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The National League Title Race: Stockport vs Wrexham

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The National League Title Race: Stockport vs Wrexham

It couldn’t be any tighter in the National League as we head into the final week of the league season. Only goal difference separates Wrexham in first and Stockport in second place. Stockport does have the advantage of having a game in hand, but could the fairytale at Wrexham get its happy ending?

Stockport’s Season so far

Stockport has had its greatest season outside the football league since its relegation from the Football League. This was despite having a slow start to their campaign in the National League.

The Hatters only managed to win two of their opening seven games, suggesting that the heartache from losing in the play-offs from the previous season was still in place. Ever since the arrival of Dave Challinor however, Stockport has been the team to beat in the National League.

Replacing Simon Rusk despite winning his previous three games as manager, the former County player soon stamped his authority onto the team. He may have lost his first game to last year's play-off final losers, Torquay United, but Stockport soon became a winning machine.

Between Boxing Day and the 9th of April, Stockport County won 17 of their 18 league games, with a 2-2 draw at home to Chesterfield the only blot on an otherwise faultless copybook. It looked like nothing would stop EFL football from returning to Edgeley Park.

However, football is never that easy, and four defeats in their last six league games have allowed Wrexham into the title race.

National League Outright Winner Odds

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Stockport County to win the 2021/22 National League @ 1/8

Wrexham’s Rollercoaster Campaign

It’s been a rollercoaster season for the Welsh side Wrexham, as Hollywood arrived in North Wales last campaign and started writing the script for an unbelievable season.

At the start of their campaign, Wrexham had achieved just three wins from their opening nine games, leaving Phil Parkinson’s side languishing in midtable.

The takeover however has inspired not just an upturn in results, but comebacks which would not even be seen in the greatest of movies.

This culminated in the home match against Dover Athletic on the 26th of March. Losing 2-5 at home to the team bottom of the league and already relegated, it looked like the Dragons were on their way to a humiliating defeat and losing the chance to go up automatically.

Ollie Palmer scored two in the 65th and 69th minutes to bring the scoreline back to 4-5 but as the clock ticked past the 90th minute, Wrexham was still collecting no points and looked confound to defeat.

Fate has a strange way of working sometimes, and Jordan Davies and Daniel Jarvis were the two to step forward. Davies’ equaliser followed by a Jarvis winner made the Englishmen heroes in Wales and gave Wrexham the three points they desired.

One defeat in their last 17 has given Wrexham the chance to win the title and return to the EFL for the first time since 2007. The possibility became even more realistic, as they defeated direct rivals, Stockport County, 3-0 at the Racecourse Ground.

Wrexham may now have the momentum in the race for promotion, but Stockport has the clear advantage of having one more game to play.

National League Outright Winner Odds

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Wrexham to win the 2021/22 National League @ 5/1

Header logoNational League

Team logoStockport
Team logoWrexham
Team logoSolihull
Last updated 17/06/2024

The National League Title Race Run-in

Stockport has two home games against Torquay United and Halifax Town. Wrexham on the other hand travels down to London to face Dagenham.

Stockport will be wary of the problems that Torquay United can pose, having lost 2-1 at Plainmoor earlier on in the season. Torquay no longer have anything to play for as they can no longer reach the play-offs.

Halifax also had the better of Stockport this season, triumphing 3-0 at the Shay back in September. Halifax has their own fight as well, battling Solihull Moors for third in the table, which gives you an automatic place in the National League playoff semi-finals.

Wrexham’s game at Dagenham will not be a walk in the park, as the Daggers still have a genuine chance of reaching the play-offs. Being three points behind Chesterfield but with a better goal difference, Dagenham know that a win is their only chance of having the opportunity to win promotion back to League 2.

Stockport and Wrexham have been the two best teams in the National League all season. Stockport County knows that 4 points will do it. Anything less, and there could be another Welsh side in the EFL next season.