Marc Richards’ first League match in charge of the Bulls is a trip to Greater Manchester this weekend to face Stockport County F.C at Edgeley Park.
Find out everything you need to know ahead of kick-off by reading the article below!
Pre-Match Interviews – Richards and Lloyd
Head Coach Marc Richards and new loan signing striker George Lloyd spoke exclusively to the official website ahead of the weekend’s match, you can watch both clips by clicking here.
Established in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, in 1890 the name was changed to Stockport County to reflect the town gaining County Borough status.
After winning the Lancashire League in 1900, the County gained admittance to the Football League, drawing their first match 2-2 away to Leicester Fosse (now Leicester City).
After failing to gain re-election to the Lancashire League following relegation the club spent a season in the Lancashire Combination. Stockport won the League at the first time of asking and made an immediate return to the professional ranks.
County would be proud Football League members for more than a century. The Hatters also chose to move stadium following this promotion, south of the River Mersey to Edgeley Park, then home of Stockport RLFC. County have played there ever since.
The club stayed in the 4th Division doldrums until the turn of the 90s, when Uruguayan manager Danny Bergara turned the Hatters into regular top-of-the-table challengers.
Promotion came in 1991, and was followed by four visits to Wembley in two years – twice in playoff finals, twice in the Football League Trophy. Unfortunately, County would go on to lose on each occasion.
Dave Jones took charge following Bergara’s departure in 1995 and gave the club its most memorable season to date. In 1996/97, the Hatters won four games against Premiership opposition, including a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough in the League Cup semi-final – unfortunately, the tie was lost 2-1 on aggregate.
Other runs in the FA Cup and League Trophy meant County played almost 70 games that season eventually finishing 2nd in the Second Division.
After Jones’ departure for Southampton, County consolidated in the First Division until relegation in 2002.
What followed was a largely downward spiral back to the bottom division, twice finishing a season on just 26 points, and by Boxing Day 2005 County were well adrift at the bottom of the Football League but somehow went on to survive.
The Hatters then went on to go into administration twice, with former German international Dietmar Hamann brought in as Manager following their relegation from League Two in 2010. This would be the first time Stockport would compete outside the Football League since 1905.
After a single season of survival in non-league’s top flight, Stockport were relegated to the National League North in the 2013/14 season and have been struggling to escape from this level of football ever since.
Did You Know?
Hat making was an established industry in north Cheshire & south-east Lancashire by the 16th century. By the late 19th century Stockport had become a national centre for the trade, and by 1900 County’s nickname of ‘The Hatters’ had become synonymous with the club. This nickname is still used nowadays.
Currently 4 points and 6 places ahead of Hereford in the National League North table, the Hatters currently sit in 11th position.
Enjoying a mixed season so far, Stockport still find themselves just 3 points from the play-off positions even though they have lost four matches, the same amount of wins under their belt so far this season with three draws also on the board.
The Hatters got off to a great start, defeating neighbours FC United of Manchester 5-1 at home before a mixed bag of results including losses against Alfreton and Boston but then also recording victories over the likes of Darlington and Leamington.
County are still in the Emirates FA Cup, progressing through to the fourth qualifying round after recent wins over Corby Town and South Shields.
Unbeaten in four since their 1-1 draw away at AFC Telford that could well have been a victory if the home side had not equalised with one minute to play, the Hatters will undoubtedly prove worthy National League North opposition for Marc Richards and his players this Saturday.
Stockport’s last 5 matches: LDWWW
Hereford’s last 5 matches: LWLLL
The Manager – Jim Gannon
In January 2016, Gannon signed an 18-month contract to return to Edgeley Park following the resignation of former Manager Neil Young.
An experienced Manager, Gannon has been at the helm at several clubs and is a very experienced Manager.
His former clubs include Dundalk, Motherwell, Peterborough United and Port Vale as well as a three-season long term with non-league Northwich Victoria.
Jim led the Hatters to promotion during his first spell in charge of the club in 2008, winning the League Two Play-Off Final against Rochdale at Wembley.
Gannon said after signing his most recent deal with the Hatters after his first spell in charge back in the 2007/08 season: “Stockport County holds a special place in my heart, and to be given the opportunity to work here once again is both a very proud moment on a personal level, and also an exciting football challenge as a professional.”
As a player, Gannon became a club legend during ten years at Edgeley Park, earning two promotions and reaching the semi-finals of the League Cup. Gannon also played for clubs such as Dundalk, Sheffield United and Notts County during his playing career.
Gannon will be keen to achieve promotion to the top level of non-league football at the end of this season following on from failure in the play-offs last season.
Star Man – Mathew Warburton
Prolific, highly-rated attacker Warburton joined the Hatters in May 2017 after scoring 13 goals in just 16 appearances for Curzon Ashton in the National League North.
The 26-year-old has also scored goals for Maine Road and Salford City and can play as a centre-forward or as a ‘Number 10’.
Last season he scored 21 goals in 45 appearances to help fire County into the end-of-season play-offs and already has three goals to his name this season for the Hatters.
It is not just Warburton who has recorded three goals this season so far for Stockport, fellow striker Conor Dimaio also has three goals to his name and front man Nyal Bell has also got off to a decent start this campaign with two strikes.
With plenty of players contributing to the goals Stockport are scoring this season, the Hereford defence will have to make sure they are on top of their game when they travel to Edgeley Park this Saturday afternoon.
Can’t make it to Stockport this Saturday? Don’t worry, we have got you covered! You can tune into live Radio Hereford FC audio coverage, Social Media Updates, and the Live Match Blog by tuning into MATCH LIVE on the main website homepage from Saturday lunchtime.