The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 3

Last time out, Stockport started life in the Premier League in incredible fashion. Under the guidance of Matt Porter, County look like a seasoned top flight club. Can they keep it going in September? Catch up with the previous episode here

Well August went…. Rather well really! In fact it has gone so well I haven’t paid for a pint of Robinson’s Best Bitter all month, the local landlords are rather pleased with my contribution to the town, and the fact the locals are happy, in fact delirious, and have plenty to celebrate.


Just a reminder…

In fact the only bad thing this season so far is when we had our opening game and we came out in a hideous kit. I asked the chairman what the hell he was thinking reprising the 1994 monstrosity, and he told me that on our end of season promotion party I insisted on him bringing it back or else I’d leave for the vacant manager’s job at Kettering. Oops, a few too many sambucas, I blame Andy Mutch.


We have a very busy month including a double header with Preston in the cup and our first game against one of the big boys (sorry Everton), Arsenal.

Great start to the month as Micky Flynn and Dave Walton run into each other in training and are out for a couple of weeks. Never mind, I’ve always said Matty Bound is Premier League quality…

Sheffield Wednesday at home first up on a warm Wednesday night, and I have a bit of a crisis in defence. Bound isn’t really fit but has to play, Simic is definitely not fit but has to go on the bench, it’s not the strongest. Over to you, strikers! I must admit this is not the most likely of top 2 clashes ever…


Not much happens in the first half, but they edge it. Darren Stamp has 3 chances, however Neil Edwards is equal to them. Nil nil, hopefully we can improve our attacking intent in the second half, let the continental flair excel.


Utter crap and we got what we deserved. Matt Bound was fantastic but we offered nothing up front. Ah well, we’re in credit, but I still have a few harsh words, got to keep those expectations high. It doesn’t help missing our best two defenders though.

Ah Reading, so nice of them to give me something to laugh about during the international break:


Well here is the first visit to a massive club. We take the team coach down to Ashburton Grove and I get off and breathe in the atmosphere. I then gag a little as it stinks, the place is still a waste processing site and there isn’t even a hint of building work, let alone a stadium. Sean Connolly looks at me as if I am slightly mad, and points out Arsenal play at Highbury, so sheepishly I get back on the coach and on we go to the old ground.

The international break came at a good time for my defenders to gain fitness, and only Walton is unavailable, so Flynn comes back in for McIntosh, otherwise its an unchanged side. I am slightly worried I may get overrun here, and if it wasn’t for our great run I wwould play more conservatively but I just can’t bring myself to change my style.

Wow that is a strong line up for Arsenal, and Luis Boa Morte alongside it.


Arsenal do edge the first half and it isn’t a massive surprise when Bergkamp puts them ahead, but this County team has class going forward and carve out a few chances. Unfortunately most of them fall to Bjorn Heidenstrom, however one falls to the class act Dugarry and it just isn’t in doubt. 1-1 at half time, I’d take that you know


Best half so far. Wow. We peg Arsenal back, and go 2-1 up, and then miss a penalty and my eyes roll, here we go, still half an hour to go, bloody Cavaco. Arsenal change formation about 6 times but every time they do I make sure that Bergkamp is man marked, and to be quite frank they do nothing. Jardel scores his second late on and we win comfortably in front of…. 28,000, or about half of what Everton got against us. Is player manager Ian Wright’s football just putting them off? Stick to punditry mate you’re far better at… Oh no actually… Ever thought of a career as a travel agent?


Arsenal are down to 18th with that result, we’re 4th. Probably not predicted by many at the beginning of the season. Preston next in the cup and I’m going to give ex Preston keeper David Lucas his debut, and rest a few others. It’s that stupid 2 leg system in the early rounds of the League Cup, could do without it but never mind.

Heidenstrom, Dugarry Jardel and Cavaco are all rested for this game. I have such strength in depth up front I need to give the outsiders a run out. The defence remains the same though, aside from Lauchlan coming in for Jarni.


Preston are all over us for the first 20 minutes but then we settle in and not a lot happens…


Excellent performance from Dave Lucas secures us a 1-0 win, he goal coming from forgotten man Carlita who is a victim of the 3 non EU players rule at the moment. A dull match but I’ll take that.


Three more league games to come in this instalment, I am going to add the second leg to October as there are far fewer matches in that month than September.

West Brom have just had their manager poached by Tranmere, how times have changed. I mean, there’s no way that Tranmere would want Pardew now.

It’s back to the league team with one exception. I keep Dave Lucas in goal, which is extremely harsh on Edwards, but it’s only an experiment, I may change things back. I am paid to make the tough decisions, and this one is the toughest.

Newcastle’s forward line is frightening, I just hope Tino is on one of his off days and Darren Peacock has a bad hair day at the back.


It’s quite a first half, after only 2 minutes Shay Given takes out Dugarry when through on goal, surely a penalty and a red, oh no the ref’s not noticed. I mean seriously he nearly cut him in half. I am raging but nothing doing. Newcastle then batter us and Dave Lucas fully justifies his inclusion, before Cavaco hits one on the break to put us 1-0 up. On the stroke of half time Lucas nearly undoes his own work with a ‘pass back to the goalkeeper’, evidently forgetting he is the goalkeeper and so there is no one behind him, ah well easy mistake to make. (!) Luckily it hits the post so no harm done, 1-0 half time.


Flat back 5 from the hour mark. Nothing happens. We win. Lovely. This Premier League lark is easy! Shearer is superbly marshalled by Micky Flynn, who needs big names eh?


The table looks good, and next we have another 6 pointer at home to Leeds, who bizarrely have just made a bid for Pavel Srnicek. No, me neither


Well unsurprisingly there are no changes to that team, although Dave Walton will be fit for the next match.

I forgot to screenshot beforehand, but we start dreadfully and are lucky to be only 1-0 down after 20 minutes, but then bizarrely come alive and go 2-1 up and it could be more.


Another very quiet second half, but the Edgeley faithful are more than happy to watch not a lot if another 3 points are in the bag, and they are! We aren’t far off the 40 point mark already, this is a dream!


And yet he is still happy to stay at the club…


Our last league match of the month sees us travel to Coventry, and everything stays the same except Dave Walton returning to the bench, because why would I change it?!


A decent first half sees us 1-0 up but John Salako is tormenting us, so Micky Flynn does the decent thing and fouls him to the extent he is stretchered off. Now I’m not condoning injuring a fellow pro but wasn’t it better when footballers weren’t such pansies?


60th minute second from Jardel puts us 2-0 up, then we come under a bit of pressure so it’s back to the flat back 5 and we see out the match, Coventry create one chance which Lucas saves well, this is going ridiculously well.


My defence has looked immense this season, I was so wrong to doubt them. In fact, my team have been awesome all season, long may it continue… We have the lowest budget, we have the lowest crowds, we are the closest to Manchester Airport, we throw in random irrelevant facts, we are County… Another month finished top of the league, although we’ve been off the top all month, I’m rather impressed to understate it slightly…


Matt will be back next Tuesday but you can follow him on Twitter @PorterMatt in the meantime


2 thoughts on “The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 3

  1. Pingback: The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 4 | CM 97/98

  2. Very funny blog, an oddly gripping read!

    I have also playing this game again and I’m curious to know what you meant by man-marking bergkamp. Did you try matching some of his stats or just move your best defender to match each of his new positions?

    Also you mention players being knackered a lot. Do you not play anyone under 90% fit?

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