Date: 7th June 2008 at 11:07am
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Stockport County started off 2008 with a home clash against Morecambe, managed by ex County boss Sammy McIlroy. Ex County player Danny Adams, who was sold from the club for turning up at a County match in a coat with rivals badge Manchester City on, made his first return to Edgeley Park since the incident.

County got off to the best possible start, with a 2-1 win, goals from Anthony Elding and Liam Dickinson gave County control of the game. There was a late scare when Matt Blinkhorn scored for Morecambe with ten minutes to go – but County closed out the game effectively and got their first win of 2008.

Next was a visit to Notts County, a team who weren`t doing too well and were battling at the bottom end of the table. County fell behind when Stephen Hunt headed past Conrad Logan, but two goals from Anthony Elding and Liam Dickinson again gave County the win to make it two away wins on the trot, and two out of two for 2008.

Semi-final of the cup time, Johnstone`s Paint Trophy. A win in this would secure a two-legged final and a possible path way to Wembley, it was our only chance of getting to Wembley this season – or so we thought! Grimsby Town visited Edgeley Park, and County really thought they had a great chance of getting to the Northern Final. First half was quite dull, as per usual for a Tuesday night game in December or January, but in the second half the semi came to life. Grimsby took the lead, quite luckily through Jamie Clarke, but County immediately hit back through Anthony Pilkington. However a Michael Raynes own goal gave Grimsby the win and the chance to get to Wembley.

Many thought it was end of the season for County, the bad run in October and November had ruled out the possibility of promotion – but again how wrong they were. In the league County were a totally different side.

Accrington at home followed, a special day for yours truly. After winning a competition I was to commentate on the game up in the gantry with Cavalier Studios. It showed me a totally different light of the game and that some people really are only there for their job. It was three out of three in terms of wins though for County in the league in 2008, a Michael Rose free kick and an Anthony Elding header ensured County kept their run going.

Rather strangely, County had a bit of a winter break. 17 days without a fixture, we only have 30 odd days this pre-season!! With Mansfield getting through in the FA Cup and getting a game against Middlesbrough, as well as a postponed game at Bury away, County had time to regroup and refresh.

The fixture that ended January, 17 days after the last game, was Chesterfield at home – led by the formidable Jack Lester, and the reason why they had picked up the name Lesterfield! Steve Fletcher gave Chesterfield the lead, the striker who insists on wearing a top four sizes too small for him, probably to show his muscles or something! County hit back through Liam Dickinson, making it 1-1 at half time. Jack Lester then gave Chesterfield the lead, before Anthony Elding equalised as Chesterfield became the first side in 2008 to take points of County.

At the end of January County were 10th in the table, seven points behind 7th placed Rochdale, and Rochdale had a game in hand.

But when County notched up their 3rd and then 4th consecutive away wins at Dagenham and Bury respectively, the whole table started to look a different prospect. Firstly a Leon McSweeney wonder strike gave County the three points at Dagenham, before a 3-2 win away at local rivals Bury made fans very happy and also closed the gap between County and the play-offs.
In the space of a week County found themselves two points off Chesterfield, who were now in 7th place, and County had a game in hand on them.

The Bury game meant that County had played every side once, though with it being re-arranged we had already played Chesterfield and Dagenham twice.

Notts County were visitors to Edgeley Park as County looked to uphold their unbeaten start to 2008 in the league. This was the emergence of Tommy Rowe. Rowe had been a bit part player in previous games, Rowe had started in the game at Bury, his first league start, and it looked as though Rowe would be getting a run in the side as he was also picked against Notts County.

However Notts County took the lead when Mike Edwards got the ball under Logan, or so the linesmen said. Logan went mad at the linesmen for awarding the goal, but it was a goal and Notts County were ahead. It was left to the young left winger, Tommy Rowe, to equalise for County, and that would be the only other goal in the game. 1-1.

The following Tuesday though we really saw what Tommy Rowe was about, Rotherham were three places above County in the lead and were fourth. Rotherham away then, surely County would be happy with a point?

Tommy Rowe handed County the lead early on, but Rotherham hit back and it was 1-1 at half time. The second half though was just amazing stuff. Rowe headed County ahead after some wonderful play by Dickinson, Pilkington then smashed the ball home from 12 yards to make it three, before Tommy sealed an absolutely wonderful hat trick with County`s fourth of the night. County had absolutely tore Rotherham apart. 4-1, a team that were three places above County in the table, and County had moved into the play-offs with a tremendous win.

County`s amazing start to 2008 was ended when Bury visited Edgeley Park. County had taken the lead and looked on course for another win, a Randolph own goal as the Bury keeper punched the ball into his own net. It was to be another keeper though, who handed Bury the victory. Conrad Logan collected the ball from a corner, but Efe Sodje was hovering around behind him – something Logan didn`t know. Logan put the ball down, Sodje stealed in front of him, won the ball, turned and ran towards goal, Logan pulled him down on the edge of the area, straight red card and County had no keeper. County had no keeper, did I say? Well we didn`t have one on the bench either – paving the way for Adam Proudlock to make his debut as a goalkeeper, so Proudlock moved from the right wing to the net.

County got to half time still at 1-0. Proudlock would be infront of the Cheadle End and the Cheadle End got right behind him, the best atmosphere of the season. But County just simply put up the white flag, nobody was upfront, everybody was behind the ball, when County got the ball they were just running straight into Bury players. Proudlock made a great save from a 30 yard strike, but Bury finally got their equaliser. County had held out for 26 minutes of the second half, but the game was level a corner came in and an unmarked Paul Scott headed home. Nicky Adams gave Bury the win after 79 minutes when Jamie Smith headed the ball across his own goal instead of clearing it, but what could County have done? Bury were the first team in 2008 to take all three points off Stockport County.

Before the next Saturday`s game at Accrington Stanley, rumours were rife amongst County fans that popular goalie John Ruddy was going to be signing a loan deal to return to County after a successful loan spell last season with the Hatters.

The rumours were true, and Ruddy penned a deal and was joined by Man City wing back Shaleum Logan, who also joined on a loan deal for 1 month initially.

Both came into the team for the away game at Accrington, where County always travelled in numbers to what is a great away day. I will definitely miss it next season, not that it bothers me to have to go to Leicester or Leeds next season though!

Anyway, County got another victory after the blemish on their unbeaten 2008 record, as Liam Dickinson added another 2 goals to his record.

Logan was impressing with his pace and awareness, and he delivered a beautiful curling cross for Dicko to head home.

Into the second half, Dicko bagged another beauty as he turned his man with ease on the edge of the area and blasted home a curling drive from 20 yards.

2-0 then and the lucky gold kit was still unbeaten!

Into March then next time, and County`s push for 3rd place really hots up, with 5 wins, 1 draw, and no losses in March, including a win at our challengers for 3rd sport, Hereford Utd….