Match Preview: Stockport County (A)

Hednesford Town boss Rob Smith believes it is his team’s fellow promotion chasers who will have to deal with the pressure in the final leg of the Skrill North season as his squad prepare to travel to former Football League outfit Stockport County on Saturday afternoon.

The Pitmen lie fourth, having won their last two matches, and Smith expressed his delight at the way his players reacted to a potentially damaging home defeat to Gainsborough Trinity a couple of weeks ago with a timely return to form.

‘I’m delighted we have bounced back after that performance against Gainsborough, it has put us in a much better position and the mood around the camp is very positive again.

‘I don’t think the pressure is really on us, we are just happy to be competing at this stage of the season. It’s well known that a couple of sides around us are spending unbelievable sums to try and get into the play-offs, I would suggest the pressure would very much be on them to succeed rather than us.’

Quizzed on how he believes his Hednesford team have fared through the season, Smith was equally happy with the fact that The Pitmen, promoted from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division last year, have more than held their own in a new league and the manager encouraged the Pitmen faithful to enjoy the last seven matches, starting with tomorrow’s trip to Edgeley Park

‘I would have accepted half way as being a real success this year but the squad have done exceptionally well and I really do believe we have the spirit and ability to get a play-off place now.

‘I would urge the fans to enjoy the ride like we are, they have been fantastic and I think we are all relishing the experience. Well-established clubs are under real pressure but as a club we can all just enjoy ourselves with no worries.’

Team news wise, Nathan Woolfe is the only injury doubt with a hamstring injury and Alex Melbourne will be missing due to suspension, while new loan signing Marvin Johnson will also be in the squad and could be in line for his debut.

Hednesford’s opponents on Saturday have a huge amount of pedigree but, perhaps due to their astonishing slide down the league pyramid in recent seasons, Stockport have struggled for consistency all season, haven’t registered a victory since February 10th, a run spanning nine matches, and currently lie 13th in relative mid-table obscurity.

Should The Pitmen, most likely favourites tomorrow, delight their army of travelling supporters and leave Edgeley Park with three points everyone connected with the club can dream of enjoying much more than just a good season come May.

Hednesford Town Form – WLWLWW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 4-0 Workington – The Skrill North – Saturday 22nd March 2014
Next Fixture – Brackley Town (H) – The Skrill North – Tuesday 1st April 2014
League Position – 4th

Stockport County Form – DLLDLD
Previous Result – Worcester City 0-0 Stockport County – The Skrill North – Tuesday 25th March 2014
Next Fixture – North Ferriby United (A) – The Skrill North – Saturday 5th April 2014
League Position – 13th

KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – Edgeley Park, Harecastle Road, Stockport, SK3 9DD

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