Football League for the first time since 1905.

Stockport stabilised on and off the pitch in the following seasons and won promotion to the fifth tier in 2018–19. In 2021–22, County topped the National League, securing promotion back to the EFL after an 11-year absence, and in 2023, returned to Wembley for the 2023 EFL League Two play-off final.


2022/23: Swindon Town 0-1 Stockport County

2022/23: Stockport County 4-0 Swindon Town

2022/23: Stockport County 1-1 Swindon Town

2009/10: Swindon Town 4-1 Stockport County

2009/10: Stockport County 0-1 Swindon Town


Manager: Dave Challinor

Dave Challinor took over Stockport County in 2021 and was welcomed with open arms after making 100 appearances in just two years at The County and since has had great success.

The centre-back made appearances for the likes of Bury, Tranmere Rovers and Stockport County before going into management at Colwyn Bay, AFC Fylde, and Hartlepool United before eventually joining Stockport.

One to watch: Isaac Olaofe

A striker who has been scoring for fun this year. Isaac Olafe has made 16 league appearances this year and scored 11 goals and got 2 assists.

The young English striker came through the ranks at Millwall where he would enjoy successful loan spells at Saint Johnstone and Sutton United before joining Stockport County, where he has enjoyed his footballing career.

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