Stockport County secure second promotion in three seasons with win over Morecambe

  • Fans flooded the pitch at Edgeley Park as the final whistle blew securing Stockport County's promotion

Stockport County have secured their second promotion in just three seasons after beating Morecambe.

The 2-0 win at Edgeley Park means the Hatters have cemented their place in League One for the 2024/25 season.

They needed just a point from the match to guarantee promotion, but a clean sheet, and first half goals from Isaac Olaofe and Fraser Horsfall clinched the three points.

It is County's second promotion in three seasons and sees the team playing in England's third tier for the first time in 14 years.

Stockport also had the opportunity to secure the title this weekend if both second-placed Wrexham and Mansfield lost their games - but results did not go in their favour.

The club has not won a Football League title since 1967.

Hatters manager Dave Challinor said while the club was celebrating, the team were now looking ahead to the next few matches where they could become League Two champions.

“This means everything,"he said. "It’s strange because from my perspective it’s tinged with a little bit of ‘promoted, brilliant’ but that lingering thing of the champion’s trophy we want to make sure we lift."

“So this is a brilliant moment but at some point this evening I’ll enjoy it but quickly attention will turn to Tuesday, if we win then I’ll celebrate properly.

“Promotion is definitely enough, I wouldn’t say anything different than that, but with the prize at the end of it, to get ourselves into the position we’ve got to, I just think we do ourselves an injustice and disservice by not giving it everything we’ve got and to hopefully go and celebrate being able to lift that trophy.”

Stockport County supporters celebrate their side’s promotion to League One. Credit: PA Images

Challinor’s side enjoyed a fine start as they went ahead after just seven minutes when Olaofe volleyed home Kyle Wootton’s cross-field header from close range after a mistake from Nelson Khumbeni.

The home side continued to dominate with Oloafe denied a quickfire second by an excellent block from Farrend Rawson and Antoni Sarcevic seeing a shot well blocked by Jacob Bedeau.

Stockport’s dominance was rewarded with a second goal four minutes into first-half stoppage time as Horsfall steamed in at the far post to head home Sarcevic’s left-wing corner.

County maintained their pressure after the break with Callum Camps forcing a smart low save from Archie Mair and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans seeing a shot from the edge of the box deflected wide by Yann Songo’o’s excellent defensive block.

Morecambe’s first effort of note came from a late Joel Senior shot that flew wide as the Hatters held on comfortably.

Stockport County's Isaac Olaofe scores their side's first goal in their win over Morecambe. Credit: PA Images

Stockport, who had been playing regional football in National League North, the sixth tier, as recently as 2018, returned to the Football League for the first time in 11 years in 2022.

They narrowly missed out on back-to-back promotions after losing to Carlisle United on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley in May 2023.

Challinor, who has been in charge of the club since November 2021, has an impressive promotion record with seven promotions in 13 seasons.