Over the Easter period, Yeovil Town struggled against two sides – Aldershot Town and W*ymouth – who were in in poor runs of form.
They will have no such problems against a Stockport County side who have lost just twice since the middle of December and in the process picked up 22 victories.
In an epic exercise of clutching at straws, you could look at it that the Hatters have lost their last two matches away from Edgeley Park, a 2-0 defeat in the FA Trophy at fellow big spenders Wrexham and then a Good Friday loss at Grimsby Town where they played the final 55 minutes with ten men.
Make no mistake, this is a very different team to the one which Yeovil turned over 3-0 at Edgeley Park. That performance was played under former boss Simon Rusk and since he was replaced by Dave Challinor in November, Stockport have looked unstoppable.
Their expensively assembled squad boast a frightening array of talent with no less than ex-Glovers’ hero Paddy Madden and Scott Quigley, top scorer for Barrow when they won this division two seasons ago, up front and another former Huish Park favourite Courtney Duffus unable to even make the bench.
They have added to an already strong squad with the signings of players including winger Myles Hippolyte, who played for Yeovil in the 2019-20 season.
Defensively they look strong as well having kept clean sheets in five of their last six games with captain Liam Hogan and Ash Palmer, who saw red in the reverse fixture in September, looking solid.
So, yeah, nothing to worry about.
FROM THE MANAGER
Boss Dave Challinor has targeted winning four wins out of their remaining six National League game to clinch the title and is aiming for one of them at the weekend.
Speaking after last weekend’s 1-0 win over Solihull Moors, he said: “Four wins is unassailable out of six. I’ll not say I will take three because that would not be enough – although I would take three if one of them with Wrexham because then they can’t catch us.
“We’ve just got to focus on Yeovil which is a tough place to go against a team which still has pride to play for in front of their own fans.
“They won’t want to lose the game so we have to make sure we are right and we do what we can to win the match.”
Winger Antoni Sarcevic will be the biggest absentee for Stockport County this weekend.
The Manchester-born player joined on a free transfer in October after falling out with Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt and has been a regular starter since arriving.
He is serving the second game of a three-match suspension for a red card picked up in the Good Friday defeat at Grimsby Town.
Defender Liam Hogan went off injured with a “contact injury” against Solihull Moors last weekend, but boss Dave Challinor expected his skipper to be available.
A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS
If you don’t know the answer to this one – where have you been?! Mr Patrick Madden is a centre forward presently earning his trade at Stockport, having written his name in to footballing folklore in South Somerset.
24 goals in 42 games for the Glovers on the way to promotion to the Championship in the 2012-13 season – including a decent hit in the play-off final at Wembley that year – guarantee the Irishman a good reception from the home faithful. Just please don’t score, Paddy.
Another recent addition to the ranks at Edgeley Park is Myles Hippolyte. The winger joined from League Two (soon to be National League) outfit Scunthorpe United at the end of January and has made 13 appearances, scoring three goals including two in his last four. He was part of Darren Sarll’s first squad in 2019-20, making 34 appearances before moving to Scunthorpe.
Another member of the 19-20 squad, Courtney Duffus is another ex-Glover in the visitors’ squad having joined on loan from Morecambe, but such is the strength of the Hatters’ frontline that he is yet to make an appearance.
Winger Ben Whitfield, who joined from Torquay United in the summer, is missing through injury. He played more than 40 times in the 2016-17.
Then, in no particular order, other players who have a foot in both camps include:
- Matt Warburton
- Phil Jevons
- David Poole
- Andy Welsh
- Joe Edwards
There’s probably more, but that’s enough to be getting on with.