Stockport County 2 Wrexham 1 ( Vanarama National League ) Saturday 25 September 2021







(Words by hedgegrower, images by hedgegrower & @machin sports, poem by Randy McLave)


Well, that was a pleasant surprise, and just what the County doctor would have ordered for the blues, who on a sunny Edgeley afternoon came back from a goal down to win all the points with a battling second half showing that saw them home 2-1.

It was seen as being a crunch game and one that not all the County contingent in a superb crowd of 7771 would have seen as an automatic home win pre- match.

The atmosphere was electric ,the tension almost touchable as 3 o`clock neared, and the start lived up to its billing County probing and getting caught within a minute of the kick-off by a lethal strike from Mullins.

Wrexham pressed County to a considerable extent for much of the first half but crucially without further success, County`s defence, with Palmer restored, holding firm.

The second half brought a welcome change of fortune for the blues who equalised through Madden just 2 minutes after the re-start.


 Madden on the ball ( Andrew Machin )





Whilst it could be argued that it was anyone`s game thereafter, County did look a tad more assured than Phil Parkinson`s side did in the second 45, culminating in a second goal when Rydel netted after much pressure from the blues.

This would have cheered  Simon Rusk no end he had switched  Rydel for Kitching just 2 minutes before!

Back at 3 o`clock the old place was packed amongst them another friend from Japan as Riichi Fujiwara came to his first County game having moved into Stockport.


 Riichi Fujiwara.( Andrew Machin )


Welcome Riichi !

The Cheadle End was jumping as County surged forward straight away , Whitfield`s efforts forcing Rob Lainton into an undignified tangle in front of goal.

Then….dignity restored…Lainton sent the pill unerringly up the park where Mullins had it under control in an instant, before turning goal ward and lobbing Ross in accomplished style.


 Early gloom for County ( Andrew Machin )




County were one down within a minute of the start and I felt a familiar queasiness in the stomach which I did not wholly put down to my new diabetic diet!

Victory is ours!
Said one crow to the other,
As they soared in the sky above.
For below them they had spied
Golden corn, that was ripe,
From which, they would have their feast.
Tantalizing ears of gold
Laying out row upon row
Though as a river when the wind blowed.
'And no one is there'!

County did their best to reply in kind, but much of the time they were being pushed back deep into their own half by the visitors who looked anything but likely to settle for 1-0 at this point!


 County defend !


Indeed former blue Liam McAllinden went close to doubling the Red Dragons advantage.

It was not all Wrexham however…..Madden …then Southam- Hales had runs the latter seeing his cross fizz harmlessly out, whilst the former ran out of gas having looked on for something interesting.

 County under pressure.

Soon 10 minutes had gone by like 3, it was that sort of a game and twice in rapid succession Ross had to look lively to see off the predatory Mullins who looked a top signing for the visitors.

 More defending for County


 Ross saves under pressure ( Andrew Machin )



Back came County, but Reid was scythed down unceremoniously by Hayden just outside the box. This ushered in a possible chance from the resultant free kick, but Rooney`s effort was poor- chance gone!


 Reid down !




Both teams pressed on after this- Madden seeing a shot charged down for County, and Mullins close again for Wrexham having lost Fryers in the build-up with corners coming thick and fast for the red shirted visitors.


Ross v Mullins ( Andrew Machin ) 





County saw the danger off from these, enough to eventually mount a response and Tozer was in a regular tizz as Reid and Whitfield bore down on him inside the box. It looked like a corner was the result, at least I agreed with Reid and Whitfield that it was, only for Mr Jackson to amaze and frustrate us for the first time, giving a goal kick.


 County press.



Hayden was to the fore next for Wrexham, but a poor effort threatened more danger to the residents of Bergara Close than to Ross`s goal.

County meanwhile kept plugging away but without anything coming off, as free kick and corner came and went without reward.

 Rooney to the fore.





Add to this the fact that Barclay sustained a knock being replaced by Hogan 41 minutes in.

County went into 4 minutes added time still battling though, none more so than Whitfield who had a prodigious tussle with Hayden down the left. 


 Whitfield v Hayden.

 Whitfield on the charge ( Andrew Machin )




Again Whitfield fancied a free kick, but did not get it, and Hayden did well moments later to block Kitching in full flight down the same flank.


 Kitching pushes on....



The next action saw Kitching reverse the honours ( or so I thought not factoring in Mr Jackson`s input)winning a corner off Hayden, only to see a goal kick given!!

That was about it from a first half that had an energy draining element about it.

Now some crowd shots,  a couple from old hedgie first:-


And here`s some from Andrew Machin :-






More of the same was needed though in the second half, but the early minutes did not augur well as a free kick for a foul on Fryers ended up with Ross frustratingly.

 Fryers clears u/p ( Andrew Machin )




I was still inwardly moaning about that one, when it was promptly shoved back down my throat as County thereupon won a corner that Rooney planted into the danger area where Madden sent a header of coruscating power home to level the scores.

 A belter from Madden.

And Andrew Machin`s view of the goal....




That was a belter- I was impressed - hopefully that sees a corner turned for Madden!

Neither side showed a pronounced inclination to settle for a draw after that last action- Mullins going close again for Wrexham and Whitfield for County.

 Whitfield in good nick ( Andrew Machin )






Reid was in the mix too but short of luck and a decent pass, and Ponticelli for the visitors.

 Reid on the attack.





On it went in the same vein…Green doing good work to stop Whitfield`s latest run.

Whitfield   is a difficult player to assess- busy as hell , but like a few in blue just now lacking in the luck department- taking a hefty whack on 58 minutes that I assumed would  usher in a County free kick- I was wrong …it was a bounced ball favouring Wrexham.


 Tasty from Whitfield





That was bewildering! If I struggle assessing Whitfield, Mr Jackson offers less of a problem. He has previous with us, and this was by no means the archetypal Jacko game- he did not see us dished …he just did not get an awful lot right along the way!

 `Surely Ref !` ( Andrew Machin)




Back to the action then, and beyond the hour Whitfield was to the fore once again , stealing the ball from a defender before setting up an attack that saw multiple attempts from almost everyone in blue to force a second goal, eventually the mini siege ended with Mr J coming to Wrexham`s aid with a free kick.

It was almost 10 minutes before anything further of note occurred, and the 72nd minute saw Wrexham push County back, lining up shot after shot but without netting a goal. They did net a free kick as a wildish tackle by Madden in a 50/50 teed up a chance for the visitors from the free kick on the edge of the box.  County defended it well, and the corner that followed, Mullins going close again though midst it all.

Both sides opted for personnel changes next…..County swapping Kitching for Rydel, and Wrexham hooking McAllinden replacing him with Redmond.

It was a decisive moment for County, and a brilliant one for their Manager as it lead directly to the winning goal.

Within a minute or so of Rydel`s arrival, County were piling forward into the Wrexham last third. Whitfield was on the spot his cross, picking Madden out nicely. Madden quickly found Croasdale whose shot came back off a defender to Rydel who forced it home. Not a classic goal but we`ll take it thank you and County had a life preserving lead now!

 Croasdale`s shot....

 ....and Rydel makes it 2-1 !

And 3 shots from Andrew Machin of that goal:-





Credit to Wrexham, they kept plugging away.

They fancied they had a penalty as Ross won a 50/50 with Angus on 84 minutes , but it wasn`t and Mr Jackson got that spot on  !

Redmond kept pumping high one`s into the County box with time running out, Mullins going close yet again, but there was no goal to show for it all.

Reid then sent Whitfield clear, only to see the liner correctly flag for offside.

Reid was replaced late on by Collar leaving to generous applause, and I am pleased to see that the Manager is playing fair with Reid who I am sure will reward him!

Palmer`s trusty head was much in evidence in the games dying embers as deep into 5 minutes added time Wrexham kept pressing for the equaliser. This was looking less and less likely though despite Angus`s cunning purchase of a free kick .

It was not that far away but County cleared this…then a cracker from Mullins that followed.

Midst all this County replied via Whitfield only to see him hauled down as he darted into space.

The free kick was cleared by Wrexham who went too it again, Harry Lennon lifting the ball high and long into the box, as did Lainton deep into added time, and Lennon once again, but there was no time to make anything out of that last one- it was all over…County had won!

Exclaimed one crow in the air
'To protect that golden hair'.
So victory is ours!
Exclaimed the crows beginning there dive
Upon the corn, coming into sight.
But then shots rang out,
And two crows fell to the ground
As the corn waived in the wind.
Then walked two farmers to the crows
Who were hidden out of view

To observe the birds which flew.
Then one farmer spoke to the other
About the corn they defended together,
Exclaiming, 'victory is ours, over all others'

Well done County, that was a decent win and all the better for being slightly unexpected !

It sets us up nicely for Weymouth next Saturday and those amongst us with a will to see County get a first win down in Dorset should know that the Fingerpost Flyer will be running….

Leaves Finger 07.30/     picks up Mercian Way 07.45 

             Ring Lou on 07896 536757 to book but not after 7 pm please.

Finally  , I thought both sets of fans behaved  admirably throughout and I was particularly impressed by the minutes applause for CJ ten minutes in!



Stockport County line up :-

Ross, Barclay ( Hogan 41), Palmer, Fryers, Southam- Hales, Croasdale, Rooney, Kitching ( Rydel 77), Madden, Reid ( Collar 87), Whitfield.

Subs not used:- Hinchliffe, Fish.

Wrexham line up:-

Lainton, French, Hayden, Tozer, Lennon, Rockard, Young, Jones, Mc Alinden ( Redmond 77), Ponticelli ( Angus 72) , Mullin.

Subs not used:- Dibble, Cleworth,Hossanah.

Attendance – 7771 ( 1700)












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