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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Monday, 26 May 2008 18:31 UK
Stockport 3-2 Rochdale

Stockport manager Jim Gannon
Gannon is hoping his team can win further promotions

Stockport County manager Jim Gannon paid tribute to his young team after they defeated Rochdale 3-2 in the League Two play-off final.

"I hope that we become a role model for all clubs at this level," said Gannon.

"Over the past two years we have brought through a group of young players who in the right circumstances, play really good, effective football.

"It would be nice to keep them together but I think some of them are destined for great things."

Rory McArdle had put Rochdale ahead in Sunday's final at Wembley before Nathan Stanton diverted a cross into his own net to ensure Stockport went into the break on level terms.

But Anthony Pilkington headed the Hatters ahead shortly after the restart and Liam Dickinson extended their lead before a superb volley from Adam Rundle ensured a tight finish.

It was the Hatters first victory at Wembley in their fifth attempt - and boss Gannon had played in all of the previous four defeats.

However, despite the defeats, Gannon was part of a Stockport team that won promotion from the Football League's bottom division to the second tier of English football.


"We had the experience of the play-offs in the '90s and defeat was hard to take but it was all part of growing as a club," added Gannon.

"I enjoyed my performances here as a player but to see the club go from the lower reaches of the fourth division to the top of the Championship was a great experience.

"Why couldn't that happen again? It would be tougher now but this club is on the up.

"We play young players and that is what our level of football should be about.

"It should be a breeding ground for good footballers and good football, not full of journeymen playing out time on their careers."

Rochdale manager Keith Hill admitted that Stockport were the better team on the day.

We went for it at 3-1 down but overall Stockport deserved to go up

Rochdale boss Keith Hill

"I think that Stockport deserved it," said Hill.

"It could have gone either way and we gave it what we could but the lion's share of possession went to Stockport.

"We went for it at 3-1 down but overall Stockport deserved to go up.

"The lads deserve great credit for the season they have had and will be stronger for the experience.

"We have to learn from this and come back and get promotion next season."

see also
Stockport 3-2 Rochdale
26 May 08 |  League Two
Stockport 1-0 Wycombe (agg 2-1)
17 May 08 |  League Two
Rochdale 2-1 Darlington (agg 3-3)
17 May 08 |  League Two

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