Crewe Alexandra travel to Edgeley Park for their first clash with Stockport County for 11 years on Boxing Day (Monday, 3pm).
Lee Bell’s side will look to get back to winning ways following their last league outing, a 2-1 defeat to Newport on December 2.
Stockport lie 13th in League Two, after picking up 28 points from 20 games. Last time out, the Hatters knocked out higher league opposition Charlton Athletic 3-1 in a second-round replay in the FA Cup.
Dave Challinor took the reins at Edgeley Park in November 2021, and quickly guided Stockport back into the Football League for the first time in over a decade.
He started with Welsh side Colwyn Bay in 2010, had eight seasons with AFC Fylde, and two years with Hartlepool United, before returning to Stockport where he was a player.
Lee Bell: “We’ve let the players know it’s a derby and what is expected of them. We’ve told them what it means to the fans, and that it’s been more than 10 years since we’ve had this fixture. It’ll be really exciting, a full house for a Boxing Day derby. We are looking forward to it, let’s hope we can pick the points up.”
Dave Challinor: “Without wanting to put a points total on it, we know where we need to be. We see the next 10 games as a real opportunity to put us in a position where we can challenge going into the final 16 games of the season."
Phil Bardsley may be in contention to make his debut for the Hatters on Monday afternoon, though Joe Lewis and Chris Hussey are doubts.
Crewe continue to be without long-term absentees Courtney Baker-Richardson, Christopher Long and Callum Ainley, while captain Luke Offord will serve a one-match suspension.
Stockport hold the upper hand when it comes to previous fixtures, winning 59 of the 140 ties between both clubs, with the Railwaymen winning on 51 occasions.
Most recently, the Alex defeating the Hatters 2-0 in April 2011, thanks to a Clayton Donaldson strike and an own goal.
Martin Woods will take charge of the Boxing Day clash, having last taken charge of the Alex in September 2022, a 2-1 home defeat against Mansfield Town.
Thomas Harty and Lewis Raper have been appointed as assistants, with Lewis Smith filling in as fourth official.
Elsewhere in League Two
AFC Wimbledon v Newport County; Carlisle United v Bradford City; Crawley Town v Sutton United; Gillingham v Colchester United; Harrogate Town v Grimsby Town; Mansfield Town v Northampton Town; Rochdale v Hartlepool United; Salford City v Barrow; Swindon Town v Walsall; Tranmere Rovers v Doncaster Rovers.
At the close of play on Friday, December 23, there were 901 Reds travelling to Edgeley Park - and an extra 200 tickets were made available by Stockport.
Remaining tickets will be available to purchase on the gate. Call 0161 2662700 for information on availability.
|Junior 6-13||£7.00 must be with an adult|
|Under-5s||Free must be with an adult|
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