To be honest, we don’t know why we’re bothering doing a big preview to the new National League season, in which Stockport County have a realistic chance of ending their decade in the non-league wilderness, and returning to the Football League. It is meant to start on October 3rd. But that will probably be delayed until next February, or 2026 or something. Either that, or football will be completely cancelled, with results decided by online games of noughts and crosses. Until then, however, we crack on as normal. We’ve spoken to fans of all the teams County will be facing this season, and we’ll be publishing these every day in the run-up to the eagerly-anticipated 2020-21 campaign. First up is Neil Maskell, the Fixture Secretary at Maidenhead United.
What are your thoughts on Stockport County?
A good club with EFL heritage and very welcoming to us on our two visits with nice people behind the scenes.
Best moment of last season?
Perhaps we peaked too soon but a 2-1 win in the sunshine at Yeovil at the end of August making it four wins from our opening six games against a side freshly relegated from the EFL. Seems an eternity ago now.
Worst moment of last season?
Losing 3-1 to fellow strugglers Ebbsfleet at York Road a few weeks before lockdown. We looked certain to be embroiled in a relegation scrap until the death.
Covid stopping the season early. Good or bad for your club?
Both. Terrible financial blow, but Points Per Game ensured that we avoided relegation.
If restrictions have been lifted, what indoor places should County fans check out in Maidenhead?
A short walk into the town is Off The Tap, a craft beer pub with a funky food menu.
And if restrictions haven’t been lifted, how about outside places?
Why not venture down towards the Thames and take in picturesque Boulters Lock? If you’re making a weekend of it, Windsor Castle is a world-famous tourist attraction the other side of the M4!
Which team do you most want to beat this season?
All of our historic local rivals are below us in the pyramid these days. It’s always satisfying to beat any of the former EFL sides but we will take any win against anyone!
Realistically, how do you think you’ll do this season?
Who knows?! I will take one place higher than last season. We are part-timers and punching above our weight.
And here’s a few other bits and bobs we’ve added ourselves…..
Last time at County: A 1-0 win for Maidenhead in front of the BT Sport cameras on the opening day of last season, to spoil County’s return to the fifth tier.
Last time at Maidenhead: Ah, that was back in mid-March. Most football had already stopped by this point, but the National League were carrying on regardless (not like that lot to do things different to everyone else). Jim Gannon’s men were a goal down at the break, but fought back with goals from Ashley Palmer and Liam McAlinden. Comfortably nestled in the play-offs. Then the world went a bit mad.
Where is Maidenhead? Somewhere in Berkshire.
How do County fans get there, if they’re allowed? Drive south, and it’s somewhere in that bit between Birmingham and London.
What’s the latest Maidenhead news? (Well, the thing that came up most recently when we Googled ‘Maidenhead’) A 21-year-old local golfer called Alfie is dreaming of turning professional after winning a couple of local competitions.
When are County due to play Maidenhead? A Saturday in January at their place, and a Saturday at EP in April.