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Match Previews

Match Preview: Stevenage vs Stockport County

5 August 2022

Jim Steele

Sky Bet League Two action returns to The Lamex Stadium as newly promoted Stockport County come to town…

Following last weekend’s impressive victory at Tranmere Rovers, Steve Evans’ men will hope to carry their confidence into Saturday’s game against the 2021/22 National League champions. As for Stockport, Dave Challinor will be looking for a reaction from his side after they suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Barrow on their return to the EFL.

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Before their drop into non-league in 2011, ‘The Hatters’ were Football League regulars for many decades. The last ten years, however, have been difficult for Stockport as they saw themselves drop into the National League North. Climbing back into the National League in 2019, Stockport then went onto regain their Football League status at the end of last season after clinching the National League title.

The Cheshire side’s highly anticipated return to the EFL was a disappointing one for the Stockport faithful as their opponents, Barrow, went 3-0 up within half an hour. Despite second half goals from Paddy Madden and Antoni Sarcevic, the newly-promoted side walked away with a defeat to their name on the opening day. Stockport will arrive in Hertfordshire on Saturday with a point to prove in their first EFL away day in eleven years.

Manager Dave Challinor took over as Stockport boss in November 2021 after stepping down from his managerial position at Hartlepool United, where he won the 2020/21 National League play-offs. Guiding Stockport to the National League title earlier this year meant that Challinor achieved promotion to the Football League with two clubs in two consecutive seasons. He currently boasts a 72.5% win rate with The Hatters.

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Stevenage and Stockport have faced each other competitively just three times with Boro, so far, being undefeated against The Hatters. The first encounter came in 2003 as Stevenage, playing in the Conference at the time, upset the third-tier opponents 2-1 in the FA Cup through a Dino Maamria brace. Current Stockport boss Dave Challinor started in defence for The Cheshire side on that day.

Then, when Stevenage achieved promotion to the EFL for the first time in 2010, their first ever Football League victory came at home to Stockport, with Charlie Griffin and Michael Bostwick finding their names on the scoresheet. The reverse fixture that season at Edgeley Park ended in a 2-2 draw as Mark Roberts and Lawrie Wilson grabbed a goal each.

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Adam Herczeg has been appointed Match Referee for Saturday’s fixture and will be joined by Assistants Scott Williams and Steven Plane with Greg Read as Fourth Official. This campaign is Herczeg’s first in the EFL after previously officiating in the National League.

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