County pre­pare for re­turn of le­gend

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - FOOT­BALL

TO­MOR­ROW’S Na­tional League North clash with Blyth prom­ises to be an emo­tional af­ter­noon for some at Stock­port County.

For the vis­i­tors are now un­der the stew­ard­ship of Alun Arm­strong, who played for The Hat­ters in their most suc­cess­ful era of the 1990s.

Arm­strong’s Spar­tans sit fourth in the ta­ble after eight wins in their first 14 games in the division.

But County boss Jim Gannon says that suc­cess from the division’s new boys hasn’t shocked any­one in the league.

“Blyth haven’t sur­prised us at all,” he said.

“It’s a highly com­pet­i­tive league, and in fact the teams who come up from the division be­low are of­ten more com­pet­i­tive than the teams who come down from the Na­tional League.

“You can see from the league ta­ble, Blyth have won eight and lost five with no draws as yet, which shows they can be well on top of you or you can per­haps get on the front foot and im­pose your­self on the game.”

Gannon will be hop­ing his side con­tinue their im­pres­sive home record which has seen County go un­beaten on home soil since Novem­ber last year in all com­pe­ti­tions.

The Hat­ters’ last de­feat on their own turf came in a 2-1 re­verse to Brad­ford PA on Novem­ber 19 – with 16 games com­ing and go­ing with­out de­feat for County since.

James O’Con­nor will start for Sale for the first time tonight

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