Thursday, March 04, 2010

A look ahead to.....Stockport

"A Greater Manchester off-licence would do this." The question is one of the only cryptic crossword clues my hideously-vacant brain has ever been able to decipher, while the answer is, of course, Stockport, a town whose football team The Addicks play host to this weekend.

After our recent less-than-inspiring home performance against Brighton, we could not really ask for much better opposition than The Hatters. Gary Ablett's men are nine points from safety and look cast-iron certainties to slip into League Two at the campaign's culmination.

It would be fair to say that County are not cock-a-hoop at the moment, though the mood in the camp will surely have been lifted by some positive off-field news, provided by an ex-Addick of all people.

Jim Melrose - a striker who graced Athletic's ranks between 1985-87, and, according to that beacon of fact, Wikipedia, is blessed with the middle name Millsop - has seen his consortium's bid for Stockport accepted by the outfit's administrators. It will hopefully see the flailing Hatters secure themselves as a live-and-kicking football club, something far more important than the division in which you compete.

Anyway, that's enough of the niceties, I hope we give 'em a pasting, and I'll tell you how we can, by doing what we should have done against Brizzol Rovers, Brighton and Saaaaarfend.

Tell Sam to go roaring down the right flank, demand that Reid - our saviour last week in Essex - does the same on the left-hand side of the pitch, and implore a centrally-positioned Bailey to showcase his captaincy abilities by taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

The Roots Hall smash and grab will probably mask the fact Akpo Sodje and David Mooney were inadequate for most of the match, as with the former scoring and Deon Burton still struggling fitness-wise, our strike force is unlikely to change. Nor will there be an alteration in goal, though after Friday's howler, Rob Elliot will want to put in a fault-free display.

If every other player follows our custodian's lead, we should win. With our closest rivals facing some comfortable-looking weekend fixtures, we need to.