Stockport County 2 0 FC Halifax Town - Billy Gilmour's First Season in ChargeAs expected‚ Darren Madden nets twice in a 2-0 win over FC Halifax Town‚ and Kyle Hudlin scores six league goals to help the Shaymen secure their first ever National League title. In the final game of the season‚ Town finish fourth and head to Chesterfield for their next home game. Read on to find out more about Gilmour's first season in charge.
Stockport County clinch National League titleAfter an 11-year absence‚ Stockport County finally got back into the Football League after defeating FC Halifax Town 2-0 on Sunday. The match was played in a party atmosphere and the team clinched the title after Paddy Madden and Will Collar scored goals. The fans even invaded the pitch at the end to celebrate the victory. It was the first league title for Stockport County in 52 years and they have fans to thank for that. The visitors were the first team to kick off the game and it was a game of nerves. Guiseley had a terrible start to the season and they were forced to play a back-five and allow Halifax to have plenty of possession. The visitors took their first chance of the game on the half hour mark and Adam Blakeman missed from a good position. The hosts were the better team and had the better goal difference but Halifax had no answers. The Shaymen had a lot to celebrate and were denied by their opponents. Halifax had a chance to double their celebrations‚ but a fine goal from Jamie Jackson sealed the deal. He scored the deciding goal with nine minutes remaining. In the end‚ Stockport County have earned their place in the National League.
Darren Madden scoresThe visitors took a deserved lead when Darren Madden scored a stunning half-volley with just over 20 minutes to play. A long ball forward was looped up into the air by Niall Maher‚ and Harry Cardwell nodded the ball into the path of Madden. The forward then smashed a stunning half-volley into the roof of the net. The result meant County took three vital points to their back-to-back defeats. After the match‚ manager Jim Harvey lamented his side's large absentee list and a late penalty. Although FC Halifax Town are now one point above the drop zone‚ the defeat has sparked a run of good results. He was incensed that his side had to play with ten men for most of the second half and was left without James Bolton‚ who was sent off in the 52nd minute for a last-man foul. The defeat has shaken up the table‚ with Halifax moving into sixth place‚ with Aldershot dropping to ninth and losing their winning streak. Stockport‚ meanwhile‚ are two points behind the top three and Darren Madden scored the winner for the Shaymen. They are now just five points off the play-offs‚ which means a spirited fightback is in order.
Kyle Hudlin scores six league goalsThe former Leeds United striker is a revelation this season‚ scoring six league goals in the last six games. The forward was an unused substitute against Solihull Moors on Tuesday evening. Hudlin has now scored six league goals in all competitions for Halifax Town‚ helping the Shaymen to a fifth place finish. Halifax Town will be hoping to build on their recent form with a win against Accrington Stanley on Saturday. Halifax Town's form continues to improve‚ as they continue to beat struggling sides. In midweek‚ they won 2-1 at Grimsby Town. The Shaymen are unbeaten in their last eleven matches and have scored two or more goals in nine of them. The Shaymen have won nine of their last 11 league games‚ and are in a great position to secure promotion this season. The Shaymen start the season with a game against Solihull Moors. This is a new club and their season tickets are available for PS10. The Posh Women's team won 8-2 at the Shay in their opening game. Kyle Hudlin scores six league goals in his debut season for the Shaymen. Orient have not been the same since last season and a loss would hurt.
Gilmour's first season as permanent managerDuring his first season as Halifax Town's manager‚ Billy Waters has guided the club to the National League play-offs. The former Crewe Alexandra and Northampton Town forward has a wide-ranging CV‚ having begun his career at Crewe Alexandra before moving on to Cheltenham Town and Northampton on a permanent basis. In between‚ Waters spent time on loan at three different clubs‚ most recently Torquay United. Last summer‚ he signed a deal with FC Halifax. The Shaymen are currently fourth in the National League‚ with 60 points from thirty matches. Their top scorer is Billy Waters‚ who has scored 17 goals across all competitions. The Shaymen were formed in 2008 when Halifax Town AFC collapsed in administration during the 2007/08 season. They spent three seasons in the Northern Premier League‚ before moving to the Conference North in 2011. They remained in this division for two seasons before being promoted to Conference Premier in 2013‚ after beating Brackley Town in a play-off final. The Shaymen's ten men were rewarded for their efforts with an unexpected late winner‚ courtesy of Zach Dearnley. Three points from three games against Yeovil is crucial to cement a play-off spot in the National League‚ and Dearnley found himself in the right place to turn home Tyrell Warren's cross with seven minutes to go. While Josh Neufville came closest to scoring in the first half‚ the strike proved to be decisive for FC Halifax Town.
Darren Aspin's first season in chargeDespite finishing fourth last season‚ Darren Aspin's Stockport County Town Shaymen are looking towards the future. The club finished their first season in the Northern Premier League in fourth place‚ having won four of their last five games. Despite the lack of quality in the squad‚ the club's performance was encouraging and it was the first time the club had finished higher than fourth. The Shaymen have made some changes this summer to try and improve their position in the division. Ex-Northwich Victoria forward Josh Amis has developed into a versatile player with a keen eye for goal. Darren Aspin has also brought in a number of ex-Halifax Town players. After making the change to take over the club‚ Aspin hoped to work with 20 players‚ a record number of which is unprecedented for a first-year manager.
Lee Collins' deathIt is with a sense of regret that we report the sudden death of Lee Collins after a match at Stockport County on Tuesday. The club were unable to find out the cause of Collins' death before the game. A search is underway for the cause of his death. This has not been easy. Many people have attributed Collins' sudden death to his work in the industry. However‚ there is a better explanation. The late defender began his career with Dundalk‚ the Irish side that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Champions League. After playing for Dundalk‚ he joined Stockport County as their manager. He led the club to safety in League One in 2008 and promotion from League Two. But his time at the Shaymen was short as Micky Adams quit on Boxing Day. He was also fired by Motherwell after a poor start in the Football League and was replaced by Alan Lord. The result was still disappointing for FC Halifax Town‚ with the Shaymen falling to their Evo-Stik Premier rivals Ashton United. Danny Johnson had opened the scoring after just nine minutes‚ but a second-half penalty from an unnamed triallist equalised the game. The Shaymen ended up fourth after a dramatic game against Rochdale.
Aspin's appointment as permanent managerSimon Rusk‚ a former player for Brighton‚ has been appointed as the new manager of Stockport County. Simon previously played for Brighton and spent six years with the under-18s‚ helping develop a number of talented young players into first team squads. He also has five previous promotions to his name‚ having led Hartlepool‚ AFC Fylde‚ and Crawley Town back to the English Football League. The Stockport club has also won the FA Trophy in recent years‚ so Aspin is expected to be a great fit. Aspin's appointment to permanent management at Stockport County follows his sacking from the interim role at Pools. The new manager will take over a side that has not won in their last 12 league matches. Aspin's appointment is a major coup for the club‚ which has been in turmoil for the past decade. The influx of new players‚ including striker Jamie Vardy‚ has helped the club's appeal for promotion.
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