Taking a look at AFC Telford United v County
When the fixtures were announced it certainly looked like the schedulers had given County a strong challenge for their early games, with the third of the first three games being a trip to the New Bucks Head ground in Shropshire.
County fans will be housed in the Frank Nagington Stand, which sustained some damage during Tuesday's game with Curzon Ashton. You need have no particular fears for your safety however, as the damage came from a wayward shot which led to the letter F falling to the pitch, where it was cleared away by Curzon's keeper.
Telford become the first team to return to this level of football having already met County in our first season at tier 6. Both sides were relegated from the National level in 2013. Telford achieved what County never looked like managing, by bouncing straight back to the top level of the non-league Pyramid, and did so as Champions. The step back up proved too big an ask for them, as amongst the mass of full time clubs United struggled virtually all season.
There is a link below to All Things Stockport County's report on our last visit to AFC Telford. In the matches before the start of this blog, both games ended in draws. In 2011 County conceded an early second half penalty, which was converted by Sean Newton, who joined County on loan later that season. It didn't take County long to respond and Antonio German earned the Hatters a point.
AFC Telford United 1 (Newton 49p) Att. 2,375
Stockport County 1 (German 51)
AFC: Ryan Young, Stuart Whitehead, Will Salmon, Sean Newton, Shane Killock, Dwayne Samuels, James Reid (Chris Sharp), Carl Rodgers, Phil Trainer, Nathan Rooney (Greg Mills), Andy Brown (Craig Farrell).
County: Matty Glennon, Euan Holden, Daniel O'Donnell, Chris Blackburn, Andy Halls, Carl Piergianni, Sean McConville, Sam Sheridan (John Nolan), Nick Chadwick (Tom Elliott), Michael Paton, Antonio German.
Just under a year later a Bank Holiday crowd saw the sides share four goals. Danny Whitehead, recently signed on by Macclesfield Town, gave County a first half lead. Around 10 minutes after the break Kieron St Aimie restored parity, but Whitehead struck again to put County ahead. The lead did not last long with Ryan Valentine leveling the scores again.
Blue Square Conference : Premier
AFC Telford United 2 (St Aimie 56, Valentine 65) Att. 2,079
Stockport County 2 (Whitehead 2 [42 61])
AFC: Ryan Young, Will Salmon, Ryan Valentine, Chris Blackburn, Luke Hubbins (Jon Brown), Jordan Rose, Nathan Rooney, Phil Trainer, Kieron St Aimie, James Spray (Steve Jones), Steven Leslie.
County: Ian Ormson, Sean Newton, Joe Connor, James Tunnicliffe (Daniel O'Donnell), Danny Whitehead, Alex Kenyon (Craig Hobson), Danny Hattersley, Carl Piergianni, Sam Sheridan (John Nolan), Danny L Rowe, Jordan Fagbola.
The full set of previous games
2011-12 NL 10 Sep 1-1
2012-13 NL 27 Aug 2-2
2013-14 NN 15 Feb 0-2 [match report]
County score given first. NL - National League. NN - National League North
Telford are yet to turn around last season's form and are not only looking for their first victory but also lack an entry in the goals for column. They started with a 3-0 defeat at the Lowestoft Town outpost. On Tuesday this was followed up with a 0-0 draw against Curzon Ashton when Telford created a fair few chances but were foiled by poor shooting and good work by the opposing keeper.
Having faced one of the Brownhill clan on Tuesday we may well come up against another on Saturday. In this case Kyle, cousin of FCUM's Liam, is a player who made the first team at EP back in April 2012. He left for a spell at Burnley but has since been at various clubs at our current level. Kyle has been on the bench for both Telford's games so far this season. However his fellow teammates who have also previously worn a Hatters' shirt have all been ever present.
From their performances under the employ of County the trio of Mark Lees, Greg Wilkinson and Danny Glover would seem a reasonable foundation for a team at this level. Hopefully, that foundation remains insufficient for Telford to build on, at least until after Saturday. In the County squad Karl Ledsham had a spell on loan at Telford, playing 5 games in November/December last year.
THE TELFORD SQUAD
The Telford squad includes the grandson and namesake of Sunderland's 1973 FA Cup winning goalkeeper Jim Montgomery. Around half the players have previously faced the Hatters with Sean Clancy, Jake Read and Mike Grogan survivors from our most recent meeting.
|Name||A...S||Pos||Known Past Clubs (may not be complete)|
|James Montgomery||2..0||G||Middlesbrough, Bilingham Syn (L), Guiseley, Nike Acad|
|Mason Springthorpe||0..0||G||Shrewsbury T, Everton, Woking (L), Ellesmere Port, Fleetwood T|
|Kyle Brownhill||0+2..0||FB||COUNTY, Burnley, Workington (L), Hyde, AFC Telford U (L)|
|Jack Deaman||2..0||CD||Birmingham C, Cheltenham T (L), Eastbourne Bor, Cheltenham T|
|Mark Lees||2..0||CD||Mossley, Stalybridge Cel, Curzon Ashton, New Mills, Buxton, COUNTY (TR), Ashton U, Hyde U, Altrincham, Stalybridge Cel, COUNTY|
|Ben Harrison||0..0||CD||Witton A, Nantwich T|
|Sean Clancy||2..0||M||Blackpool, Southport, Altrincham, Burscough, Fleetwood T, FC Halifax T, Chester, Kidderminster H|
|Jack Rea||2..0||M||Chester C, Stalybridge Cel, Guiseley, Bradford PA|
|Jack Roberts||2..0||M||Leicester C, Lincoln C, Coalville T, Hinckley U, Springfield Synergy [usa]|
|Greg Wilkinson||2..0||M||Curzon Ashton, Manchester U, Stalybridge Cel, East Manchester (L), Chorley (L), Altrincham, COUNTY (L)|
|Alex Fletcher||0+1//0||M||Shrewsbury T|
|Johnny Gorman||2..0||LW||Manchester C, Manchester U, Wolverhampton W, Plymouth Arg(L), Macclesfield T(L), Cambridge U(L), Leyton Orient, Southport, Barrow|
|Danny Glover||2..0||F||Port Vale, Salisbury C (L), Rochdale (L), Stafford R (L), Worcester C, Nuneaton T, Worcester C, FC Halifax T (L), Bradford PA, Hednesford T, COUNTY|
|Dave Hibbert||2..0||F||Port Vale, Preston NE, Rotherham U (L), Bradford C (L), Shrewsbury T, Peterborough U, Nuneaton T, Tamworth|
|Izak Reid||2..0||F||Macclesfield T, Morecambe, Brackley T, Barrow|
|Kaiman Anderson||0+2..0||F||Shrewsbury T|
If manager Steve Kittrick is looking to change things around, or indeed has to, given captain Hibbert was substituted early in Tuesday 's game after pulling up - he also has the following players to consider:
|Name||A...S||Pos||Known Past Clubs (may not be complete)|
|Josh Brizell||0..0||RB||Rochdale, Hyde|
|Niall Flint||0..0||M||Shrewsbury T|
|Jordan Goddard||0..0||M||Bristol Rov, Gloucester C (L), Leamington|
|Michael Grogan||0..0||M||Cammell Laird|
|Dan O'Callaghan||0..0||F||Walsall, Port Vale, Birmingham C, Sutton Coldfield T, Chasetown, Castle Vale, Romulus, Sutton Coldfield T|
It's a little unrealistic looking at a league table after just two games - although none of us will be complaining with County in joint third. The clubs who remain pointless are both County's opponents so far and most surprisingly Chorley. The position of the teams who could affect County's position after the final whistles on Saturday are:
|7||North Ferriby U||2||1||0||0||4||0||0||0||1||0||1||3||3|
The early leaders in the top scorers table all have three goals. They are Curtis Bateson (North Ferriby United), Mike Potts )Bradford PA) and Jake Reed (Lowestoft Town).
Aside from the four men at Telford the other former County men making debuts for new clubs in the National League North so far this season are: Ryan Wilson [ex-schoolboy] (Alfreton T), Paul Marshall, Danny Schofield (both Bradford PA), Kieron Charnock, Sam Sheridan (Chorley), Aaron Brown, Duane Courtney [ex-trialist] (Corby T), Nick Bignull (Gainsborough Trin), Paul Ennis (Hednesford T), Alex Johnson [ex-trialist] (Stalybridge Cel)
The 4-1 victory on Wednesday leaves County second in the fledgling table just behind Curzon Ashton. FCUM 's reserves won the only other match completed so far and lie third in the 11 team division. There is one more game planned for this week with New Mills due to host Stalybridge Celtic.
The full League Cup draw: AFC Fylde v Lancaster C, Workington v Squires Gate, Bamber Bridge v Skelmersdale U, Witton A v Ashton Ath, Nelson v Padiham, Colne bye, Buxton v COUNTY, New Mills v Stalybridge Cel, Ashton U v Curzon Ashton, FCUM v Hyde U, Pontefract Cols v RIASA (S), Goole FC v Wetherby Ath, Bradford RIASA v Harrogate RA, Ossett T v AFC Emley, Brighouse T v Silsden, Thackley v RIASA (E)
The winners of the County v Buxton tie will play New Mills or Stalybridge in round two, also over two legs.