The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 4

Well this is going rather well isn’t it? Matt Porter is working wonders with Stockport, they’re even calling him the Mersey Mourinho…which is odd considering Mourinho is barely a thing in 1998. Anyway, it’s October, can Stockport continue their ridiculous form? Catch up with Part 3 here

Well….. it hasn’t been a bad start really has it? I thought I’d be battling relegation, and I might still be doing so, but I haven’t half got a head start!! Before we start defending our position at the top of the league (never thought I’d type that in the Premier), we have the second leg of the league cup away to Preston. We won the first leg 1-0, so want more of the same, I’ll have a good go at the cups this year I think.

Micky Flynn and Kevin James are knackered so they drop out, and Bray, Jardel and Heidenstrom are rested, Carlita, Smith and Youngs come in.

Well the first half was an exciting game, loads of chances at both ends, and both Dave Lucas and the Preston legend that is Tepi Moilanen play superbly, however Tepi is beaten once by Tom Youngs and we go 1-0 up.


Another belting half of football in front of an impressive 17,500 fans on a Wednesday night see a goal apiece and some more great goalkeeping, which puts us comfortably through to the next round, job done, very professional performance, what more can I ask for? An away trip to Division 1 West Ham is our reward.

Now a couple of people have asked me about tactics, and I’m no Mourinho, and by that I mean I’m not a complete arrogant prick disappearing up his own arse, so I’m happy to share! My team for our game against Middlesbrough is back to the league



It is a testament as to how far we have come in such a short time that Middlesborough, who comfortably outpaced me in Division 1, are comprehensively outplayed in the first half. We take the lead through Jardel before Boro equalise with their only chance of the half. Bizarrely I take this in my stride, so far superior are we, and the only surprise is it takes us until the 45th minute to get a noses back in front. I feel oddly calm, there is no pressure on me, but I will still keep up those sky high expectations, is it too early to be thinking of Europe?


Another dominant performance, 3-1 win with no alarms. We’re all going on a European tour! Pride comes before a what now? Complacency is the mother of all what?


This looks a bit weird, I mean Sheffield Wednesday in the top 4? So unrealistic. International break now so we have 2 weeks off. 2 more weeks at the top of the league, ahhhhh Stockport is the place to be.


Well Colin, that is very kind of you, but straight back on the transfer list for you, Swansea is a very good club and no reason to change your mind.


After 2 weeks off we have a mini crisis – both Neil Edwards and Carlo Nash have taken knocks in training so in comes – gulp – Ian Gray onto the bench. He comes bouncing into the changing room and after my rousing speech about keeping up our tremendous run he tries a rousing add on of ‘come on lads we can get promotion this year’…. I almost cry. Other than that our team is unchanged though, Simic is just about fit after a knock on international duty, I hope the break won’t interrupt our momentum.


Well wouldn’t you just know it, 20 minutes in the goalkeeper is stretchered off! Ian Gray gets his tracksuit off and prepares to come on, until Sean Connelly tells him that it’s actually Derby’s keeper and not ours that has been injured. The half continues uneventfully to a goalless conclusion.

I didn’t bother screenshotting half time as nothing had happened, however the second half is one way traffic as we find an inspired reserve goalkeeper, but with 10 minutes to go Jardel makes no mistake, no one making fat jokes at him now, and we win comfortably 1-0.


Mark Lawrenson doesn’t really believe in us though and says he will do his analysis on Match of the Day naked if we win the league. Alan Hanson leans so far back he almost falls off his chair and makes a cutting remark about distracting people from the fact he doesn’t actually do any analysis, if looks could kill…

Aston Villa at home next and a bit of a blow as Robert Jarni is ruled out of at least the next two games so young Martin Lauchlan comes in. Neil Edwards is fit again for the bench thankfully, although I do miss Ian Gray’s alternative comedy in the changing room beforehand.


A very uneventful first half, barely any shots from either side, nil nil. We’re keeping it tight at least!


Ahhhhhh that’s frustrating. We are comfortably the better team but let a lead slip to lose 2-1. I was surprised at the beginning to see Michael Oakes ahead of Bosnich in goal, by the end of the game I can see why. He is unbeatable, and we also hit the woodwork 4 times. Don’t let it affect you lads, anyone can have a day like this, and the crowd are happy with the performance if not the result.


Still top though! We are now a third of the way through the season…. Gulp!


The last game of this update takes us to West Ham of the league below in the cup. I am going to make 3 changes to a tired team, Bound Simic and Cavaco are out, Walton Connelly and Youngs in.


Well I hope that is just a wobble, we are dreadful. I have a feeling that the lack of our superb full backs may be the main reason, but I don’t want to dwell on that. Let’s concentrate on the league (yeah I know I said I’d give the cup a good go, but I meant the FA cup, obviously….)


Well it was a great start to the month, and let’s face it I can’t complain given that I’m still top of the league, but that last game was worrying. Still, let’s hope it was a blip, and concentrate on the league, who knows what might happen? Blackburn is about the same size as Stockport and its only 4 years since their triumph.

This is dedicated to Kieron Durkan, a Stockport player of this era who tragically took his own life this week. Rest In Peace.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @PorterMatt

1 thought on “The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 4

  1. Pingback: The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 5 | CM 97/98

Leave a Reply