Match Preview: County v Salford City

County have the chance to move within a point of the top three in League Two, as we host promotion rivals Salford City in a Friday night special at Edgeley Park.

Tickets for this game have already sold out, with over 9,500 County fans set to be inside Edgeley Park for this hotly anticipated clash between two sides separated by just one point in the league table.

Our late win against Swindon Town last weekend, secured thanks to Ryan Croasdale’s first of the season, turned a potentially frustrating afternoon for County into a great one, as we climbed above Bradford into fifth place in League Two.

Defeats elsewhere that day for Carlisle away at Gillingham, and Stevenage at home to Salford, saw us move to within four points of the top three with eight games remaining, with Salford just a point behind us.

The current top four are all due to play each other on Saturday too, as leaders Leyton Orient host Carlisle and Stevenage travel to Northampton, meaning Friday’s game is a real opportunity for one of County or Salford to make up further ground on the teams at the top.

Things you need to know:

  • Tickets for this fixture have now completely SOLD OUT, with County fans also taking up the entire Vitality Railway End for this game. Our next home game sees us take on Newport County on Easter Monday, and we recommend purchasing tickets for this game in advance to avoid disappointment – click here to order yours today!
  • County fans can now park at the NCP Car Park at Stockport Train Station for a discounted price of just £3 on a match day, via the ParkPass App! Click here for more information.
  • Coming to the game on Friday? Click here to view our Fan Information pack, containing all you need to know ahead of your visit to Edgeley Park.
  • Don’t forget to turn up early to Edgeley Park to visit the County Courtyard, which will be opening its doors from 6.15pm! For more information on all the food and drink on offer this week, click here.
  • Friday’s game will be available for both domestic and overseas supporters to stream over on Stockport County Live, featuring live commentary with Jon Keighren and Sam Byrne. Click here to buy a pass today!

Since we last met:

Our win away at Salford City in the reverse fixture in October really proved a turning point in County’s season, with goals from Will Collar and Paddy Madden securing just a fourth league win from our opening 14 league games, to lift us to 16th in the table.

We have lost just four of our subsequent 24 League Two games since that day, winning 14, propelling ourselves firmly back in the hunt for back-to-back promotions.

Goals from Will Collar and Paddy Madden secured the points at the Peninsula Stadium in October

For Salford, it was a fourth defeat of the season and their second on the bounce after losing to Bradford a week earlier, which resulted in them dropping out of the play-off places for the first time.

Their form at the Peninsula Stadium was a real problem in those opening few months of the season, with that defeat to Dave Challinor’s side part of an eight-game winless home run in the league, as they struggled to implement their expansive style of play on their own pitch.

They’ve had no such trouble on their travels so far though, with only Northampton and Bradford picking up more points away from home than Salford’s 30 from 19 games. Neil Wood’s side are also the division’s top scorers on the road, scoring 34 times, and recently racked up big wins at promotion rivals Stevenage and Mansfield Town.

They come into this game on their best run of form of the season, winning four and losing just one of their last six games, and it’s a run that has catapulted them back into the promotion picture. Having missed out on a play-off place in each of their three seasons as an EFL club, the signs are there for the Ammies that they may just be able to take that next step this time round.

Ben Hinchliffe kept his 14th clean sheet of the season last weekend at Swindon – the most by a County ‘keeper in a Football League season since Paul Jones in 1996/97.

One to watch:

Salford boast a lot of talented footballers within their squad, none more so than 23-year-old midfielder Elliot Watt. The Scotland U21s international turned down a new deal at Bradford City in the Summer to move to the Peninsula Stadium, and has quickly become a key figure in the middle of the park for the Ammies.

In 36 league games so far this season, Watt has racked up an astonishing 15 assists – the most of any player in the division, with Carlisle’s Owen Moxon the next highest at 13. He also has one of the highest pass completion rates in League Two, completing 77% of his 2,370 attempted passes.

Match Stats:

  • If selected, captain Paddy Madden will make his 100th Stockport County appearance on Friday night – he has scored 43 goals in that time.
  • County are the only League Two side still unbeaten at home in the league in 2023 – but after three straight draws, we will be looking to avoid going four home league games without a win for the first time since a six-game run over the 2020/21-2021/22 season.
  • County have lost just one of the six competitive meetings between these two sides, winning three. At Edgeley Park, we have won two and drawn one of the previous three games against Salford.


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