The week began for the Saxons as the previous one had ended: in disappointing fashion. Despite what the Stockport Sports FC write-up described as "a spirited performance," the team couldn't make anything of it's few chances and had to settle for a lone point in their trip to Winsford United. Manager Peter Withe made some changes to the side that had been beaten by AFC Blackpool days before, but they weren't enough to overcome a stout Winsford defense and the pitch's long grass, which put a damper on the passing of both teams.
But, a point from the first match of the week was a nice pick-me-up after the disheartening loss to Blackpool. The team had 6 points from 6 matches, with all of those matches coming as away fixtures. Before they could take the field for their weekend tilt against St. Helen's Town, however, the Saxons had some transfer business to see to. Peter Withe brought in Togolese striker Donaldson Sackey to help bolster the already-strong Stockport strike force.
Sackey is the second international player for the Saxons, joining Gambian Jimmy Ogoo. Are these household names? Not at all. But they are international players, which is far more than one would expect at the level in which Stockport are playing. I imagine there has to be some pull in playing for Peter Withe that is attracting these players. Furthermore, the ambition shown by the team bodes well. This is clearly not a club that wants to stay where it is. They want to move up, and it looks like they'd like to do so quickly.
With their new striker in tow, Stockport traveled to St. Helens Town looking for their first win since the beginning of the season, and boy did they deliver. The Saxons secured all three points by walloping the home team by a score of 0-5. John Marsden (who can be found on twitter here) opened scoring with his fifth goal of the season. Melford Knight, another new signing in the past two weeks, added another goal in the 19th minute. Before the half could close, Jay Mehmet added the Saxon's third. Callam Gardner netted the fourth goal, and Marsden converted a penalty to complete the rout. The three points bumped the Saxons to nine on the season and left them in 8th place as the week kicks off.
A few other quick notes:
- All of these reports would be impossible were it not for the writing of Chris Culkin who does most of the match reports on the team's site. Additionally, he's been incredibly helpful and communicative on twitter as well. If you're interested in the Saxons, you'd be crazy not to give him a follow.
- Incidentally, Culkin also did that linked interview above with Donaldson Sackey. He seems like a very interesting guy, and one with a lot of ambition. Again, I think this bodes well for the club.
- Culkin also interviewed Peter Withe's new right-hand man Joey Dunn. My favorite part is Dunn's enthusiasm for being at Stockport:
"I was attracted to Stockport Sports by the ambition of the club, the potential to be part of something that can be great in the long-term and the facilities to be successful are second to none across the whole of non league."
Make sure to read the whole thing though!
- Maybe this is normal, but it was shocking to me to find out that a team so low in the pyramid has a development squad. They've got players aged 18-21, and will be (hopefully) adding a youth squad soon too. The complexity and depth of the English football system will never cease to amaze me.
The Saxons play this week while Villa take it off, so you'll have plenty of time to follow the official non-league team of 7500 to Holte. Later today (1945 GMT) the team travels to face the Runcorn Linnets who have 9 points in 6 matches this season. On Saturday (1500 GMT), the Saxons get their first home league match of the season as they take on Ashton Athletic, the team that knocked them out of the running for the FA Cup. Ashton have 6 points from 4 matches, but a goal differential of -3. Stockport will surely be looking for revenge, so this should be an exciting match. The best place to follow along from afar is the team's official twitter feed.
Until next Tuesday: Up the Saxons!