“Gary Johnson would still love to put one over the ex-Hartlepool gaffer”
Stockport County have officially entered squeaky bum time! After seemingly racing away with the title and getting ready to plant their flag back in the EFL, the loss against Wrexham put the cat amongst the pigeons and ensured they have to grab at least 4 points from the next 2 games to secure top spot. Their recent form is….nervous! Red cards, injuries and loss of confidence, perhaps caused by the footsteps of the Welshmen behind them. They still have a very good team, from Ben Hinchcliffe in goal, to Ryan Croasdale in midfield and the prolific Paddy Madden upfront, plus a manager in Dave Challinor who knows how to get the job done…but if United can start well and pick some holes in the home team’s defence, then anything is possible.
JOHNSON V CHALLINOR
Fair play to Dave Challinor, he was honest after Ashton Gate last summer, making it clear that the disallowed goals could easily have been given. But Gary Johnson would still love to put one over the ex-Hartlepool gaffer. It’s what the hugely experienced manager still relishes, and he’s shown this season he can still outwit the best managers that the National League has to offer. With the end of the season arriving and nothing to play for, the Gulls players could easily start to turn their thoughts to the summer. However, I’m sure Gary Johnson and Aaron Downes will be geeing them up for at least one more big performance and one more big result.
LEWIS V MADDEN
Paddy Madden versus Joe Lewis will be a key battle on Wednesday evening. The big home crowd will bay for fouls as Lewis gets tight with the striker, and the defender will have to be careful, as Madden is a clever player who knows how to find space in the penalty area and find a finish. But Joe Lewis has proved numerous times this season he can both physically and mentally not only cope with these battles, but also come out on top. A cracking scrap awaits.
Asa Hall will almost certainly be missing from the line-up after his horrible facial injury, whilst Tom Lapslie came off early on Saturday after basically running himself into the ground. Missing those two would be a big dent in our chances, but hopefully Tiger Tom will have recharged for another game. In could come either Joe Felix or Chiori Johnson for Hall. Neither have Asa’s presence or leadership but they will give it a good go. Joe looked comfortable in possession as sub against Chesterfield (though the game had been won by then), this would be an excellent test of his metal at Edgeley Park.