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Club News

Since we last met: Stockport County

3 March 2023

Club News

Since we last met: Stockport County

3 March 2023

Rovers travel to face Stockport County in Sky Bet League Two this weekend.

Danny Schofield’s side are looking to get back to winning ways after consecutive defeats in the league, the most recent came narrowly at the hands of Bradford City who took all three points thanks to Andy Cook’s header.

Stockport have climbed up to fifth in the table under Dave Challinor after a fine run of form since the turn of the year.

The last meeting

Rovers scored late to beat Stockport 2-1 when the two sides met at the Eco-Power Stadium in August.

County were reduced to 10 men with less than a quarter of the game gone, as Macauley Southam-Hales was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Tommy Rowe.

Rovers made the advantage count and took the lead on 37 minutes, as George Miller finished well to take his side into the break in-front. Stockport responded well though and within a minute of the restart had their leveller. Ryan Rydel fired beyond Jonathan Mitchell to peg Rovers back and leave the game back in the balance.

It looked to be heading for a draw before Lee Tomlin found Kieran Agard in the area, and he lifted the ball over Vitezslav Jaros to turn one point into three.

Stockport’s recent form

Prior to last weekend’s defeat at Barrow, County were six league games unbeaten, stretching back to a 1-1 draw at Crewe Alexandra on January 31.

They then began a five-game winning streak by beating Tranmere Rovers at Edgeley Park, before beating Harrogate Town 3-1 away from home. Back-to-back home victories over Crawley Town and promotion chasing Stevenage followed, prior to beating local rivals Rochdale 2-1 at the Crown Oil Arena.

A second-half goal from Josh Kay brought their good run to an end as Barrow completed a league double over the Hatters.

Key men

Full-back Kyle Knoyle left Rovers to join Stockport in the recent January transfer window.

The West Ham United Academy product left the Hammers to join Swindon Town in 2017 for his first real taste of consistent football in the EFL. He spent two seasons at the County Ground, making almost 70 appearances before joining Cambridge United.

Knoyle continued to develop with the U’s and helped them to promotion from Sky Bet League Two in the 2020/21 campaign, before leaving to join Rovers that summer. The 26-year-old featured 81 times in a red and white shirt, and had six assists to his name this season prior to his move to Edgeley Park.

He has already played on 10 occasions for his new side, and scored his first Stockport goal in the win over Tranmere in February.

Attacking midfielder Will Collar joined Stockport from Scottish outfit Hamilton in February 2021.

A product of the Brighton & Hove Albion Academy, Collar made one Carabao Cup start for the Seagulls before heading north of the border to join Hamilton in the summer of 2019. He scored his first Scottish Premiership goal in a win over Hearts in the December of his first season at the club.

In his 18 months at New Douglas Park, made 25 appearances before signing for Stockport. The 26-year-old scored 11 goals in his first full season with the Hatters, as they went on to win the National League title and secure a return to the EFL for the first time in 11 years.

He has continued that goalscoring form on this season, and is currently County’s top-scorer with 12 to his name in all competitions, including five in his last six appearances.

Striker Kyle Wootton signed for Stockport last summer after impressing in the National League for Notts County in recent seasons.

After breaking through into the Scunthorpe first-team, Wootton made 68 appearances for the Iron, scoring 11 goals. During his time at Glanford Park, he also spent time out on loan with the likes of Lincoln City, Cheltenham Town and Notts County, before making his move to Meadow Lane permanent in the summer of 2020.

The 26-year-old went onto be an instant hit with the Magpies fans largely down to his record in front of goal. In two full seasons, he scored 40 goals in 92 appearances, before newly promoted Stockport gave him the opportunity to return to the EFL with them.

He has made the most of his chance too, scoring 11 goals so far this term, with the most recent being a double against Crawley Town on Valentine’s night.

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