Preview: Stockport County v Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers travel to Stockport County on Saturday hoping to put an end to a miserable record of 9 defeats and 2 draws in their 11 previous visits to Edgeley Park.
This fixture has been a nightmare for Blues' fans in recent years. They've now seen their side lose at County five times in a row, with the last three defeats being arguably the most painful.
In December 2007, Wycombe found themselves on the receiving end of a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of a struggling Hatters' side who were supposedly low on confidence having lost their previous five home-games.
This unexpected slaughter jump-started County's season and they charged up the table to finish 4th - allowing them to deny Wycombe a trip to Wembley by beating them yet again at Edgeley Park in the second-leg of the play-off semi-final.
The Hatters' 1-0 home-win put them through 2-1 on aggregate, and if that wasn't disappointing enough for the Wycombe fans, hundreds of them had missed the first-half of the game after being delayed by a bizarre incident involving a pair of Swedish twins who ran amok on the M6. You couldn't make it up!
Stockport's subsequent victory at Wembley meant the Blues didn't have to visit Edgeley Park in 2008/09 (every cloud has a silver lining), but last February they were back again and it was the same old story.
The two sides were struggling at the bottom of League One, but Wycombe were unbeaten in three, and only four points from safety, while Stockport had only won once in their previous seventeen outings and were eight points further back.
Cause for optimism you might think - but no - this was Edgeley Park and County were 4-0 up after only an hour. A belated fightback inspired by substitutes Phillips, Harrold and Montrose made the final score 4-3, but at the end of the day it was just another miserable journey home from Stockport for the long-suffering fans.
This time it could be different though - honest!
For a start, unlike last time, the Edgeley Park pitch will have some grass on it for once, and barring a monsoon, it surely can't be as waterlogged as it was when we were stuffed 6-0.
Wycombe have made a good start to the season, winning their opening league game and taking Millwall to extra time in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. They're playing an attractive brand of attacking football at the moment and it will be interesting to see how effective that is away from home.
Stockport drew their opening league game at Southend, before suffering a heavy defeat at home to Preston in the Carling Cup on Tuesday.
Both sides have changed considerably in the six months since they last met and only three players from each club (marked in bold) started that game and also the first game of the season last Saturday.
Starting Line-ups last February
Wycombe - Heaton, Kelly, Bennett, Westwood, Woodman, Betsy, Keates, Mousinho, McLeod, Revell. Pittman.
Stockport - Williams, Mullins, Swailes, Huntingdon, Sadler, Partridge, Vincent, Perkins, Johnson, Donnelly, Ibehre
Stockport's season so far
The Hatters won three, drew one and lost two of their six pre-season friendlies scoring 12 goals and conceding 3.
LG2: Southend (A)........Drew 1-1
Ccp: Preston(H).............Lost 0-5
Wycombe's season so far
The Chairboys won six, drew two and lost one of their nine pre-season games scoring 28 goals and conceding 14.
LG2: Morecambe (H)......Won 2-0
Ccp: Millwall (H).............Lost 1-2 (AET)
Stockport's summer signings
Mansour Assoumani (Defender) Wrexham
Mark Lynch (Defender) Rotherham
Jordan Rose (Defender) Weymouth
Robbie Williams (Defender) Huddersfield
George Donnelly (Striker) On-loan from Plymouth
Barry Conlon (Striker) Chesterfield
Jamie Proctor (Striker) On-loan from Preston
Wycombe's summer signings
Nikki Bull (Goalkeeper) Brentford
Dave Winfield (Defender) Aldershot
Danny Foster (Defender) Brentford
Andy Sandell (Defender) Aldershot
Alan Bennett (Defender) Brentford
Marvin McCoy (Defender) Wealdstone
Kieran Murtagh (Midfielder) Yeovil
Ben Strevens (Striker) Brentford
Scott Rendell (Striker) Peterborough
In 21 previous meetings there have been 11 wins for Stockport, 4 wins for Wycombe and 6 draws.
At Edgeley Park there have been 9 wins for Stockport, 2 draws and 0 wins for Wycombe.
1994/95 LG1: Stockport 4 Wycombe 1
1995/96 LG1: Stockport 1 Wycombe 1
1996/97 LG1: Stockport 2 Wycombe 1
2002/03 LG1: Stockport 2 Wycombe 1
2003/04 LG1: Stockport 2 Wycombe 0
2005/06 LG2: Stockport 3 Wycombe 3
2006/07 FAC: Stockport 2 Wycombe 1
2006/07 LG2: Stockport 2 Wycombe 0
2007/08 LG2: Stockport 6 Wycombe 0
2007/08 PLoff Stockport 1 Wycombe 0
2009/10 LG1: Stockport 4 Wycombe 3
The Man In The Middle (Card-flasher rating - High)
Saturday's referee is Mark Brown from East Yorkshire who was recently promoted to the National Group of Referees. This will be the first time he's taken charge of a Football League game.
His career record in Conference & FA Cup games is as follows:
2009/10 - Games: 3 - Yellow cards: 17 - Red Cards: 2.
2008/09 - Games: 8 - Yellow Cards: 36 - Red Cards: 1
2007/08 - Games: 8 - Yellow Cards: 28 - Red Cards: 3
I must be mad.
Stockport 1 Wycombe 2