Frickley Athletic 4 Stafford Rangers 3
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 21st April 2012


Rangers finished off their season with a seventh successive away defeat at the hands of relegation threatened Frickley.

Rangers made three changes to the starting line-up with Ryan Dicker, Glyn Blackhurst and Matt Jukes replacing Luke George, Chris Morris and Alan Nagington. With Frickley needing all three points to give them a chance of survival, Rangers were hoping to capitalise on the nerves and break the run of poor away results. Things started well for Boro when Jukes created space but his finish was wayward.

Ryan Mallon shot well wide for the Blues when in a decent position as both sides struggled for supremacy.
Sean Kinsella curled a shot over the bar but it was the home side that broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when Grant Darley’s ball into the area picked out the unmarked Stuart Ludlam and his finish was too good for Danny Read.
The lead was doubled within four minutes when Danny South headed in James Ashmore’s in-swinging corner.
Frickley struck again three minutes later when Read made a mess of a cross from South and Brad Grayson was on hand to fire home. 
Rangers grabbed a lifeline just before the break when Kinsella’s 35 yard free-kick was too good for Stephen Dickinson.

Rangers made a double substitution at half-time but it was the home side that grabbed the all important next goal. Ben Turner beat four Rangers defenders and the ball ricocheted into the path of South who made no mistake.
Grayson wasted another decent chance for Frickley as the home side looked to improve their goal difference at the bottom of the table.
Another mistake from Read allowed Grayson a shot on goal but Ryan Dicker was on hand to block the attempt.

Morris and Kinsella both went close for Rangers but drama followed in stoppage time.
On the stroke of full-time a cross from Stevenson was deflected into his own net by Mark Gray. The centre-back then went close at the other end with Ryan Brown clearing off the line and then Read saving well from the follow up.
Rangers hadn’t finished yet and Stevenson, on the left, curled a right-footed shot past Dickinson to close the gap. There was no time for Rangers to grab an unlikely equaliser and now Frickley must wait for Northwich’s FA hearing to find out whether they will avoid relegation

Frickley Athletic: Stephen Dickinson, Kelvin Bleau, Ben Turner, Cecil Nyoni, Mark Gray, Stuart Ludlam, Grant Darley, James Ashmore, Danny South, Brad Grayson, Ryan Mallon.
Subs not used: David Cyrus, Danny Walsh, Matt Semley, Liam Schofield, Jon Hood

Stafford Rangers: Danny Read, Paul Donnelly, Ryan Brown, Alex Hedley, Ryan Dicker, Michael Carr, Peter Heler (Chris Morris 45), Glyn Blackhurst, Matt Jukes (Alan Nagington 70), Sean Kinsella, Kevin Street (Rob Stevenson 45).
Subs not used: Dan Skelton

Booked: None
Referee: Matthew Walsh
Attendance: 341

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 0 Buxton 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 14th April 2012


The current Stafford Rangers team failed to be inspired in front of their predecessors from 40 years ago as they succumbed tamely to Buxton.

The game, watched by several members of the 1972 FA Trophy winning side, never got going from Stafford’s point of view and the final home game of the season turned into a poor reward for the crowd of 502.

Stafford’s Danny Read was the busier of the two keepers as he tipped over a cross from Marc Hudson and a 35 yard free kick from Tommy Agus inside the opening 15 mins. Soon after, Read had to race out of his area to clear a long kick from his opposite number, Scott Hartley.

Alan Nagington had earlier forced a save from the Buxton keeper who also kept out a Sean Kinsella free kick.

Luke George made a good interception to block Bradley Barraclough and the Buxton front man was also kept out by the legs of Read.

Buxton’s danger weapon was the long throw from Marc Hudson and he nearly created a goal for the visitors on 36 mins only for Kieran Lugsden to badly miscue his volley.

Lugsden should have put Buxton ahead at the start of the second when well placed to shoot but chose to pass to Mark Reed instead and his ball was seriously under hit, allowing Alex Hedley to clear.

Kevin Street shot wide from 18 yards in a rare Stafford attack but Buxton looked increasingly in command.

Michael Carr headed a bouncing free kick from Grant Black off the line and Read saved from Barraclough at the foot of his near post but Buxton made the breakthrough from the resultant corner.

Black sent the ball in to the danger area and Roberts guided a simple header into the Rangers’ net to give Buxton a 67th minute lead.

Reed scuffed a great chance to make it 2-0 but Neil Stevens made no mistake when he doubled Buxton’s lead ten minutes from time.

Stevens picked up possession on the edge of the Rangers area following Reed’s centre and fired in a shot into the far corner.

With no sign of a Rangers comeback, Reed saw another shot come back off the post but the damage had already been done and the form side in the league eased to their second victory over Rangers in four days.

STAFFORD RANGERS: 1 Danny Read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Alex Hedley, 5 Luke George, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler (15 Robert Stevenson 68m), 8 Kevin Street (14 Dan Skelton 88m), 9 Chris Morris, 10 Alan Nagington (12 Glyn Blackhurst 77m), 11 Sean Kinsella.
Unused Subs: 16 Jon Sheldon, 17 Adam Alcock

BUXTON: 1 Scott Hartley, 2 Grant Black, 3 Josh Wilde, 4 Steve Istead, 5 Tommy Agus, 6 Marc Roberts, 7 Kieran Lugsden, 8 Michael Towey, 9 Mark Reed, 10 Brad Barraclough (15 Sanchez Payne 76m), 11 Neil Stevens.
Unused Subs: 12 Adrian Hawes, 14 Scott Maxfield, 16 Peter Davidson, 17 Tom Turner

Cautions: Kinsella (Stafford)
Referee: David Croft
Attendance: 502

Report by Chris Elsley

Buxton 3 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - 11th April 2012


Rangers made three changes for their third game in five days as Danny Read replaced Adam Alcock in goal while Ryan Dicker and Kevin Street were missing through illness and injury respectively.

The game made a quiet start and was approaching the 15 minute mark before either goal was threatened.

It was the home side who were first to show as Mark Reed headed on a Grant Black corner but Tommy Agus could only deflect the ball over from close range.

Rangers immediately went forward and opened the scoring with their first meaningful attack. The referee played a good advantage when Dan Skelton was fouled and Kinsella was picked out by Michael Carr’s cross field ball. Kinsella cut inside Josh Wilde and fired in a low drive that beat Buxton keeper Scott Hartley at his near post.

Michael Tovey wasted a great chance to level for Buxton when he planted a free header wide before Chris Morris just missed out on adding a second for Stafford when he sent an attempted chip onto the roof  of the Buxton net.

But Buxton’s Kieran Lugsden showed them how to do it when he was on the end of Marc Roberts’ ball over the back line to fire past Read on 26 mins.

Buxton took command and Mark Reed forced a good save from Read before blazing the rebound over a vacant goal.

Read was again in good form with two good stops in quick succession to keep out Lugsden and Steve Istead then  kept out a back post header from Roberts from Grant Black’s corner.

Buxton kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a second goal on 38 mins when Reed glanced home a long throw from Roberts.

Rangers made a positive start to the second half with the introduction of Matt Jukes in place of Dan Skelton.

Morris forced a save from Hartley and the Buxton stopper then tipped over a goal bound effort from Kinsella before Carr’s determination created another opening but the Stafford captain fired just wide of the target.

Although Neil Stevens kept Rangers alert with two efforts from the edge of the area it was somewhat against the run of play that Buxton extended their lead on 72 mins.

Roberts picked up a loose ball in midfield to send Lugsden away down the right. Lugsden picked out his unmarked strike partner Reed who gave Danny Read no chance to net his second of the night.

Rangers battled on to try to find a way back but their evening was summed up when the normally reliable Kinsella sent a free kick high over the bar.

Kinsella did have another chance in the dying moments but Hartley was equal to the 30 yard drive.

BUXTON: 1 Scott Hartley, 2 Grant Black, 3 Josh Wilde, 4 Steve Istead, 5 Tommy Agus, 6 Marc Roberts, 7 Neil Stevens, 8 Michael Towey, 9 Mark Reed, 10 Kieran Lugsden (15 Sanchez Payne 79m), 11 Peter Davidson (16 Charlie Johnson 79m).
Unused Subs: 12 Adrian Hawes, 14 Brad Barraclough, 17 Tom Turner

STAFFORD RANGERS: 1 Danny Read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Luke George, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Sean Kinsella, 8 Peter Heler (12 Glyn Blackhurst 66m), 9 Chris Morris, 10 Alan Nagington (15 Robert Stevenson 75m), 11 Dan Skelton (sub 14 Matt Jukes 46m).
Unused Subs: 16 Alex Headley, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: None
Referee: Iain Siddall
Attendance: 278

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Nantwich Town 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Monday 9th April 2012


Stafford Rangers were held to a draw by Nantwich Town in an incident packed Easter Monday fixture at Marston Road.

Greg Clowes made three changes to the starting line up with Paul Donnelly, Kevin Street and Alan Nagington coming in for Luke George, Sean Kinsella and Matt Jukes.

It was Nagington who marked his first start since the Boxing Day fixture between the two sides with Rangers’ goal near the end but it was canceled out just minutes later by a super drive from Shaun Cooke.

The game made a sound but unproductive start and the only real shot on target in the opening 20 mins came from Stafford’s Chris Morris but he failed to beat Jon Brain from 20 yards out.

The game needed something to spark it to life but when that spark came on 25 mins, it was not what Rangers wanted.

Peter Heler lunged in on Casper Hughes after losing control of the ball just outside the Nantwich area and the referee deemed it a dangerous challenge and sent the Rangers man off.

Chances were still limited as a reorganised Rangers managed to keep Nantwich at bay.

Hughes sent a drive rising over the Rangers bar and Andy White fired over after advancing from the half way line.

At the other end, Ryan Brown’s near post free kick forced a parried save from Brain but Nantwich nearly took the lead just before the break when Adam Alcock’s clearance rebounded goal wards off Simon Everall but Karl Espley got back to clear off the line.

Referee Peter Gooch incensed Rangers when he took no action against Nantwich’s Darren Moss after the Dabbers’ defender had hauled down Nagington. Gooch chose to ignore his assistant who was flagging for the offence. Moss, who had already been cautioned should have seen a straight red.

The Nantwich man failed to learn from his let off and just three minutes later, he clattered into Michael Carr to pick up his second yellow of the game and the two sides were forced to play the final 30 minutes with ten men each.

Rangers now looked the most likely victors and Morris fired over but Nantwich sub Michael Lennon missed two great chances in the space of 60 seconds.

Rangers looked to be heading for the first goal less draw of the season until they finally found a way through the Nantwich back line with just four minutes remaining.

Nagington received a fine pass from Kinsella and turned Matt Lowe to drill the ball under Brain.

But thoughts of a three point haul were dashed when Cooke picked up possession just outside the Rangers’ area and unleashed an excellent drive that flew into the roof of the net to ensure the points were shared.

STAFFORD RANGERS: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley (12 Luke George 81m), 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (15 Glynn Blackhurst 69m), 9 Chris Morris, 10 Alan Nagington, 11 Dan Skelton (14 Sean Kinsella 81m).
Unused Subs: 16 Matt Jukes, 17 Danny Read.

NANTWICH TOWN: 1 Jon Brain, Matt Lowe, 3 Andy White, 4 Casper Hughes (14 Niall Maguire 64m), 5 Darren Moss, 6 Rod McDonald, 7 Tom Urwin (12 Mike Lennon 58m), 8 Dave MacPherson, 9 Simon Everall (16 Josh Lane 84m), 10 Shaun Cooke, 11 Chris Flynn.
Unused Subs: 15 Zak Foster, 17 Rodney Jack.

Cautions: Brown, Blackhurst (Stafford)
Sent Off: Heler (Stafford), Moss 2 x cautions (Nantwich)
Referee: Peter Gooch
Attendance: 416

Report by Chris Elsley

Whitby Town 2 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 7th April 2012


A poor first half display laid the foundation for Rangers’ fifth consecutive away defeat.

There were three changes to the side that had been held at home by Burscough a week earlier with Luke George, Peter Heler and Dan Skelton all making a return to the starting line up but it was the home side who looked more determined to make an impact on the game.

Whitby who are fighting to avoid relegation nearly went ahead on 10 mins when Jeff Smith’s through ball sent  Jamie Clarke clear and although the Whitby forward managed to poke the ball past Adam Alcock, his shot lacked power and Ryan Dicker was able to clear.

But Whitby got their noses in front in the 19th minute when Heler missed the ball as he tried to clear a centre from Ibrahim Hassan and Smith curled a first time shot beyond the reach of Alcock.

Chris Morris sent a shot flashing across the Whitby goal as Rangers went close to an immediate equaliser but it was Whitby who continued to look the most threatening.

A poor clearance from Alcock nearly let in Whitby for a second but Tom Portas fired wide from 25 yards out.

Alcock showed better skills a few minutes later when he went full stretch to his right to palm away a header from Clarke but the Whitby man finally got his goal a minute before the interval when he netted from the penalty spot after George had brought down Smith.

A double substitution at half time brought an improved display from Rangers with Kevin Street replacing Sean Kinsella and Paul Donnelly on for George.

Morris had a half chance to pull one back but couldn’t get any power behind his shot while Street was unable to keep his 18 yard drive below the cross bar level.

After Michael Carr’s shot had been deflected for a corner on 62 mins, Morris reduced the arrears when he bundled the ball home from close range.

Andrew Appleby wasted a great chance to restore Whitby’s two goal advantage when he fired wide after holding off the challenge of Karl Espley.

Dan Skelton sent a drive just over the Whitby bar with ten minutes remaining but that was to be Rangers’ last real chance and the game ended on a sour note when Espley was shown a red card. It looked a little harsh on the Rangers defender as his challenge on Nathan Mulligan looked no worse than some of the other tackles that had been flying around.

WHITBY TOWN: 1 Nick Liversedge, 2 Ibrahim Hassan, 3 Mark Robinson, 4 Kevin Burgess (15 Ashley Lyth 49m), 5 Alex White, 6 David McTiernan, 7 Tom Portas, 8 Jimmy Beadle (14 Williams 65m), 9 Jamie Clarke, 10 Andrew Appleby (12 Nathan Mulligan 81m), 11 Jeff Smith.
Unused Subs: 16 David Onions, 17 David Campbell

STAFFOR RANGERS: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Luke George (14 Paul Donnelly 46m), 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Sean Kinsella (16 Kevin Street 46m), 8 Peter Heler, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Matt Jukes (12 Alan Nagington 66m), 11 Dan Skelton.
Unused Subs: 15 Glyn Blackhurst, 17 Danny Read

CAUTIONS: Beadle, Mulligan (Whitby), George, Brown, Morris (Stafford)
SENT OFF: Espley (Stafford)
Referee: Neil Sharp
Attendance: 371

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Burscough 1
EVO STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 31st March 2012


Stafford Rangers were held to a draw at home to  bottom of the table Burscough, but the point wasn’t enough to save the visitors from the relegation that has threatened them all season.

Rangers made two changes to the side that started at North Ferriby a week earlier with Karl Espley replacing Luke George at the back and Matt Jukes making his first start in place of Peter Heler.

Rangers controlled the first half but their play was scrappy and largely unproductive. Burscough were shaky at the back and it looked as though one goal would open the floodgates.

They nearly got it inside five minutes when Glynn Blackhurst’s header from Sean Kinsella’s corner was blocked on the line by Joe Camozzi. Shortly after, Ryan Dicker stabbed wide from another Kinsella corner.

It was dead ball specialist Kinsella who made the breakthrough on 16 mins with a free kick to the near post that caught Burscough keeper Tim Horn off guard.

But Rangers never pushed on. It was past the half hour mark before they really threatened again. This time, Chris Morris held off a challenge from Danny Murphy to poke the ball past Horn only for Anthony Glover to race back and clear off the line.

The second half saw a positive response from Burscough although Dicker could have put them out of the game immediately after the resumption but sent his header over.

The visitors gained in confidence and deservedly levelled the scores on 59 mins when a long throw from Glover bounced around the Rangers area and Will Jones was first to react with a hooked volley past Adam Alcock.

The goal seemed to wake Rangers up and Morris should have restored Stafford’s lead within the minute only for Horn to save. Rob Stevenson picked up the loose ball and delivered a deep cross  to the right but the unmarked Jukes planted his header wide.

The final ten minutes saw Glyn Blackhurst shoot wide for Rangers and Burscough captain Chris Tyson volley over at the other end but the game petered out into a tame draw with an end of season feeling to it.

STAFFORD RANGERS: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Rob Stevenson (16 Dan Skelton 66m), 8 Glyn Blackhurst, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Matt Jukes (15 Alan Nagington 73m), 11 Sean Kinsella.
Unused Subs: 12 Luke George, 14 Peter Heler, 17 Danny Read

BURSCOUGH: 1 Tim Horn, 2 Anthony Glover, 3 Phil Quirk, 4 Paul Williams, 5 Danny Murphy, 6 Chris Tyson, 7 Joe Camozzi (12 Matty Parry 71m), 8  Darren Brookfield (15 James Rushton-Woods 63m), 9 Niall Cummins (14 John Kennedy 71m), 10 Will Jones, 11 Ryan Wignall.
Unused Subs: 16 Bevan Burey, 17 Craig Ellison.

CAUTIONS: NONE
REFEREE: Michael Bingham
Attendance: 395

Rep[ort by Chris Elsley

North Ferriby Utd 3 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 24th March 2012


Rangers slipped to their fourth consecutive away defeat, going down to North Ferriby United.

There was one change to the Rangers starting line up from the side that defeated Chasetown a week earlier with Glyn Blackhurst replacing Kevin Street while there was a place on the subs bench for new signing Matt Jukes.

The Boro had an early chance to open the scoring when Michael Carr’s pass found Chris Morris just inside the area but the front man poked his effort just wide of the target.

But it was the home side who were to make the first breakthrough when a long ball from James Williams was flicked on by Danny Clarke and Gary Bradshaw held off the challenge of Luke George to slot past Adam Alcock on 14 mins.

Sean Kinsella missed out on a great chance to snatch an immediate equaliser when he shot wide from just outside the area after being put through by Ryan Brown.

North Ferriby doubled their lead on 23 mins. Wayne Brooksby pounced on an error from Paul Donnelly and struck a powerful shot that gave Alcock little chance.

Rangers had enjoyed as much of the game as their hosts and went close again following a Kinsella corner that saw Carr and Ryan Dicker just miss out.

Glyn Blackhurst finally gave the Boro a route back into the game seven minutes into the second half. Carr linked with Morris who beat Gregg Anderson to square the ball across the six yard area and Blackhurst was there at the back post to score.

Carr could have equalised the scores a couple of minutes later but fired wide from 8 yards, and within a minute, the Rangers captain sent Morris clear of the Villagers back line only for keeper Adam Nicklin to make the save.

A goal would possibly have seen Rangers go on and win the game but, instead, their challenge diminished and it was the home side that looked the most threatening.

Bradshaw had a shot deflected wide off the boot of Dicker and Clarke’s attempted chip over Alcock was badly misplaced but Bradshaw made sure of the points for the home side seven minutes from time when he latched on to a flick from sub Lee Morris to clip the ball past Alcock.

The result lifts the Villagers above Rangers in the table.

NORTH FERRIBY UNITED: 1 Adam Nicklin, 2 James Williams, 3 Kevin Larvin, 4 Nathan Peat, 5 Gregg Anderson, 6 Paul Foot, 7 Wayne Brooksby, 8 Russell Fry (12 Lee Morris 82m), 9 Chris Bolder, 10 Gary Bradshaw, 11 Danny Clarke.
Unused Subs: 14 Ben Hunter, 15 Sam Denton, 16 Sam Belcher, 17 Steve Wilson.

STAFFORD RANGERS:  1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Rob Stevenson, 8 Peter Heler, 9 Chris Morris (12 Matt Jukes 72m), 10 Sean Kinsella (14 Alan Nagington 72m), 11 Glyn Blackhurst.
Unused Subs: 15 Michael Morton, 16 Karl Espley, 17 Danny Read.

Cautions: Brooksby (NFUFC), Heler (SRFC)
Referee: D Storrie
Attendance: 271

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 4 Chasetown 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 17th March 2012


Another commanding second half performance saw Rangers complete the double over Chasetown to leave their Staffordshire rivals still searching for their first win of 2012.

Rangers made just one change to the side that started against Bradford Park Avenue a week earlier with Kevin Street replacing the injured Dan Skelton.

The first half was a disappointing affair. Although Rangers looked the most comfortable in the early stages, the better chances fell Chasetown’s way and Adam Alcock had to dive bravely at the feet of Dean Perrow after Luke George had half stopped a Gary Birch shot.

Danny Smith skied one over from 18 yards and Birch planted his header directly into the arms of Alcock before an extended period that saw neither goal threatened.

Five minutes before the break, Mark Hands volleyed just over but the visitors were left fuming at the half time whistle when referee Matthew Walsh denied them a penalty following Ryan Brown’s challenge on Courtney Pitt and instead booked the Scholars captain for diving.

But it was Rangers who got themselves an early second half goal and, once in front, they never looked like losing.

There was an element of luck in the opening goal on 51 mins. Michael Carr’s back header from Sean Kinsella’s free kick came back of the post only to rebound into the net off Chasetown keeper Ryan Price.

Four minutes later, it was 2-0. This time it was Luke George who climbed highest to head home Ryan Brown’s centre.

Chris Morris was keen to get in on the act and forced a good save from Price with a low 25 yard drive.

The visitors came close to pulling one back on 66 mins when Jordan Archer received the ball from Birch and although Alcock was unable to hold onto the shot, Ryan Dicker was on hand to deny Archer from the rebound.

If the first goal went down as an own goal, Carr made certain that his name was on the scoresheet as Rangers gave themselves further breathing space on 70 mins. Another Kinsella free kick went into the danger area and Carr got behind the Chasetown defence to head past Price.

Another header, as Birch was on the end of a corner from Pitt, saw Chasetown pull a goal back on 75 mins but Rangers made certain of the points six minutes later.

Morris capitalized on a slip from Jimmy Turner as the two contested a good ball down the line from Paul Donnelly and advanced to fire confidently past Price to record his third goal in three games.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Rob Stevenson, 8 Peter Heler, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Kevin Street.
Unused Subs: 12 Alan Nagington, 14 Karl Espley, 15 Glynn Blackhurst, 16 Michael Morton, 17 Danny Read.

Chasetown: 1 Ryan Price, 2 Jack Farmer, 3 Mark Branch, 4 Charlie Raglan (12 Richard Teesdale 59m), 5 Jimmy Turner, 6 Scott Lycett, 7 Danny Smith (17 Danny Quinn 68m), 8 Mark Hands, 9 Gary Birch, 10 Dean Perrow (16 Jordan Archer 63m), 11 Courtney Pitt.
Unused subs: 14 Greg Downes, 15 David Bridgwater.

Cautions: Heler, Brown, Morris (SRFC), Pitt (CFC)
Referee: Matthew Walsh
Attendance: 593

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 3 Bradford (Park Ave) 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 10th March 2012


Stafford Rangers gained revenge for their 3-1 defeat at Bradford last week by defeating the promotion chasing Yorkshire side by the same scoreline when the two sides met again at Marston Road on Saturday.

Rangers made one change to their starting line up with Rob Stevenson replacing Kevin Street but the experienced midfielder was soon called into action as a 26th minute substitute for the injured Dan Skelton.

Neither side created much early on but Bradford wasted three great chances in a four minute spell. Jordan Deacey scooped the ball wide with just Adam Alcock to beat after picking up a poor clearance from the Rangers keeper.

Two minutes later, Peter Heler lost possession allowing Rob O’Brien to set up Tom Greaves whose shot struck the outside of the post.

As Bradford continued to press, Alcock saved well from another Greaves effort.

Michael Carr went closest for Rangers in a goalless first half but his drive went inches wide.

While Bradford shaded the first half, the second belonged to Rangers.

Visiting keeper John Lamb fumbled a Sean Kinsella free kick and Ryan Dicker rose highest to head Rangers into a 48th minute lead from the resultant corner.

Six minutes later, Rob Stevenson made it 2-0. Chris Morris did well to hold off Adam Clayton to get in a shot which Lamb did well to save only for the ball to run into the path of Stevenson who netted from a tight angle.

Only a stunning point blank save prevented Morris from extending the lead before Michael Carr somehow managed to miss a sitter from six yards.

But it was Carr’s pass that put Morris behind the Bradford defence to slide the ball under Lamb to make it 3-0 on 70 mins.

Michael Morton nearly added a fourth before Bradford pulled a goal back on 85 mins when Alcock let a tame shot from Matty James slip through his hand and legs.

Alcock made amends for his howler a couple of minutes later with a fine penalty save, diving full stretch to his right to turn away Deacey’s spot kick after Luke George had been penalised for hand ball.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Rob Stevenson (16 Michael Morton 80m), 8 Peter Heler, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Dan Skelton (14 Kevin Street 26 m).
Unused Subs: 12 Alan Nagington, 15 Karl Espley, 17 Danny Read.

Bradford Park Avenue: 1 John Lamb, 2 Rob O’Brien (15 James Riley 80m), 3 Martin Drury, 4 Jordan Deacey, 5 James Knowles, 6 Adam Clayton, 7 Tom Greaves, 8 Nathan Hotte (14 Matty James 60m), 9 Richard Marshall, 10 Ross Daly (12 Nicky Boshell 65m), 11 Alex Davidson.
Unused Subs: 13 Matthew Dempsey, 16 Mark Hume

Cautions: O’Brien (BPAFC)
Referee: Simon Brown
Att: 452

Report by Chris Elsley

Bradford Park Avenue 3 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 3rd March 2012


Costly errors sent Stafford Rangers to defeat at promotion hopefuls Bradford Park Avenue.

Rangers welcomed back Ryan Dicker at the heart of defence while there was also a return to the side for midfielder Sean Kinsella who joined on loan from Northwich Victoria. Missing out was Karl Espley while Glyn Blackhurst was injured.

The first half was a fairly even affair which Rangers just about shaded and a couple of times it needed good defending by the home side to deny Rangers a clear shot on goal.

Kinsella went close to an early opener when he struck a low free kick that nearly squirmed past John Lamb off the greasy surface.

Bradford responded with an attempted chip from Richard Marshall going high over the Rangers bar. Soon after, Tom Greaves tried his luck from 18 yards. The ball slipped through Adam Alcock’s hands but out for a corner.

Boro’s Dan Skelton went the closest to a first half goal when he struck the post from 30 yards. Alcock then saved a close range effort from Marshall before another Skelton effort went a few inches wide.

Chris Morris forced a save from Lamb at the start of the second half but when the Rangers forward lost possession just outside the area on 54 mins, Bradford made him pay.

A quick break down the left ended with Marshall cleverly deflecting Alex Davidson’s ball past Alcock.

Bradford made it 2-0 on 72 mins again after Rangers had lost possession in the Bradford half.

Rob O’Brien made the break before picking out Marshall. Although Alcock was able to make the initial block, Greaves had a simple tap in.

Alcock denied Nicky Boshell before Bradford’s third breakway goal came on 77 mins. The ball was given away in midfield and Martin Dury sent Marshall clear to slide his shot under the body of Alcock.

Morris reduced the arrears on 82 mins after Lamb had only been able to parry Michael Carr’s volley but Bradford could have added a fourth in stoppage time only for Alcock and Ryan Brown to make goal line clearances.

Bradford Park Avenue: 1 John Lamb, 2 Rob O’Brien, 3 Martin Dury, 4 Jordan Deacey, 5 James Knowles, 6 Adam Clayton, 7 Tom Greaves (12 Nicky Boshell 74m), 8 Nathan Hotte, 9 Richard Marshall, 10 Matty James (15 Mathew Dempsey 18m), 11 Alex Davidson (13 Nicky Matthews 74m).
Unused Subs: 14 James Riley, 16 Mark Hume.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler (15 Anthony Maguire 79m), 8 Kevin Street, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Dan Skelton (14 Rob Stevenson 60m).
Unused Subs: 12 Karl Espley, 16 Joe Rogers, 17 Danny Read.

Cautions: O’Brien, Greaves (BPAFC), Street (SRFC)
Referee: J Hunt
Att: 523

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Northwich Victoria 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Tuesday 28th February 2012


An improved performance saw Stafford Rangers end a three match losing streak with a point at home to high flying Northwich Victoria.

Adam Alcock kept his place in goal despite the return of Danny Read to the squad while there was a return to the starting line up for Kevin Street with Rob Stevenson dropping to the bench.

Northwich were sporting a pale yellow shirt with white numbers that were difficult to see under the Marston Road lights. So difficult, in fact, that Vics’ Tom Field and Michael Roddy came out wearing each others shirt from that listed on the team sheet.

But the game got off to a bad start for Rangers as the Vics took a 4th minute lead. Karl Espley pulled back former Boro striker Chris Budrys in the area and although Alcock saved Tom Field’s penalty, the Vics captain was first to the rebound.

Boro’s best chance early on fell to Street when he was on the end of a deep centre from Paul Donnelly on the right hand side but Ben Hinchcliffe saved.

Chances were limited but the visitors went close again when a flick from Budrys put Tom Smyth in behind the Rangers defence but Alcock saved well.

Rangers were looking second best for much of the opening half hour but got back on level terms on 29 mins. Street supplied Chris Morris who in turn picked out Peter Heler. The Rangers wide man cut inside and beat Hinchcliffe with an accurate shot that squeezed just inside the keeper’s right hand post.

After David Fitzpatrick had fired just wide of the Stafford goal, Alcock produced another good save, this time to keep out a volley from Nathan Woolfe.

The Rangers keeper continued to deny the Vics after the break, denying Wayne Riley before stopping a terrific volley from Smyth.

Michael Carr’s speculative but well struck 30 yarder was straight at Hinchcliffe before the Northwich keeper passed a sterner test as he leapt to claw away a goal bound header from Morris.

Northwich could have snatched the points in the closing minutes but Woolfe sent his drive rising over the Rangers bar.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Luke George, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Glynn Blackhurst (14 Anthony Maguire 65m), 11 Dan Skelton.
Unused Subs: 12 Rob Stevenson, 15 Joe Rogers, 16 Alex Headley, 17 Danny Read

Northwich Victoria: 1 Ben Hinchcliffe, 2 John Disney, 3 David Fitzpatrick, 4 Dom Collins, 5 Tom Smyth, 6 Tom Field, 7 Ryan Wade (12 Sean Kinsella 62m), 8 Michael Roddy (14 Kyle Armstrong 77m), 9 Chris Budrys (15 Tony Evans 81m), 10 Wayne Riley, 11 Nathan Woolfe.
Unused Subs: 16 Lewis Short, 17 Steve Abbott

Cautions: Espley, Morris (SRFC), Disney, Field (NVFC)
Referee: Philip Dermott
Att: 475

Report by Chris Elsley

Mickleover Sports 1 Stafford Rangers 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 25th February 2012


Another poor performance sent Stafford Rangers slipping to their third consecutive defeat meaning that they are still to pick up a point since manager Greg Clowes was awarded the January Manager of the Month award.

Rangers were without regular keeper Danny Read, allowing Adam Alcock his first appearance since getting injured at Burscough in November. Also missing were Ryan Dicker, who is still suffering with the injury he picked up at Chester,  Jon Sheldon (injured v Ashton United) and Michael Morton.

The game started well enough for Stafford and they could have taken an early lead when Dan Skelton cut out a poor cross field free kick from Mickleover’s Martin Smythe. Skelton charged forward before producing a firm shot which was pushed away for a corner by Damon Clarke.

Rangers went close again when Rob Stevenson hooked the ball into the Mickleover six yard box where Mark Farthing cleared off the line before the ball was eventually scrambled clear.

Stafford remained the stronger side but were unable to find the breakthrough although Glynn Blackhurst tried his luck with two 25 yarders in the space of a couple of minutes.

Mickleover, who had former Boro favourite Craig McAughtrie at the heart of their defence, began to gain confidence and created their first real threat on 27 mins when Farthing sprung the offside trap and forced Alcock to save.

From the following corner, McAughtrie headed just wide at the back post.

The home side were gifted the lead on 29 mins when Skelton was caught out trying to shepherd the ball out of play. Farthing nipped in to centre the ball for Karl Ashton to head home from close range.

A great run from John Guy nearly produced a second goal for Mickleover but half time was reached with the home side just a goal ahead.

Rangers began brightly at the start of the second half with Rob Stevenson firing a shot just wide and Chris Morris forcing a near post save from Clarke.

Michael Carr got in the way of a thumping volley from Michael Simpson but it was a dreadful challenge from Ashton that gave the game an added spark.

The Mickleover goal scorer jumped in two footed on Paul Donnelly but got off lightly with just a yellow card.

This fired up Rangers for a time and Morris dragged a shot just wide following Skelton’s flick.

Ashton was the target for a couple of strong challenges and was withdrawn from the action soon after.

Ryan Brown sent a quick free kick wide as Stafford’s search for an equaliser continued but their challenge wilted away and only in stoppage time did they threaten once more but the home defence held firm to take the points.

Mickleover Sports: 1 Damon Clarke, 2 Kristian Ramsey-Dickson, 3 John Guy, 4 Liam Walshe (15 Colin Hoyle 14m), 5 Craig McAughtrie, 6 Martin Smythe, 7 Eric Graves, 8 Michael Simpson, 9 Karl Ashton (12 Emeka Nwadike 66m), 10 Mark Farthing (14 Robert Ritchie-Smith 80m), 11 Alex Steadman.
Unused Subs: 13 Chris Dodsley

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Luke George, 6 Michael Carr (14 Kevin Street 76m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Glynn Blackhurst, 9 Chris Morris (16 Anthony Maguire 83m), 10 Rob Stevenson, 11 Dan Skelton (12 Alan Nagington 66m).
Unused Subs: 15 Fabrice Kasiama, 17 Joe Rogers

Cautions: Hoyle, Ashton, Simpson, McAughtrie (MSFC) Heler (SRFC)
Referee: David Lawrence
Attendance: 326

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Ashton Utd 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 18th February 2012


The curse of the Manager of the Month award struck at Marston Road as Stafford Rangers went down in a disappointing match against Ashton United.

Boro boss Greg Clowes was presented with his award shortly before kick off following a good set of results in January but the month of February has so far produced defeats against Chester and now Ashton.

Rangers were without the injured Ryan Dicker and Peter Heler who was unavailable, allowing a return to the starting line up for Paul Donnelly and Glynn Blackhurst.

The first half was a scrappy stop-start affair with neither side looking dominant.

Rangers went close on 12 mins when Kevin Street’s ball from the left was poked by Rob Stevenson into the path of Chris Morris but Ashton keeper Terry Smith dived in bravely to block.

Soon after, Ashton’s Matty Kosylo sent a shot wide after dispossessing Ryan Brown but there was little on show to excite the crowd.

Ashton created a couple more chances around the half hour mark with Danny Lambert’s volley swinging away before Brown made a good block to deny Aaron Burns.

Rangers responded as Blackhurst’s powerful drive struck Craig Robinson before bouncing to safety.

When Stafford keeper Danny Read pushed away a free kick from Mark Peers in first half stoppage time, it looked as though it would be a goalless opening period but the game suddenly produced some talking points.

A hooked ball down the line from Morris set Rob Stevenson free and he held off the challenge of Ashton skipper George Melling to fire past Smith.

But, within seconds, the sides were level again as Matty O’Neill was allowed to advance into the area and, despite the best efforts of Luke George, he scored from a tight angle.

It went from bad to worse for Rangers when Burns stabbed the ball past Read, following Melling’s knock down, to give Ashton the lead five minutes into the second half.

Morris nearly got Rangers back level but his shot was blocked by Melling but Rangers rarely looked like posing a major threat.

Ashton could and should have put the game beyond doubt ten minutes from time when sub Chris Amadi broke free down the left and set up a great chance for Burns but the unmarked Ashton forward’s first touch was poor and Read was able to clear.

Stevenson nearly created a late equaliser when his centre deflected off Melling but O’Neill tidied up to clear off the line and, with it, went Rangers’ last chance of points.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Luke George, 6 Michael Carr (15 Michael Morton 78m), 7 Glynn Blackhurst, 8 Kevin Street (12 Alan Nagington 65m), 9 Chris Morris, 10 Rob Stevenson, 11 Jon Sheldon (14 Dan Skelton 62m).
Unused Subs: 16 Anthony Maguire, 17 Adam Alcock

Ashton United: 1 Terry Smith, 2 Alex Frost, 3 David Roberts, 4 Warren Beattie, 5 George Melling, 6 Craig Robinson, 7 Matty O’Neill, 8 Danny Lambert (14 Ian Bennett 68m), 9 Aaron Burns (15 Kevin Sanasy 90+1m), 10 Matty Kosylo (16 Chris Amadi 78m), 11 Mark Peers.
Unused Subs: 12 Josh Rose, 17 Ged Murphy

Cautions: Roberts (AUFC)
Referee: Dave Plowright
Att: 447

Report by Chris Elsley

Chester 2 Stafford Rangers 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 11th February 2012

 
Stafford Rangers' hopes of inflicting further damage on one of this season's promotion chasers was ended by two second half goals at the Exacta Stadium.
 
In the only match in the league to survive the freeze, Rangers made one change to the side that drew at Chorley a couple of weeks earlier with Rob Stevenson replacing the departed Neville Thompson in attack.
 
But it was to be a fruitless afternoon for Stephenson and his strike partner Chris Morris as they were denied any clear chances to breach the Chester goal.
 
After Karl Espley sent an early header over the bar for Rangers it was the home side who were to do most of the attacking, but it wasn't until midway through the first half that they began to pose a real threat.
 
Stefan Cox, on loan to Chester from Fleetwood, sent in a dangerous cross from the right which had Danny Read at full stretch to flick away. Read made another block in the scramble that followed before clawing away Antoni Sarcevic's header.
 
Jerome Wright swung a shot into the side netting soon after before Read continued his impressive run of form, flying to his right to push away Alex Brown's free kick.
 
Ryan Dicker headed away a Matty McGinn centre from underneath the bar as Chester continued to press but Rangers nearly shocked the league leaders when Kevin Street flicked on Michael Carr's free kick only for the ball to go straight to keeper John Danby.
 
On the stroke of half time, Sarcevic burst clear only to be denied the opening goal by Espley's last ditch tackle.
 
Chester finally made the breakthrough two minutes after the restart. A throw on the left was collected by Brown and his shot from some 25 yards out took a deflection past the helpless Read.
 
A deflection at the other end failed to benefit Rangers as George Horan's interception from Carr's free kick was held by Danby.
 
Christian Smith fired wide from distance but proved more accurate with a close range header to convert McGinn's corner ten minutes from time to wrap up the points for the home side.
 
Chester: 1 John Danby, 2 Liam Brownhill, 3 Matty McGinn, 4 George Horan, 5 Michael Taylor, 6 Alex Brown (Michael Powell 86m), 7 Jerome Wright, 8 Christian Smith, 9 Matty McNeil, 10 Antoni Sarcevic (14 Chris Simm 86m), 11 Stefan Cox (16 Robbie Booth 69m).
Unused Subs: 12 Michael Wilde, 17 Iain Howard.
 
Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker (12 Paul Donnelly 78m), Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (14 Glynn Blackhurst 63m), 9 Chris Morris, 10 Rob Stevenson (15 Alan Nagington 71m), 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 16 Dan Skelton, 17 Adam Alcock.

Cautions: Taylor (CFC), George (SRFC)
Referee: John Brooks
Att: 2381

Report by Chris Elsley

Chorley 2 Stafford Rangers 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 28th January 2012


Stafford Rangers came from behind twice to earn a point at Chorley.

The game was an excellent advert for the league with both sides giving their all.

The first half was controlled by the home side. They set the scene inside the first minute when Chris Denham ran on to a ball from Tom Ince but sent his left foot shot just beyond the far post.

Chorley were dictating play and took a deserved lead on 15 mins when Adam Roscoe flicked on Ince’s free kick and Matt Walwyn hooked the ball past Danny Read.

The Rangers keeper then prevented Chorley from extending their lead a couple of minutes later when he saved Steve Foster’s penalty after Luke George had tripped Denham.

Slowly, Rangers began to find their feet and Neville Thompson had a shot deflected for a corner before Jon Sheldon put one wide.

Michael Carr and Chris Morris linked well on for Carr to be felled by Andy Teague a yard outside the Chorley area. Carr took the resultant free kick which deflected off the Chorley wall and past Russ Saunders to bring Rangers level on 37 mins.

Foster and Denham wasted good opportunities to restore Chorley’s lead but the home side went ahead on the stroke of half time when Walwyn fired in Foster’s right wing centre.

Rangers responded well and levelled once more on 52 mins with a ‘special’ from Sheldon.

Ince fouled Peter Heler near the right corner flag but distance and the tight angle proved no problem for Sheldon as he curled the ball into the far top corner of the net.

A couple of minutes later, Chorley went close to taking the lead once more when Foster set up Denham with a volley but Read tipped over.

The final half hour saw Rangers on top. Morris poked the ball past the advancing Saunders but also past the post.

Soon after, Karl Espley headed a Sheldon free kick against the post. Ryan Dicker’s follow up was blocked before Kevin Street sent the ball into the side netting.

More chances came and went as Saunders saved from Morris and Carr then produced an excellent flying save to tip away another Sheldon free kick to ensure that the spoils would be shared.

Chorley: 1 Russ Saunders, 2 Mark Ross, 3 Matt Walwyn, 4 Andy Teague, 5 Andy Russell, 6 Jamie Vermiglio (16 Jordan Bowen 72m), 7 Adam Roscoe, 8 Steve Flitcroft, 9 Chris Denham, 10 Steve Foster (14 John Cunliffe 68m), 11 Tom Ince.
Unused Subs: 12 Wayne Madden, 15 Ahmadi Proya, 17 Ali Brown

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Ryan Brown 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 12 Paul Donnelly, 14 Glynn Blackhurst, 15 Dan Skelton, 16 Rob Stevenson, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: Teague, Denham (CFC) Carr, Morris (SRFC)
Referee: J Hull
Att: 1,086

Report by Chris Elsley

Eccleshall 3 Stafford Rangers 3
FRIENDLY - Tuesday 24th January 2012


Stafford Rangers overcame a three goal half time deficit to draw this friendly with Eccleshall.

At a misty Pershall Park, Rangers fielded triallist Sam Bell at right back with none of the side that started against Stocksbridge Park Steels being called upon.

But the game got off to a bad start when a Joe Rogers back pass put keeper Adam Alcock in trouble. Alcock’s attempted clearance struck Tom Wakefield and the Eccleshall striker was able to force the ball home to give his side a 2nd minute lead.

The home side made it 2-0 on 11 mins. Wakefield was again involved after his shot was well saved by Alcock but home skipper Danny Hughes followed up to score.

Alan Nagington shot wide from a Michael Morton centre and Rob Stevenson had a shot blocked but Rangers were struggling to get a hold on the game.

On the stroke of half time, Eccleshall were awarded a penalty after a foul by Paul Donnelly and Wakefield slammed the ball into the roof of the Rangers net to make it 3-0.

The strong words heard coming from the Rangers dressing room during the interval had their effect as Stevenson reduced the arrears on 50 mins following Dan Skelton’s left wing corner.

Stevenson scored his second on 64 mins, this time from a Skelton corner on the right, but Eccleshall could have extended their lead but their tall sub who had entered the game at half time spurned two good chances that came his way.

With 10 mins remaining, Skelton headed in Stafford’s equaliser from a Glynn Blackhurst centre.

Nagington and Bell both went close for Stafford in the final minutes while it needed a good tackle from Skelton to deny the home side a late winner.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Sam Bell, 3 Joe Rogers, 4 Paul Donnelly, 5 Alex Headley, 6 Michael Morton, 7 Anthony Maguire, 8 Glynn Blackhurst, 9 Rob Stevenson, 10 Alan Nagington, 11Dan Skelton.
Unused Subs: 12 Karl Espley, 14 Luke George

Referee: Andy Mapperson
Attendance: approx 75

Report by Chris Elsley


Stafford Rangers 5 Stocksbridge Park Steels 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 21st September 2012


Goal starved fans were treated to a rare Marston Road feast on Saturday as Stafford Rangers hit five past Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Rangers had only managed 14 goals in 13 league games at home this season but finally found their shooting boots against the struggling Yorkshire side.

It was a goal on his home debut for Chris Morris that got the ball rolling but the new striker wasn’t there to see his side complete the victory after he rushed off at half time to be with his wife who had gone into labour with their first child.

Morris’ goal was the highlight of an otherwise disappointing first half.

The visitors had enjoyed the bulk of possession in the opening 20 mins but they only forced one save from Danny Read – the shot coming in from Brian Cusworth.

Rangers gradually came into the game and took the lead with their first serious effort on goal. Kevin Street played the ball over the top of the Steels defence and Morris held off the challenge of Brett Lovell and Daryl Weston to fire under the body of Ben Scott.

A long range effort from Michael Carr wasn’t too far off target as Rangers looked to add to their lead before Richard Haigh’s header went close to levelling the scores with Ryan Dicker forced to clear off the line.

Rob Stevenson came on for the second half in place of Morris and he was soon in the action beating Lovell to allow Jon Sheldon to create a chance which Neville Thompson put into the side netting.

Read kept Stafford ahead with saves from Cusworth and Haigh then claimed an assist as Rangers went 2-0 up on the hour when Sheldon’s centre took a deflection off Lovell and Mark Whitehouse could only help the ball on its way in to the net as he tried to clear.

Thompson made it 3-0 on 69 mins, claiming the final touch after a scramble following a Sheldon free kick.

Steels then enjoyed a better period of play and a stabbed shot from Lovell forced a fine reflex save from Read – the ball ricocheting onto the post before bouncing clear.

Alex Callery dragged his shot across the face of the Rangers goal before Scott Hogan  pulled one back on 80 mins with a low drive from the edge of the area following a poor clearance from Thompson.

The visitors continued to press but any lingering nerves in the Stafford camp were extinguished in the 90th minute when Thompson clipped the ball over Scott to make it 4-1.

Four minutes into added time, Stevenson ran on to a Luke George pass to make it 5-1, Rangers’ best home win in the league for nine years.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler (12 Paul Donnelly 90+2m), 8 Kevin Street (15 Dan Skelton 70m), 9 Chris Morris (16 Rob Stevenson 46m), 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 14 Glynn Blackhurst, 17 Adam Alcock

Stocksbridge Park Steels: 1 Ben Scott, 2 Daryl Weston, 3 Mark Whitehouse, 4 Richard Haigh, 5 Brett Lovell, 6 Anthony Tansley, 7 Scott Hogan, 8 Matt Telling, 9 Jack Muldoon, 10 Brian Cusworth (14 Richard Stirrup 67m), 11 Alex Callery (15 Ryan Harrison 79m).
Unused Subs: 12 Harry Brockarie, 17 Craig Gladwin

Cautions: Dicker, Stevenson (SRFC), Hogan, Haigh (SPSFC)
Referee: Iain Siddall
Att: 406

Report by Chris Elsley


Marine 0 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 14th January 2012


For the second successive week, Stafford Rangers have dealt a blow to the hopes of one of the play off chasing sides in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

Rangers travelled to Liverpool side Marine looking to build on their success at FC United of Manchester a week earlier and featured a new face in their starting line up with Chris Morris having signed from Romulus to join Neville Thompson in attack.

The opening 45 minutes produced little. There was an overall lack of quality and neither keeper was called upon to make a serious save. The nearest Rangers came to a goal was in first half stoppage time when Thompson cut in from the left but his shot nestled into the arms of Marine keeper Ryan McMahon.

Marine’s best chance fell to Aaron Rey but he sent his 20 yarder wide when well placed.

Jonathan Goulding hinted at better when he sent a rising shot over the Stafford bar at the start of the second half. The Marine midfielder tried his luck again some 15 minutes later but this time his shot swung wide of the target.

But it was Stafford who made the breakthrough on 66 mins when Thompson and Morris combined to find a way through the Marine defence.

Thompson’s header found Morris on the right and the new boy held of the challenge of John Shaw to square the ball back for the unmarked Thompson to drive under the body of McMahon.

Thompson, clearly encouraged by his goal, could have had a second a few minutes later but this time sent his effort high and wide.

Meanwhile, only a good challenge from Karl Espley had denied Rey a shot on goal as the home side sought a quick reply.

Marine sub Thomas Moore fired into the side netting after being put through by Neil Harvey while, at the other end, Rangers nearly added a second when a Michael Carr free kick looped up off Harvey and McMahon was forced to concede a corner.

The final minutes saw Marine press for the equaliser but, with the Rangers defence remaining solid, the home side were unable to force Danny Read into any serious action.

Marine: 1 Ryan McMahon, 2 Paul Lundon (12 Thomas Moore 61m), 3 Louis Barnes, 4 John Shaw, 5 Sam Barnes, 6 Robbie Lawton, 7 Joe Fowler, 8 Jonathan Goulding, 9 Aaron Rey, 10 Neil Harvey (16 Matthew Devine 81m), 11 Ian Latham (14 Liam Dawson 61m).
Unused Subs: 15 Carl Gargan, 17 Phil Brazier

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street, 9 Chris Morris, 10 Neville Thompson (14 Glynn Blackhurst 83m), 11 Jon Sheldon (15 Matthew Bell 90+3m).
Unused Subs: 12 Paul Donnelly, 16 Robert Stevenson, 17 Jordan Wood

Cautions: Lundon, Lawton, Fowler (MFC), George, Brown (SRFC)
Referee: Natalie Walker
Att: 458

Report by Chris Elsley

Alsager Town 1 Stafford Rangers 1
Friendly - Tuesday 10th January 2012


Greg Clowes made several changes for this friendly at Alsager Town with only three of the side that defeated FC United of Manchester featuring in the starting line up, namely Karl Espley, Peter Heler and Matthew Bell.

The Alsager pitch looked flat and firm but once play began it was clear that it had an uneven bounce and control and passing were going to be a little more difficult than at first thought.

Rob Stevenson lead the Stafford attack and was presented with a good chance inside the opening five minutes but fired his shot straight at one time Boro keeper, Tom Harrison, in the Alsager goal.

Alsager, lying midway in the North West Counties League Premier Division, broke the deadlock in the 19th minute. Rangers were caught napping as a quick throw from the left was picked up by Alsager’s nippy left back and he pulled the ball back across goal for Chris Smith to fire home.

Rangers nearly drew level some five minutes later but Peter Heler was just unable to reach Michael Morton’s free kick then Matthew Bell hit a well struck drive from 35 yards straight at Harrison.

Rangers’ best chance of the half fell to Dan Skelton after Stevenson had beaten a couple of Alsager defenders but the midfielder scooped the ball over the bar.

Just before the break, Alsager looked set to score a second but the forward delayed his shot allowing Jordan Wood the chance to smother.

Morton, making his first appearance since a recurrence of his hamstring injury at Rushall, appeared to pick up another injury midway through the half and although he continued through to half time, he was replaced by Jon Sheldon for the second half.

Skelton and Heler went close in the opening stages before Stevenson’s deflected shot from 18 yards levelled the scores on 69 mins.

Meanwhile, one of the Alsager midfielders had been replaced, apparently at the request of referee John Taylor, following a late challenge on Skelton.

In the final ten minutes, Rangers saw Espley and Heler fail to take good chances that fell to them while only a good save from Wood denied Alsager a last minute winner.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jordan Wood, Karl Espley, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Paul Donnelly, 5 Joe Rogers, 6 Alex Hedley, 7 Michael Morton (18 Jon Sheldon 46m), 8 Dan Skelton, 9 Rob Stevenson, 10 Peter Heler, 11 Matthew Bell (12 Neville Thompson 56m).
Unused Subs: Michael Carr, Kevin Street, Ryan Brown, Danny Read, Jack Allen

Ref: John Taylor
Att: @50

Report by Chris Elsley


FC United of Manchester 1 Stafford Rangers 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 7th January 2012


Stafford Rangers picked up a welcome three points with victory over FC United of Manchester at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground.

Back to back defeats over the Christmas period had left Rangers looking nervously over their shoulder at the teams below them, with a potential relegation battle looming over the forthcoming weeks.

But Rangers took the game to United from the off and Ryan Dicker could have done better with a free header that came his way inside the first minute.

United, backed by a noisy home crowd, looked dangerous on the break but twice Stephen Johnson threatened with an unsuccessful outcome as Rangers’ defensive unit remained solid.

The Boro then stunned the home side by taking a half hour lead. Matthew Bell spotted Peter Heler’s run inside Kyle Jacob’s and sent a good ball through the United defence.

Heler collected and ran on to fire past James Spencer for his first goal for the club.

Eleven minutes later, Dicker made it 2-0 with an audacious back heal flick to send Michael Carr’s free kick beyond the leaden footed Spencer.

United almost pulled one back just before the break but Kevin Street was on hand to chest Mike Norton’s volley off the line.

It was an even start to the second half with neither side threatening until just before the hour when Boro’s Karl Espley and Neville Thompson both had shots blocked.

But Rangers’ hard work looked set to be undone on the hour by a dreadful back pass from Luke George.

Norton beat Danny Read to the ball but was then brought down by Dicker. Amazingly the Boro defender was only shown a yellow card, with everyone expecting a red, and to compound United’s luck, Read saved Carlos Roca’s spot kick – his second successive penalty save and third from four.

From then on, it was backs to the wall for Rangers as United put them under relentless pressure.

Read kept out a point blank header from Ben Deegan before Norton reduced the arrears on 75 mins, nodding in the rebound after another good save from Read had denied Adam Jones.

Street made his second goal line clearance to keep out another header from Jones as United pressed but Rangers refused to break and held out for a memorable victory.

FC United of Manchester: 1 James Spencer, 2 Paul Armstrong (15 Carlos Roca 54m), 3 Kyle Jacobs, 4 Nicky Platt, 5 Adam Jones, 6 Greg Stones, 7 Matthew Wolfenden (17 Ben Deegan 65m), 8 Jake Cottrell (16 Matthew Tierney 65m), 9 Mike Norton, 10 Dean Stott, 11 Stephen Johnson.
Unused Subs: 12 Daniel Grimshaw, 14 Astley Mulholland

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street, 9 Neville Thompson, 10 Matthew Bell, 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 12 Paul Donnelly, 14 Jon Patrick, 15 Rob Stevenson, 16 Alex Headley, 17 Jordan Wood

Cautions: Norton (FCUM), George, Dicker, Carr, Heler (SRFC)
Referee: Paul Cook
Att: 1947

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 0 Hednesford Town 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Monday 2nd January 2012


Stafford Rangers went down to the only goal of the game in a highly charged local derby against Hednesford Town.

Rangers boss Greg Clowes made five changes to the side that succumbed so meekly to Nantwich on Boxing Day, including a debut appearance at left back for Ryan Brown who signed from Altrincham only a few hours earlier.

Hednesford were the first to threaten as Marvin Robinson fired into the side netting but Rangers replied quickly when Matthew Bell threaded a good ball through for Michael Carr who saw his well struck shot turned away for a corner by Dan Crane.

With quality in short supply on a difficult pitch, chances at either end became limited, although both sides were showing their commitment with some crunching tackles.

Referee Simon Barrow decided that one such tackle from Luke George was unfair, earning the Rangers full back the first of nine yellow cards that were to be shown during the afternoon.

Hednesford’s Ben Bailey posed a constant threat with his long throws that were launched into the Rangers area and it was from one of these that Hednesford grabbed their goal on 37 mins, Pedro Monteiro flicking on the ball to Robinson who was given time to fire past Dan Read.

Stafford’s Karl Espley scooped a good chance over the bar at the start of the second half before Neville Thompson and Kevin Street both had shots blocked in a matter of seconds as Rangers searched for an equaliser.

At the other end, a poor clearance from Ryan Dicker allowed Nick Wellecomme to send Ben Jevons clear but Read’s outstretched boot kept Rangers in the contest.

Rangers continued to battle but were unable to pose much of a threat to the Hednesford goal. Meanwhile the visitors should have added a second in stoppage time after George had been penalised for hand ball but Read dived to his right to smother Chris Clements’ spot kick.

Sadly, the game will be remembered for an ugly touchline clash that saw representatives from both benches spill out on to the pitch while play continued. When order was restored, Stafford Assistant Manager Dorian Garner and Hednesford Manager Rob Smith were both sent to the stands and Hednesford sub Chris Shaw cautioned.

Stafford: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (12 Jon Sheldon 74m), 9 Harry Clayton, 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Matthew Bell.
Unused Subs: 14 Rob Stevenson, 15 Joe Rogers, 16 Jon Patrick, 17 Adam Alcock

Hednesford: 1 Dan Crane, 2 Ben Bailey, 3 Darren Campion, 4 Pedro Monteiro, 5 Cheyenne Dunkley, 6 Jay Denny, 7 Kyle Haynes, 8 Chris Clements, 9 Marvin Robinson (17 Andre Landell 87m), 10 Nick Wellecomme, 11 Ben Jevons (12 Jamey Osborne 81m).
Unused Subs: 14 Elliott Durrell, 15 Mark Danks, 16 Chris Shaw

Cautions:
George, Carr, Bell, Sheldon (SRFC)
Bailey, Campion, Wellecomme, Jevons, Shaw (HTFC)

Referee: Simon Barrow
Att: 1132

Report by Chris Elsley

Nantwich Town 2 Stafford Rangers 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Monday 26th December 2011


It was a disappointing Boxing Day for Stafford Rangers as they went down to two first half goals at Nantwich Town.

Rangers never got going as the home side mastered the greasy conditions to dominate the game from start to finish.

As early as the first minute, Stafford keeper Danny Read was called into action to save from Dave MacPherson – one of four former Boro players in the Dabbers’ side.

Read was again on hand to produce a fine double save from Michael Lennon while Mat Bailey’s volley a couple of minutes later flew a couple of feet wide of the target.
Lennon went close again, only to be denied by Read as the Nantwich man tried to lift the ball over the advancing Rangers keeper.

Read made two more saves to deny Lennon before he was finally beaten by a glancing header from Ben Mills on 31 mins.
Mills should have added a second but sent his looping header over and then was kept out by yet another save from Read. From the resultant corner on 41 mins, Nantwich captain Chris Flynn made it 2-0 from a tight angle.

Rangers did show some improvement after the break but Nantwich keeper Jon Brain remained largely untroubled.

As Nantwich continued to do most of the probing, Lennon fired wide before Tom Urwin sent his shot into the body of Read.

Greg Clowes introduced Neville Thompson and Jon Sheldon on the hour at the expense of Dan Skelton and Harry Clayton and it was Thompson who sent in Rangers’ first shot of the afternoon – an effort that was deflected for a corner.
Sheldon whipped in a ball from the left that Brain tipped over while Rob Stevenson’s attempt to guide Peter Heler’s centre past Brain proved unsuccessful as Nantwich coasted their way to three points.

Nantwich Town: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Matt Lowe, 3 Zac Foster, 4 Dave MacPherson, 5 Mat Bailey, 6 Aleksandrs Solovjovs, 7 Niall Maguire (14 Rodney Jack 82m), 8 Chris Flynn, 9 Ben Mills (12 Simon Everall), 10 Michael Lennon, 11 Tom Urwin (16 Cameron Mitchell 88m).
Unused Sub: 15 Brian Sumerskill

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Joe Rogers, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Dan Skelton (16 Jon Sheldon 60m), 7 Rob Stevenson, 8 Michael Carr, 9 Alan Nagington (14 Peter Heler 67m), 10 Matthew Bell, 11 Harry Clayton (12 Neville Thompson 60m).
Unused Subs: 15 Karl Espley, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: Patrick, Bell (SRFC)
Att: 792
Referee: John Dowd
 
Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 2 Frickley Athletic 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 17th December 2011


Rangers had their two new boys to thank as they recorded their first home win in the league since 3rd September.

Matthew Bell – a loan singing from Mansfield – marked his debut with a goal after 20 minutes before Michael Carr sealed the points with a late penalty to make it two goals in two games for the newcomer from FC United of Manchester.

It was a super strike from Bell which gave Rangers the lead that was totally against the run of play as Frickley dominated much of the first half.

As early as the second minute, Oliver Ryan spooned a great chance over the Rangers bar with just Danny Read to beat. Seconds later, Read parried away a powerful drive from Kelvin Bleau.

Rangers were struggling to get a look in until Frickley’s Stuart Ludlam conceded possession, allowing Glynn Blackhurst to find Bell on the edge of the area. Bell turned and created enough space to float a left footed shot curling into the far top corner.

Frickley went close to equalising when James Ashmore’s free kick skidded through to Read while Bleau clipped the ball just wide after he beat Jon Patrick in the approach.

The visitors continued to create the better chances with Ryan’s volley going just wide and Danny South’s close range header sticking in the hands of the Rangers’ keeper.

Frickley launched the first attack of the second half with Ryan Dicker scrambling the ball away under pressure from South.

Bell fired wide as Rangers responded and their chances were boosted when South was sent off on 57 mins for his second yellow card of the game.

The Frickley forward only had himself to blame. His first caution came midway through the first half having been severely warned by referee David Hunt a minute earlier following a series of fouls in quick succession. The second yellow followed a late challenge on Stafford sub Dan Skelton.

Harry Clayton missed out on a chance to take advantage of the extra man when he fired at Stephen Dickinson but Frickley still posed a threat and Ben Turner’s header just needed a touch from Ryan.

Frickley began to tire on the heavy Marston Road pitch and Rangers took a hold on the game.

The hard working Alan Naginton deserved a goal but his best chance saw him fire wide while Clayton was denied by the foot of the Frickley keeper.

Eventually, some clever foot work from Rob Stevenson invited a trip from Mark Gray and Carr stepped up to convert the resultant penalty on 82 mins.

Clayton almost made it 3-0 on the stroke of full time but the final whistle sounded shortly after to confirm Rangers’ first home win in 8 league games.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Anthony Maguire, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Joe Rogers, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Carr, 7 Rob Stevenson, 8 Glynn Blackhurst (15 Dan Skelton 46m), 9 Alan Nagington (14 Jon Sheldon 79m), 10 Matthew Bell, 11 Harry Clayton.
Unused Subs: 12 Neville Thompson, 16 Liam Shotton, 17 Jordan Wood

Frickley Athletic: 1 Stephen Dickinson, 2 Stuart Ludlam (12 Brad Grayson 76m), 3 Ben Turner, 4 Danny Walsh, 5 Lincoln Adams, 6 Mark Gray, 7 Kelvin Bleau, 8 James Ashmore, 9 Danny South, 10 Oliver Ryan, 11 Ryan Mallon.
Unused Subs: 14 Alex Callery, 15 Grant Darley, 17 Jon Hood (only four subs named)

Cautions: Ludlam, Adams, Gray (FAFC)
Sent Off: South (FAFC) (two cautions)
Att: 354

Referee: David Hunt

Report by Chris Elsley

Witton Albion 3 Stafford Rangers 1
Doodson Sports Cup 3rd Round Wednesday 7th December 2011


Stafford Rangers are out of the Doodson Sports Cup after defeat at Witton Albion.

The home side, who play in the Evo-Stik Division One North, fully deserved their win after a strong second half performance.

Rangers had gone in at the break looking comfortable with a one goal advantage but it is often said that one goal is never enough and so it proved.

Michael Carr and Alex Hedley made their debuts for the Boro, who rested Glynn Blackhurst and Karl Espley.

Carr, who enjoyed  a successful career at Witton’s arch rivals Northwich, made a dream start to his Rangers career by heading his new club into the lead after just 12 mins when he was left unmarked to convert Paul Donnelly’s chip into the 6 yard box.

A couple of minutes earlier, Witton keeper Matt Cooper had saved well from Rob Stevenson following a super cross field ball by Dan Skelton.

Boro keeper Danny Read was called into action to deny Alex Titchener before the Witton Dangerman had another chance blocked by Jon Patrick’s interception.

A well struck drive from Mark Buchan was again kept out by Read as Witton upped their search for the equaliser and they almost got it in bizarre circumstances a minute before the interval when Donnelly’s attempted clearance struck him in the face before looping over the Rangers bar.

The second half saw a more determined Witton while Rangers never really got going.

Read saved well from Paul Booth at his near post and Danny Andrews lifted the ball over the Rangers keeper only for it to take a deflection wide.

Witton finally grabbed their equaliser on 57 mins when Josh Hancock drilled low into the corner from the edge of the area.

The home side were then awarded two penalties in the space of two minutes following fouls by Ryan Dicker and Patrick. Read dived to his left to push away Andrews’ effort but could not repeat the feat when Hancock stepped up from the same distance to give Witton the lead with 64 mins on the clock.

Read prevented Hancock from completing his hat trick with a full stretch dive and Titchener struck the loose ball into the side netting.

In what was to be Rangers’ best chance of the half, Dicker missed the opportunity to level the scores on 75 mins when he scooped the ball over the bar.

Hopes of Rangers forcing extra time disappeared with three minutes remaining when Titchener ran on to a through ball from Matt Woolley to make it 3-1.

Witton Albion: 1 Matt Cooper, 2 Matt Woolley, 3 Mat Wood, 4 Josh Glover, 5 Paul Booth (15 Ben Harrison 65m), 6 Tom Schofield, 7 Josh Hancock, 8 Dean Ennion, 9 Mark Buchan, 10 Alex Titchener, 11 Danny Andrews.
Unused Subs: 12 Anthony Sheehan, 14 Anthony Gardner, 16 Mike Moseley, 17 Brian Pritchard

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Alex Headley (15 Joe Rogers 65m), 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Dan Skelton (14 Anthony Maguire 65m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Michael Carr, 9 Alan Nagington, 10 Neville Thompson (12 Liam Shotton 82m), 11 Rob Stevenson.
Unused Subs: 16 Sean Jones, 17 Jordan Wood

Referee: Bobby Pollock
Cautions: None
Att: 96

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Kendal Town 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 3rd December 2011


It was another afternoon of disappointment at Marston Road as Stafford Rangers went down to lowly Kendal Town.

Rangers made a positive start but it was the visitors who created the first opening, just short of 10 mins.

Jordan Connerton’s reverse pass found Peter Wright who in turn sent Kevin Leadbetter clear.

The Kendal wide man advanced to the edge of the area before sending a powerful drive just wide of the post.

Rangers responded quickly but efforts from Glynn Blackhurst and Rob Stevenson failed to trouble Craig Dootson in the Kendal goal.

Kevin Street’s return to the Stafford line up after injury lasted less than 15 mins with the midfielder clearly unable to continue while Leadbetter departed the action soon after when he came off worse fouling his foul on Peter Heler.

An unsavoury incident flared up between Karl Espley and Marc Joseph as Rangers prepared to launch a free kick into the Kendal area. Referee Craig Taylor consulted his assistant before showing yellow cards to the two players.

The game remained keenly contested but neither side was able to create much until Kendal grabbed the lead five mins before half time when Joseph headed in Ciaran Donnelly’s corner.

Rangers were denied a clear penalty soon after when Mark Jackson pushed Heler in the back only for Taylor to wave away appeals from the home camp.

Kendal opened the second half strongly but it was Rangers who managed to draw level on the hour when Harry Clayton’s ball in to the 6 yard box was turned into his own net by Joseph.

Clayton then forced Dootson to save as Rangers pressed for a second while Stevenson’s shot cleared the cross bar.

With 10 mins remaining, Greg Clowes introduced the fresh legs of Liam Shotton and Neville Thompson to lead the attack but it was Kendal who forced the break through just a couple of minutes later.

Kieran Walmsley whipped in a cross from the right and the unfortunate Espley headed into his own net.

Rangers pressed for a second equaliser. Alan Nagington and Thompson both had efforts saved while Ryan Dicker headed over from 6 yards out as Kendal ended a miserable run of 5 defeats on the road.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Glynn Blackhurst, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (14 Dan Skelton 13m), 9 Alan Nagington, 10 Harry Clayton (16 Liam Shotton 80m), 11 Rob Stevenson (12 Neville Thompson 80m).
Unused Subs: 15 Joe Rogers, 17 Jordan Wood

Kendal Town: 1 Craig Dootson,2 Kieran Walmsley, 3 Danny Walmsley, 4 Shaun Gray, 5 Marc Joseph, 6 Danny Wisdon, 7 Ciaran Donnelly, 8 Jordan Connerton, 9 Peter Wright, 10 Ashley Dunn, 11 Kevin Leadbetter (12 Mark Jackson 20m). Unused Subs: 14 Tom Kilifin, 15 Gary McKevett, 16 Jordan Tucker, 17 Tom Newton

Cautions: Espley, Heler (SRFC) Joseph, Donnelly, Leadbetter (KTFC)
Referee: Craig Taylor
Att: 433

Report by Chris Elsley

Rushall Olympic 2 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League 26th November 2011


Lady luck went against Stafford Rangers as their impressive run of away wins came to an end at Rushall Olympic.

The day had started well for Stafford with the news that Fabrice Kasiama had been cleared to make his first appearance after resigning for the club a week earlier.

Ryan Dicker was also back in the starting line up after an eight game absence with a broken hand but the defender made an immediate impact at the other end of the pitch when he fired Rangers into a 2nd minute lead following Michael Morton’s corner.

The corner had come after Rushall keeper Chris Gemmell had produced a near post save to deny Peter Heler.

Lucan Spittle nearly headed a Paul Donnelly free kick into his own net as Rangers threatened to add a second but it wasn’t long before Rushall fired their first warning shot when Ahmed Obeng flicked the ball over Danny Read only for Dicker to clear.

Things began to go wrong for Stafford as the game reached the 15 min mark when Fabrice Kasiama was unable to take any further part in the action after being fouled by Mitchell Tolley.

Obeng threatened again on the half hour when Donnelly was caught out by a long kick from Gemmell and it was Rushall’s leading scorer who was on hand to level with a close range header on 33 mins after good work from Luke Bottomer.

It was the second set back in a minute for Rangers after Michael Morton had become the second departure due to injury.

Stafford’s afternoon got worse on 35 mins when Donnelly was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Obeng and from then on it was always going to be an uphill battle for Rangers.

In the closing stages of the half, Spittle had a header saved by Read and Obeng blazed over from 8 yards as Rushall began to make their one man advantage show.

The home side took the lead 7 mins into the second half when Obeng’s mis-hit shot fell to the feet of Matt Lewis who played the ball into the six yard box where Bottomer scored from a yard out.

With a strong wind against them, Rangers were unable to find a way back in. Only good saves from Read prevented Obeng and Lewis from extending Rushall’s lead but the damage had already been done.

Rushall Olympic: 1 Chris Gemmell, 2 Mitchell Tolley, 3 Jonny Haynes, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 James Skedgell, 6 Christian Dacres, 7  Alex Forde, 8 Luke Bottomer, 9 Marco Adaggio (17 Alan Wilkes 74m), 10 Ahmed Obeng, 11 Matt Lewis.
Unused Subs: 12 Decio Gomes, 14 Richard Blythe, 15 Gary Fitzpatrick, 16 Alex Melbourne

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Morton (14 Alan Nagington 32m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Glynn Blackhurst, 9 Lian Shotton, 10 Harry Clayton (12 Neville Thompson 68m), 11 Fabrice Kasiama (15 Anthony Maguire 19m).
Unused Subs: 16 Joe Rogers, 17 Jordan Wood

Cautions: Tolley, Haynes, Dacres, Forde (ROFC), Patrick (SRFC)
Sent Off: Donnelly (SRFC)

Ref: Chris Husband
Att: 308

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Matlock Town 1
EVO-STIK Premier League Tuesday 22nd November 2011


Stafford Rangers recorded their fourth consecutive home draw at a chilly Marston Road On Tuesday evening.

In a fast and furious but generally poor contest, Rangers rarely threatened up front, although they did produce the best moment of the game when Neville Thompson gave them the lead on 31 mins.

Thompson, in for the injured Rob Stevenson, took his moment after receiving a pass from Alan Nagington. The striker got the ball on to his left foot and swung his shot just beyond the reach of visiting keeper, Jon Kennedy.

The visitors created the better of the early chances with Kris Bowler driving just wide with a shot through a crowded area before Liam King struck a volley straight at Danny Read.

Dan Skelton produced Rangers’ first effort of note, intercepting a poor clearance from Kris Witcombe to warm the palms of Kennedy from 20 yards out.

Chris Bettney and King tried their luck on the Stafford goal without success before Thompson struck.

Hopes that this would spark some life in to the evening didn’t to materialise as Rangers failed to build on their advantage while it took Matlock until the final action of the half before they produced another effort on goal but King’s low drive was well wide.

The second half fared no better.

Matlock took control and eventually levelled the scores on 61 mins when Bettney headed the ball back across goal and over Read for King to nod in from close range.

A few minutes later, Bettney’s speculative drive was only just wide of the top corner while Read saved with his legs to deny TJ Nightingale.

One bright note for Rangers was the return of Paul Donnelly after a lengthy absence due to injury and the club captain produced his side’s only shot on target in the second half with a free kick in added time that was straight into the arms of Kennedy.

Matlock nearly snatched the points with the last kick of the game when Ben Hunter’s corner flew across the face of goal and Adam Yates failed to convert the chance.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Joe Rogers, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Luke George (12 Paul Donnelly 69m), 5 Karl Espley, 6 Michael Morton, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Glynn Blackhurst, 9 Alan Nagington, 10 Neville Thompson (15 Liam Shotton 77m), 11 Dan Skelton (14 Anthony Maguire 62m).
Unused Subs: 16 Sean Jones, 17 Jordan Wood

Matlock Town: 1 Jon Kennedy, 2 Kris Witcombe, 3 Kris Bowler, 4 Liam King, 5 Adam Yates, 6 James Lukic, 7 Chris Bettney (15 Ben Hunter 81m), 8 Tyeisse Nightingale, 9 Ian Holmes (14 Lee Morris 46m), 10 Gareth Davies (12 Steve Warne 77m), 11 Ben Algar.
Unused Subs: 17 Nick Buxton – only four subs named

Cautions: Espley, Morton, Heler, Skelton (SRFC) Witcombe (MTFC)
Ref: Dragan Kuzmanovic
Att: 370

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 North Ferriby United 1
EVO-STIK Premier League Saturday 19th November 2011


Stafford Rangers are still looking to add to their solitary home win in the league this season after being held to a draw by North Ferriby United on Saturday.

Jon Patrick made a welcome return to the club, putting in a solid performance at left back, but there was no place for another old boy as Fabrice Kasiama who was unavailable due to issues over his registration.

Rangers made a blistering start and were ahead as early as the fifth minute when Alan Nagington netted from the penalty spot after Nathan Peat had tripped Rob Stevenson.

Minutes later, a poor back pass from Russell Fay let in Stevenson but his shot went agonisingly wide of the far post.

Rangers continued to press. Stevenson flicked on a long ball from Patrick to Nagington who was denied by the fingertips of Adam Nicklin while Glynn Blackhurst’s 30 yard drive flew past the junction of post and crossbar.

The visitors must have been relieved to come through this initial onslaught with just one goal conceded and they began to grow in confidence.

Gary Bradshaw forced a save from Danny Read and the Rangers keeper then made an excellent stop to deny Alex Davidson after some good approach play involving Fay and Bradshaw.

The game remained open but the quality was often wanting as both sides gave away the ball too easily.
The visitors drew level on 33 mins when Paul Foot headed in a left wing corner from Paul Harsley.

Michael Morton went close to restoring Rangers’ lead just before the break with a goal bound header but Harsley was on hand to clear off the line.

Read saved again from Davidson as the visitors created the first real opening of note in the second half but Rangers went closer after Ben Morley’s slip let in Nagington but his shot came back off the bar and Stevenson was unable to convert the rebound, Nicklin making the save.

Chances were exchanged at both ends as Morton fired at Nicklin while Bradshaw’s chip from the edge of the area just cleared the bar.

The visitors threatened again and Joe Rogers cleared off the line after Read had saved from Danny Clarke before Bradshaw curled a free kick into the side netting.
Rangers were immediately on the attack and Nicklin saved from Nagington.

Either side could have won it in the final ten minutes with Read keeping out Davidson and Fay almost turning a centre from Neville Thompson into his own net.

The final chance of the afternoon fell to Rangers in added time. Nicklin failed to gather a free kick from Patrick but two shots from Thompson either side of one from Dan Skelton were all blocked as the points were shared.

 
Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Joe Rogers, 3 Jon Patrick, 4 Luke George, 5 Karl Espley, 6 Michael Morton (14 Anthony Maguire), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Glynn Blackhurst, 9 Alan Nagington (15 Liam Shotton 84m), 10 Rob Stevenson (12 Neville Thompson 61m), 11 Dan Skelton.
Unused Subs: 16 Sean Jones, 17 Jordan Wood

North Ferriby United: 1 Adam Nicklin, 2 Ben Morley (14 James Williams 76m), 3 Nathan Peat, 4 Paul Harsley, 5 Paul Foot, 6 Sam Denton, 7 Danny Clarke, 8 Russell Fay, 9 Chris Bolder, 10 Gary Bradshaw, 11 Alex Davidson.
Unused Subs: 12 Wayne Brooksby, 15 Kevin Larvin, 16 Peter Davidson, 17 Steve Wilson

Cautions: Espley, Heler (SRFC), Denton (NFU)
Referee: Nick Hobbis
Att: 436

Report by Chris Elsley

Burscough 2 Stafford Rangers 3
EVO-STIK Premier Division Sat 12th November 2011


Two late goals saw Stafford Rangers snatch a dramatic victory over Burscough at Skelmersdale United’s wonderfully named Stormy Corner on Saturday.

Rangers made three changes to the side beaten at Chester with Kevin Street (injured), Luke George (suspended) and Sean Kinsella (unavailable) all absent.

The first half was a poor affair with both sides guilty of conceding possession far too easily and creating little in front of goal.

It took a penalty on 34 mins to bring something into the game but unfortunately it went the way of the home side after Adam Alcock was penalised for a foul on Karl Gornell. Mark Beesley slammed home the spot kick.
Burscough almost added a second just before the break when Gornell cut in from the right. Alcock half blocked the shot but it still needed a goal line clearance from Anthony Maguire to keep Rangers in touch.

It was to be Alcock’s last action of the game as he suffered a dislocated finger in making the save and had to be replaced by Danny Read.

Burscough continued to press after the interval as Will Jones headed wide but Rangers had upped their game and grabbed a deserved equaliser on 55 mins when Glynn Blackhurst flicked on Rob Stevenson’s corner and Alan Nagington snapped up the chance at the back post.

It was another goal line clearance, this time from Michael Morton, that kept Rangers on level terms after Danny Murphy’s header drifted across the face of goal.

Rangers suffered a set back on the hour when Dan Skelton who had been cautioned earlier on in the game, was sent off for his second yellow after pulling back Matty Parry.

Beesley almost made the man advantage count with a shot across the face of goal while Parry stabbed wide after nipping in ahead of a hesitant Read.

But Burscough regained their lead on 71 mins when sub Conor Roberts went down as he raced in to the area and Beesley netted his second penalty of the afternoon.

Liam Shotton contrived to miss a great chance to level when he put the ball over an empty goal from two yards out while Jones missed another close range header for the home side.

With just two minutes left on the clock it appeared as though Burscough were going to pick up their first home win of the season but Rangers had other ideas.

Blackhurst broke down the right and sent in a perfect cross for Morton to head in the equaliser.

Burscough almost regained their lead when Beesley was denied his hat trick by a flying save from Read but it was Rangers who were to snatch the points two minutes into added time when Nagington held off Moses Barnett to set up Stevenson and the youngster struck a stunning winner from 20 yards out.

The afternoon went from bad to worse for Burscough’s Phillip Clarke who picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Stevenson.

Burscough: 1 Connor Roberts, 2 Joe Comozzi, 3 Moses Barnett, 4 Danny Murphy, 5 Paul Williams, 6 Phillip Clarke, 7 Matty Parry, 8 Sean Highdale (16 Conor Roberts 64 mins), 9 Mark Beesley, 10 Will Jones, 11 Karl Gornell (14 Danny Bulayima 77m).
Unused Subs: 12 Darren Brookfield, 15 Martin Crowder, 17 Craig Ellison

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock (17 Danny Read 44m), 2 Anthony Maguire, 3 Dan Skelton, 4 Joe Rogers, 5 Karl Espley, 6 Glynn Blackhurst, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Michael Morton, 9 Alan Nagington, 10 Neville Thompson (12 Liam Shotton 72m), 11 Rob Stevenson (14 Sean Jones 90+5m).
Unused Sub: 15 Alex Headley (only four subs named)

Cautions: Parry (BFC), Espley, Morton (SRFC)
Sent Off: Clarke (BFC), Skelton (SRFC) – both for two cautions

Ref: Ian Gittens
Att: 155

Report by Chris Elsley

Chester 2 Stafford Rangers 0
FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round - Saturday 5th November 2011


Stafford Rangers are out of the FA Trophy after losing to fellow Evo-Stik Premier outfit Chester.

There can be few complaints that the stronger side won through but Rangers will look back on two contentious penalty decisions that went against them.

It had appeared that the teams would be heading in to the break on level terms until Chester’s Chris Simm perfected a dive over Adam Alcock and Matty McGinn scored from the spot.

Referee Jonathan Hunt then compounded Rangers’ displeasure when he refused to award the Marston Roaders a penalty of their own after Michael Taylor had tripped Kevin Street.

The game had begun with both sides exchanging efforts on goal with Sean Kinsella going close for Rangers and Simm responding for the home side with a shot that was kept out by Joe Rogers.

George Horan had a shot blocked on the line a few minutes later as Chester’s threat increased but Rangers managed to hold them off.

That seemed about to change just before the half hour as a shot from Simm squeezed through Alcock’s arms. Jerome Wright looked certain to score as the loose ball ran across the 6 yard box but the Chester winger somehow contrived to put the ball wide.

Simm almost scored with a spectacular inswinging effort from near the left touchline before Neville Thompson gave Rangers some hope with an overhead kick that went just past the upright.

But on the stroke of half time Simm latched on to a poor header from Dan Skelton. As Alcock came out, Simm went diving, fooling the referee. McGinn stepped up to give Chester the half time lead.

Robbie Booth added a second for Chester four minutes after the restart when he pounced after Alcock had saved from Wright.

Skelton threaded a pass through for Thompson but John Danby got down low to save. Two minutes later, Rangers were denied a route back into the game when Street was tripped by Taylor only for referee Hunt to award a free kick the other way.

Michael Powell fired wide for Chester but Rangers kept probing and saw Glynn Blackhurst almost pull one back with a lofted 25 yarder that had Danby at full stretch but that was their last real chance as the home side held on to their two goal advantage.

Chester: 1 John Danby, 2 Liam Brownhill, 3 Matty McGinn, 4 George Horan, 5 Michael Taylor, 6 Christian Smith, 7 Robbie Booth (14 Wes Baynes 73m), 8 Michael Powell, 9 Chris Simm (12 Iain Howard 81m), 10 Matty McNeil, 11 Jerome Wright (15 Luke Holden 58m).
Unused Subs: 16 Alex Brown, 17 Adam Judge

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Joe Rogers, 3 Dan Skelton (15 Anthony Maguire 81m), 4 Luke George, 5 Karl Espley 6 Glynn Blackhurst, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Michael Morton (14 Alan Nagington 58m), 9 Neville Thompson, 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Kevin Street (12 Liam Shotton 77m).
Unused Subs: 16 Sean Jones, 17 Danny Read

Cautions: McGinn, Smith, Powell, Simm (CFC), Alcock, Skelton, Blackhurst (SRFC)
Ref: Jonathan Hunt
Att: 1551

Report by Chris Elsley

Leek Town 2 Stafford Rangers 0
Staffs Senior CUP 1st Round - Tuesday 1st November 2011


Stafford Rangers fell at the first hurdle of the Staffs Senior Cup on a chilly night at Leek Town.

Rangers made seven changes to the side that started against Worksop three days earlier with debuts given to keeper Adam Alcock and new signing Jason Beardsley while Leek had two former Stafford players in their line up in Ashley Wooliscroft and Christian Millar.

The game got off to a poor start and never really improved and both sides were guilty of conceding possession too easily.

Early on, Leek’s Oliver Edwards pounced on a poor clearance from Adam Alcock but sent his rising shot over the bar.

Neville Thompson had the ball in the back of the Leek net only to be flagged offside while Edwards’ lob over Alcock drifted wide as both sides struggled to break down the opposition defences.

An exchange of passes between Thompson and Stevenson saw the latter poke a shot at Leek keeper Danny Roberts but there was no power in the effort.

Another poor clearance from Alcock picked out Tim Grice but the Stafford keeper recovered well to deny the Leek midfielder what would have been a spectacular 30 yard goal.

Things began to look more hopeful as half time approached but Thompson wasted the best chance of the half when he failed to connect with Stevenson’s centre into the six yard box.

Moments later, Sean Turner wasted Leek’s best chance when he scooped the ball over the bar.

A good ball from Sean Kinsella found Glynn Blackhurst but his shot was palmed into the air by Roberts giving time for Glyn Mellor to clear off the line.

Edwards fired wide on the turn for Leek at the start of the second half while a Kinsella free kick nearly caught out Roberts but the standard of play was still below par.

The goal that the game needed came on 63 mins when Matt Haddrell knocked down a free kick from Wooliscroft and Turner had a simple tap in.

Luke George made a goal line clearance to deny Haddrell as Leek looked for a second and they effectively wrapped up the tie on 73 mins.

Haddrell dispossessed Peter Heler in the Leek area and released Tim Sanders on the right.

Sanders found Grice in space with a cross field ball and the Leek midfielder advanced to calmly slot the ball past Alcock.

Haddrell nearly made matters worse for Stafford in added time when he thumped a 30 yard drive against the bar but the real damage had already been done.

Leek Town: 1 Danny Roberts, 2 Ashley Wooliscroft, 3 Ben Nixon, 4 Danny Holmes, 5 Glyn Mellor, 6 Aden Johnson, 7 Tim Grice, 8 Sean Turner, 9 Matt Haddrell, 10 Christian Millar, 11 Oliver Edwards (15 Tim Sanders 69m).
Unused Subs: James McCarthy, 14 Darren Tinson, 16 Devon Gibson, 17 Ricky Bridge

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Jason Beardsley, 3 Sean Jones, 4 Joe Rogers, 5 Luke George, 6 Glynn Blackhurst (15 Peter Heler 46m), 7 Rob Stevenson, 8 Anthony Maguire (16 Dan Skelton 66m), 9 Liam Shotton, 10 Neville Thompson (14 Alan Nagington 78m), 11 Sean Kinsella.
Unused Subs: 12 Karl Espley, 17 Dan Read

Cautions: None
Ref: Stuart Eagland
Att: 202

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 2 Worksop Town 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 29th October 2011


Stafford Rangers and Worksop Town battled out a dramatic and incident packed draw at Marston Road on Saturday.
But it was a game that will be remembered largely for the performance of referee John Mayhew.

Mayhew brandished a total of ten yellow cards despite failing to show one to halt persistent foul play by the visitors in the opening quarter of an hour. But it was two incidents involving Worksop keeper Jon Worsnop that infuriated Stafford most of all.

The game was still scoreless when Alan Nagington was brought down by Worsnop but Mayhew took no action, not even awarding what looked a certain penalty.
Later in the game, Worsnop escaped a red card once more when he fouled Liam Shotton.

Shotton had been involved in the first contentious moment of the game when he appeared to be tripped by Luke Shiels but his appeals went unanswered.

It was Worksop who created the better of the early chances but shots from Matt Young, Massiah McDonald and Ashley Burbeary failed to trouble Sam Johnson in the Stafford goal.

But Rangers looked set to take the lead when Nagington was felled after running on to a through ball from Anthony Maguire only for Mayhew to wave play on.

The visitors almost added insult to injury with a break away but McDonald fired just wide.

The closing stages of the first half saw Rangers go close with Shields heading a Jon Sheldon free kick off the line before Peter Heler fired wide after holding off a couple of defenders.

Glynn Blackhurst and Heler both went close as Rangers continued to press at the start of the second half but it was Worksop who opened the scoring on 55 mins when Mark Hudson’s free kick found sub Marc Roberts and he drilled in a low volley from 15 yards out.

Rangers should have been level a couple of minutes later when Worsnop felled Shotton. This time Mayhew probably got it right in awarding the penalty and only cautioning Worsnop but the Worksop keeper then rubbed salt in to Rangers’ anguish by diving to his left to push away Sheldon’s spot kick.

Owain Warlow and Roberts both failed with headers in front of the Rangers goal before the home side stepped up their search for the equaliser.

Worsnop denied Nagington on the edge of his area before Blakchurst levelled the scores with seven minutes remaining, heading in a Sean Kinsella free kick to the back post.

Kinsella looked to have won the game for Stafford on the stroke of full time with a trade mark free kick into the top corner but Worksop hit back and, four minutes into added time, Roberts headed in Warlow’s free kick to snatch a late point.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Anthony Maguire, 3 Dan Skelton, 4 Luke George, 5 Karl Espley, 6 Glynn Blackhurst, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (12 Sean Kinsella 69m), 9 Liam Shotton, 10 Alan Nagington, 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 14 Sean Jones, 15 Jason Beardsley, 16 Rob Stevenson, 17 Adam Alcock

Worksop Town: 1 Jon Worsnop, 2 Chris Wood, 3 Steve Gardner, 4 Matt Young, 5 Luke Shiels (12 Marc Roberts 46m), 6 James Cotterill (14 Michael Jacklin 46m), 7 Ashley Burbeary, 8 Mark Hudson, 9 Massiah McDonald, 10 Jamie Jackson, 11 Owain Warlow.
Unused Subs: 15 Sam Duncum, 16 Danny Davidson, 17 Jan Zolna

Cautioned:
George, Espley, Heler, Shotton, Sheldon (SRFC).
Worsnop, Wood, Gardner, McDonald, Jackson (WTFC).

Ref: John Mayhew
Att: 498

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 5 Newcastle Town 2
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Replay Tuesday 25th October 2011


Stafford Rangers eased past their county rivals Newcastle Town to book a trip to Chester in the 2nd Qual Rd of the FA Trophy.

In contrast to Saturday’s disappointing stalemate at the Lyme Valley Stadium, this was an entertaining contest, but one that was all but settled during an eight minute spell early in the first half.

Jon Sheldon opened the scoring for Rangers on 8 mins with a back post header to convert Peter Heler’s cross from the right wing.

Three minutes later, Sheldon struck a 25 yard free kick past Dave Parton to double the Boro’s lead.

But Newcastle weren’t going to surrender that easily and pulled one back on 13 mins when Andy Nicholls headed home Leon Ashman’s centre.

Rangers hit back once more as the game produced its fourth goal in eight minutes when Glynn Blackhurst found Neville Thompson and he was allowed to steer his header past Parton.

Anthony Malbon, whose stunning equaliser had set up the replay, missed a much easier chance when he fired against the Stafford bar after a scramble in the Rangers area while Blackhurst went close to adding to Stafford’s lead just before the break but his drive flashed over the Newcastle bar.

Alan Nagington took Rangers a step closer to victory on 50 mins when he left Jack Lane trailing, then weaved past two defenders and the keeper before slotting the ball into the empty net.

Sam Johnson maintained the advantage with a flying save from Malbon’s volley before Thompson added a fifth for Stafford on 57 mins, stabbing the ball home after Newcastle had failed to clear Sean Kinsella’s free kick.

To their credit, Newcastle kept pushing forward and Johnson had to be alert to tip over a rising drive from Kyle Diskin.

Nicholls missed a good chance to reduce the deficit before a 25 yarder from Lane in added time deceived everyone – most notably Johnson who allowed the shot to go in at the top corner.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Sean Jones, 3 Andy White, 4 Luke George, 5 Karl Espley, 6 Glynn Blackhurst (16 Rob Stevenson 79m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (15 Anthony Maguire 71m), 9 Alan Nagington, 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Jon Sheldon (14 Sean Kinsella 50m).
Unused Subs: 12 Liam Shotton, 17 Adam Alcock

Newcastle Town: 1 Dave Parton, 2 James Askey, 3 Darren Chadwick (15 Dave Harper 61m), 4 Alex Hutchinson, 5 Jake Lane, 6 Dave Whittaker, 7 Kyle Diskin, 8 Andy Nicholls, 9 Anthony Malbon, 10 Leon Ashman (16 Greg Daniels 81m), 11 Aaron Carter (17 Curtis Price 57m).
Unused Subs: 12 Jack Harrison, 14 Nathan Sutton.

Cautions: Askey, Hutchinson, Whittaker & Nicholls (all Newcastle)

Ref: Simon Brown
Att: 374

Report by Chris Elsley

Newcastle Town 1 Stafford Rangers 1
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Saturday 22nd October 2011
 

This eagerly anticipated FA Trophy tie failed to live up to expectations and the two sides were forced to try again in Tuesday night’s replay.

Rangers were missing six first teamers due to a combination of suspension and injury and had to name two goalkeepers among their substitutes just to fill the bench.

The game began slowly with neither side able to take command.

Boro keeper Sam Johnson had to collect a looping header from Andy Nicholls from underneath his crossbar while a Peter Heler centre was gathered at the foot of is near post by Dave Parton after deflecting off Jake Lane but there was little for either side to shout about in the opening period.

That changed when Rangers struck the opening blow on 21 mins following a Jon Sheldon corner.

Sean Kinsella did well on the left to keep possession, allowing Kevin Street to lay the ball into the path of Luke George and the defender, making his return from suspension, struck a sweet low drive into the back of the net.

Nicholls and Anthony Malbon both fired over for Newcastle when well placed as the home side threatened to pull level while Leon Ashman’s first time shot was cleared off the line by Street.

As the first half drew to a close, Parton kept his side in the contest with a good block to deny Liam Shotton.

The second half faired no better. A couple of misplaced lobs from Malbon and Newcastle captain Dave Whittaker were the only efforts on goal in the opening 10 mins.

Neville Thompson went closer for Stafford with an acrobatic overhead kick that struck the Newcastle post.

Soon after Johnson kept Stafford in front with two saves, firstly pushing over a close range effort from Nicholls before coming of his line quickly to clear from Malbon following a poor back header from George.

Malbon finally struck on 75 mins when he got on the end of a long clearance from Alex Hutchinson to send a first time volley past Johnson.

Thompson had a chance to win it for Stafford but sent his header wide while Newcasle sub Jack Harrison saw his 20 yard drive flash wide of the target in the final minute as both sides had to settle for a replay.

Newcastle Town: 1 Dave Parton, 2 James Askey, 3 Darren Chadwick, 4 Alex Hutchinson, 5 Jake Lane, 6 Dave Whittaker (17 Aaron Carter 75m), 7 Kyle Diskin (15 Jack Harrison 83m), 8 Andy Nicholls, 9 Anthony Malbon, 10 Leon Ashman, 11 Curtis Price (14 Greg Daniels 62m).
Unused Subs: 12 Nathan Sutton, 16 Dave Harper

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Sean Jones, 3 Andy White, 4 Luke George, 5 Karl Espley, 6 Kevin Street (15 Rob Stevenson 76m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Sean Kinsella, 9 Liam Shotton (12 Alan Nagington 64m), 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 14 Anthony Maguire, 16 Jordan Wood, 17 Adam Alcock

Ref: Mr William Smallwood
Att: 505

Report by Chris Elsley

Chasetown FC 0 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Saturday 15th October 2011


Stafford Rangers battled through the pain barrier to record their fifth successive away win, spoiling the farewell party of Chasetown’s outgoing manager, long serving Charlie Blakemore.

Rangers went into the game with the same starting eleven that began against Mickleover in midweek but their plans were soon unsettled when midfielder Michael Morton was forced out of the game on 13 mins due to injury.

By that time, Rangers should have already been in front but Peter Heler planted his header wide with Chasetown keeper Ryan Price stranded out of his goal.

Captain Paul Donnelly was the next to leave the action midway through the half with what looked like a hamstring injury.
Chances had been thin on the ground up to this point but gradually the game began to open up.

Chasetown’s Chris Slater forced a save from Sam Johnson before Slater turned from attacker to defender when he blocked a shot from Kevin Street.

Johnson saved well from Dean Perrow while a trademark free kick from Sean Kinsella bounced back off the bar via the fingertips of Price.

Street spooned another shot over the bar before Rangers finally made the breakthrough on 41 mins.
The home defence failed to deal with a long clearance from Johnson and sub Neville Thompson – on for Morton – pounced to fire a first time shot into the opposite corner of the net.

Johnson ensured Stafford’s lead remained intact at the break with a Gary Birch’s 20 yard effort.

Further problems were to come Stafford’s way as Ryan Dicker failed to appear for the second half – a suspected broken bone in his hand ending his game.

Perrow found a way through the reorganised Stafford defence but Johnson saved. The ball looped up towards goal and Karl Espley’s goal line header struck the underside of the bar before being cleared.

Kinsella nearly added a second for Stafford with a shot that struck the inside of the far post. Liam Shotton tapped in the loose ball but was flagged offside.
Street was then denied by Price before Ben Jevons squandered Chasetown’s best chance when he headed over when it looked easier to score.

Espley, Dan Skelton and Jon Sheldon were all carrying injuries but with no more substitutes available they were forced to continue.

Kinsella had a chance to wrap things up for Stafford with two mins to go when Chasetown sub Theo Robinson tripped Thomson in the area. Robinson was sent off but Kinsella, so accurate from 25 yards, couldn’t hit the target from less than half the distance and sent his spot kick high over the bar.

Both sets of players remained on the pitch at the end of the game for the special presentation to Blakemore who has stepped down due to work commitments. Former Rangers manager Chris Brindley will be taking over as the new Chasetown manager.

Chasetown: 1 Ryan Price, 2 James Turner, 3 Mark Branch, 4 Chris Slater, 5 Matt Cohen (15 Jack Farmer 73m), 6 Richard Teesdale, 7 Ramone Stephens (17 Theo Robinson 73m), 8 Ben Jevons, 9 Gary Birch, 10 Dean Perrow (12 Lindon Dovey 62m), 11 Dan Smith.
Unused Subs: 14 Chris Beale, 16 Alex Melbourne

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Paul Donnelly (16 Sean Jones 23m), 3 Andy White, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker (15 Jon Sheldon 46m), 6 Michael Morton (12 Neville Thompson 13m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street , 9 Liam Shotton, 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Dan Skelton.
Unused Subs: 14 Alan Nagington, 17 Adam Alcock

Bookings: Turner, Jevons, Birch (CFC), Sheldon (SRFC)
Sent Off: Robinson (CFC)
Ref: Mark Howes
Att: 419

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Mickleover Sports 1
EVO-STIK Premier League Tuesday 11th October 2011


Stafford Rangers endured a frustrating night as they were held to a draw by a resolute Mickleover Sports.

Rangers played the better football but struggled to find a way through the visitor’s back line. Their one goal was another top drawer free kick from midfielder Sean Kinsella cancelling out Alex Steadman’s opener for Sports.

It was Kinsella who had the first shot on goal with a free kick that lacked sufficient bend to trouble Damien Clarke in the Sports goal.

Eric Graves threatened for the visitors, forcing man of the match Paul Donnelly to concede a corner but Steadman made no mistake on 15 mins when he was sent away by John Guy and held off Karl Espley before firing past Sam Johnson.

Ryan Dicker almost supplied an immediate reply when his near post header struck the post and flashed across goal before being cleared by Marc Strzyzewski while Kevin Street could only find keeper Clarke with a shot from the edge of the area.

It was a foul on Street just outside the box that led to Rangers equaliser on 26 mins, Kinsella picking out the top corner with Clarke rooted.

Karl Ashton wasted a great chance for Sports with a poor touch that allowed Johnson to gather while Street looked to add to his hat trick on Saturday with a run at the Sports defence that ended with a shot wide.

Michael Morton had a header blocked on the line and Liam Shotton’s shot was pushed away for a corner by Clarke as Rangers continued to press in the second half.

Street went close once more with a shot across the face of goal but Sports began to come more into it as Graves screwed a shot wide.

Andy White made a great tackle to deny Steadman as the Sports goalscorer looked set for a second and Kieran O’Connell fired over from the edge of the area.

The game could have gone either way as O’Connell forced a good save from Johnson and Rangers sub Neville Thompson saw his shot saved by Clarke but the two sides had to settle for a point apiece.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Andy White, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Michael Morton, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street, 9 Liam Shotton (12 Neville Thompson 75m), 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Dan Skelton (15 Jon Sheldon 75m).
Unused Subs: 14 Rob Stevenson, 16 Sean Jones, 17 Adam Alcock

Mickleover Sports: 1 Damien Clarke, 2 Marc Strzyzewski, 3 John Guy, 4 Liam Walshe, 5 Nick Wood, 6 Martin Smythe (12 Danny Martin 67m), 7 Eric Graves, 8 Michael Simpson, 9 Karl Ashton, 10 Kieran O’Connell, 11 Alex Steadman.
Unused Subs: 14 Shaun Roulston, 15 Kyle Bryant, 16 Colin Hoyle (only four subs named)

Bookings: Strzyzewski, Martin (Mickleover)
Ref: Paul Hobday
Att: 400

Report by Chris Elsley

Ashton Utd 1 Stafford Rangers 5
EVO-STIK Premier League Saturday 8th October 2011


Club secretary Robbie Mullin became the unlikely saviour as Stafford Rangers recorded their biggest league win for more than eight years, but the real match winner was midfielder Kevin Street who netted a hat trick in his first game back after injury.

Mullin came to the rescue as replacement linesman for the second half following an injury to the referee. Until then, there was a danger that the match would be abandoned and with Stafford leading 2-0 and Ashton down to ten men, that’s the last thing they would have wanted.

The game began slowly with both sides struggling on the greasy pitch. Chances did come with Liam Shotton unable to convert a Sean Kinsella free kick inside the first minute while Ashton’s Ian Bennett fired wide at the other end.

Rangers sent in a series of unproductive long range shots before Kinsella was denied by the legs of Ashton keeper Terry Smith.

The game turned on 29 mins following an off the ball incident that resulted in Ashton dangerman Chris Amadi being sent off for an elbow on Stafford defender Karl Espley.

Stafford were quick to take advantage and just two minutes later, Glynn Blackhurst put the visitors ahead with a shot into the roof of the net from 20 yards out.

Peter Heler struck the outside of the post as Stafford pushed on and they went further ahead on 43 mins when Street slid in at the back post to force home a low centre from Heler.

There was time for a third before the break when Smith failed to hold a Kinsella free kick but Street rolled the ball across the face of the open goal.

Ashton came out positively at the start of the second half with Liam Dawson forcing a save from Sam Johnson but Stafford began to reassert their authority.

Street fired over and Dan Skelton had a shot saved before an excellent through ball from Kinsella gave Espley the chance to flick the ball past Smith to make in 3-0 on 74 mins.

Smith saved another effort from Skelton before a super chip from Street on 76 mins made it four.

In the final minute, a good run from Andy White gave Alan Nagington a chance. Smith saved, only for Street to fire in the rebound to complete his hat trick.

Matthew Kosylo rolled in a late consolation for Ashton on the stroke of full time.

Ashton United: 1 Terry Smith, 2 Kyle Harrop, 3 Liam Dawson, 4 Dave Roberts, 5 George Melling, 6 Alex Frost, 7 Matty O’Neill (17 Matthew Kosylo 69m), 8 Ian Bennett, 9 Chris Amadi, 10 Peter Wright, 11Ben Smith (14 Jon Bathurst 74m).
Unused Subs: 12 Danny Lambert, 15 Aaron Burns, 16 Chris Rimmer

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Paul Donnelly (16 Sean Jones 80m), 3 Andy White, 4 Karl Espley, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Glynn Blakchurst, 7 Peter Heler (15 Michael Morton 54m), 8 Kevin Street, 9 Liam Shotton, 10 Sean Kinsella (14 Alan Naginton 64m), 11 Dan Skelton.
Unused Subs: 12 Neville Thompson, 17 Adam Alcock

Ref: Phil Dermott
Cautions: T Smith, Melling (Ashton), Kinsella (Stafford)
Sent Off: Amadi (Ashton)
Att: 153

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 2 Stratford Town 4
FA CUP 2nd Qualifying Round Saturday 1st October 2011


Stafford Rangers’ dreadful FA Cup record was on show once more as they were dumped out of the competition by Stratford Town on Saturday.

Although Stratford looked lively in the oprening 15 mins, there was little to suggest that an upset was on the cards as Rangers went ahead and took control of the first half.
Dan Skelton had the best effort of the early play with a first time shot that nestled in the arms of Stratford keeper Richard Morris.
But Rangers did not have to wait long for the goal that should have settled their nerves and sent them on their way to the next round.

Just 16 mins had gone when a good ball from Sean Kinsella found Rob Stevenson in space on the right and his cross was headed into his own net by Andy Gregory.
But Rangers failed to build on their lead and missed opportunities were to prove costly.
Chris Budrys should have added a second from another Stevenson centre only for Morris to save at close range and Jon Sheldon was just unable to capitalise on a moments hesitation from Stratford sub Joss Holford.

In between, a deflected shot from Mykel Beckley was the best that Stratford could muster but Boro keeper Danny Read was untroubled.

Stevenson was getting the better of left back Ricky Baker almost every time and with the Stratford player already cautioned, this looked Rangers best way forward. But the service to Stevenson dried up as the half went on although Stevenson did manage to create a great chance for Sheldon just before the break.

Rangers retained control at the start of the second half but the introduction of Stratford’s Josh Blake gave the visitors a new approach.
Immediately, Blake was in the action, setting up Ben Mackey for a chance that he put wide.
But the visitors stunned Rangers on 56 mins when they equalised through former Boro player Chris Murphy who turned the ball home from Nick Pollard’s low centre from the right.

Nine minutes later, the Midland Football Alliance strugglers were ahead as Mackey hit a rising shot past Read after the ball had fallen nicely into his path.

Alan Nagington brought Rangers back level with 15 mins to go when he ran on to a Budrys flick to score from a tight angle after his first shot was blocked.
Michael Morton came close to putting Rangers ahead when his 30 yard effort struck the upright with Morris unmoved but it was Stratford who had the final say when Blake fired them in front once more on 88 mins and Karl Fellows ensured another embarrassing page in Stafford Rangers’ FA Cup history when he headed a fourth in added time.

The defeat was Rangers’ third to lower league opposition in four years.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Dan Skelton, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Glynn Blackhurst, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Rob Stevenson (15 Michael Morton 65m), 9 Chris Budrys, 10 Sean Kinsella (14 Alan Nagington 65m), 11 Jon Sheldon (12 Neville Thompson 76m).
Unused Subs: 16 Liam Shotton, 17 Adam Alcock

Stratford Town: 1 Richard Morris, 2 Danny Haynes (17 Joss Holford 23m), 3 Ricky Baker, 4 Chris Murphy, 5 Andy Gregory, 6 Adam Cooper, 7 Mark Faulds, 8 Stuart Herlihy, 9 Ben Mackey, 10 Mykel Beckley (14 Josh Blake 54m), 11Nick Pollard (18 Karl Fellows 81m).
Unused Subs: 12 Ross Brown, 13 Tom Cross, 15 Martin Thompson,

Ref: Joe Hull
Att: 438
Bookings: Baker, Gregory (both Stratford)

Report by Chris Elsley

Northwich Victoria 0 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Premier Division Tuesday 27th September 2011


Stafford Rangers responded to the defeat by Chester in the best possible fashion by becoming the first team this season to lower the colours of Northwich Victoria. The only black mark on the night was the sending off of Glynn Blackhurst in added time after he clashed with Northwich’s Paul Ennis who was also dismissed.

Rangers made two changes for the game against the league leaders with Chris Budrys and Dan Skelton coming in for Neville Thompson and Liam Shotton.

The opening 25 mins saw little action in front of either goal with the two defences winning the battle.

A hopeful effort from Budrys looped over the Northwich bar as Stafford began to take control while the game was approaching the half hour mark before Rangers keeper Sam Johnson was called upon to keep out a shot from Graeme Law.
The home side threatened again when Michael Clarke’s shot deflected over after it had struck the back of Stafford defender Luke George.

Steve Abbott headed over for the home side but a quiet first half was brought to life two minutes before the break when Kyle Armstrong brought down Budrys a couple of yards outside the Northwich area.
With Armstrong the last defender, everyone expected the referee to show the red card but the man in black had other ideas, producing a yellow instead.

But Sean Kinsella inflicted the ultimate justice with a superb free kick that beat Hinchliffe at his near post.

Northwich nearly went in at the break on level terms but Dominic Collins found himself peppered by shots from team mates as Abbott and Tom Field before Johnson saved well from Clarke.

Budrys should have put Stafford further ahead shortly after the restart but his header went into the ground and bounced over.

Vics sub Ryan Wade sent a shot across the face of goal while Kinsella had similar misfortune after Jon Sheldon and Andy White had linked well on the left.
Sheldon again got the better of the Vics defence only for Hinchliffe to save from Peter Heler and the Vics keeper was spared embarrassment after a miscued punch from Sheldon’s free kick landed on the roof of his own net.
Sheldon continued to probe and saw his shot hit the post and rebound off Hinchliffe before being hacked to safety.

The game finished on an ugly note after a clash between Blackhurst and Ennis sparked a 20 player melee resulting in the two red cards.

Northwich Victoria: 1 Ben Hinchliffe, 2 Graeme Law, 3 Adam Sumner (14 Lewis Short 79m), 4 Dominic Collins, 5 David Fitzpatrick (Ryan Wade 46m), 6 Kyle Armstrong, 7 Paul Ennis, 8 Steve Abbott (12 Michael Roddy 54m), 9 Michael Clarke, 10 Nathan Woolfe, 11 Tom Field.
Unsued Subs: 15 Raphael Evans, 17 Tony Evans

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Andy White, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Glynn Blackurst, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Dan Skelton (15 Michael Morton 68m), 9 Chris Budrys (14 Liam Shotton 85m), 10 Sean Kinsella (12 Alan Nagington 90m), 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 16 Rob Stevenson, 17 Jordan Wood

Bookings: Armstrong, Collins (NVFC) Donnelly (SRFC)
Sent Off: Ennis (NVFC), Blackhurst (SRFC)
Ref: J Dowd
Att: 530

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 0 Chester 3
EVO-STIK Premier League Saturday 24th September 2011


Ten man Stafford Rangers saw their five match unbeaten run come to an end as Chester eased to a comfortable victory.

The visitors got off to a flyer, attacking the Stafford defence from the word go.
Chris Simm had a header deflected wide before Chester’s pressure finally paid off on 14 mins when Iain Howard pounced to volley home from close range after the Stafford defence had failed to clear a long throw from Matthew McGinn.

Rangers went close to an immediate reply with Neville Thompson just unable to connect with a Peter Heler centre but Chester were quickly back on the attack.

Glynn Blackhurst had to head a loose ball off the line but Chester doubled their advantage on 21 mins with a quick counter attack.
The move started with a clearance from keeper John Danby which sent Simm away on the left and he pulled the ball back for Michael Powell to drill home from the edge of the area.

Rangers began to win some of the midfield ball but opportunities were limited.
Liam Shotton had a shot blocked by Liam Brownhill and Sean Kinsella’s free kick was aimed straight at Danby but that was about as close as they got.

Hopes of a Stafford comeback were further dashed by an incident between defender Luke George and Chester’s Simm a couple of minutes before half time which resulted in George being sent off for stamping.

A man down, Rangers defended well with Donnelly and White outstanding but Thompson and strike partner Shotton struggled to create any sort of threat up front.

Michael Taylor stabbed over from close range as Chester threatened a third while Jon Sheldon went close to reducing the arrears with a free kick that Danby was forced to turn over the bar.

A good strike from Howard hit the Stafford upright before Powell put the result beyond doubt when he converted Jamie Rainford’s pass 12 mins from time.

In the final minutes, a good save from Sam Johnson prevented Rainford from adding a fourth.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Andy White, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Sean Kinsella (15 Dan Skelton 60m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Glynn Blackurst (12 Michael Morton 83m), 9 Liam Shotton, 10 Neville Thompson (14 Chris Budrys 60m), 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 16 Rob Stevenson, 17 Jordan Wood

Chester: 1 John Danby, 2 Liam Brownhill, 3 Matthew McGinn, 4 George Horan, 5 Michael Taylor, 6 Alex Brown, 7 Robert Booth, 8 Michael Powell, 9 Chris Simm (12 Jamie Rainford 65m), 10 Matthew McNeill (16 Michael Wilde 80m), 11 Iain Howard (15 Jerome Wright 74m).
Unused Subs: 14 Lesley Baines, 17 Adam Judge

Ref: Craig Taylor
Att: 1098

Report by Chris Elsley

AFC Wulfrunians 2 Stafford Rangers 3
Budweiser FA CUP 1st Qualifying Roand
Sat 17th September 2011


Stafford Rangers survived a massive scare before recording their first win in the FA Cup for five years.

Away to AFC Wulfrunians, a team ranked three divisions below them, Rangers went into the game on the back of embarrassing defeats to Coalville Town and Coventry Sphinx in two of the last three seasons.
But, when Mark Tipton deflected Rob Stevenson’s shot past his own keeper on 34 seconds, it looked as though this would be a walk in the park for the Evo-Stik Premier outfit.
And so it should have been as Rangers dominated the opening quarter.

Neville Thompson hit a drive straight at Rajaan Gill in the Wulfs goal before Gill produced a good save to keep out a Glyn Blackhurst header inside 5 mins.

Blakchurst volleyed well over from 20 yards out after Gill and defender David Asbury challenged for the same ball while Peter Heler could only put his header straight at Gill after getting on the end of cross from Stevenson.

Wulfs’ first real effort came with a rising shot from Ade Bandele which just cleared the Stafford cross bar.
But the visitors failed to take note of the warning signs and Wulfs levelled matters midway through the half when Chris Rabone found Daniel Crudgington in space and he rolled the ball under the advancing Danny Read.

The two sides exchanged long range shots which troubled neither keeper but Rabone faired better when he ran on to a ball from Michael Eagles to fire Wulfs into a shock lead a minute before the half hour mark.
Luke Chapman sent a free kick on to the top of the Wulfs net before Gill saved well from Alan Nagington.
Chapman’s 35 yard drive was pushed over the bar by Gill as the home side went in at the break with their lead intact.

Rangers controlled the second half without impressing although nerves were eased somewhat when Nagington hooked home the equaliser on 55 mins after Mike Douglas had flicked on a throw from Blackhurst.

Tipton nearly headed in a second own goal as he tried to defend a Paul Donnelly free kick before efforts from Blackhurst and Thompson both went well over.
Rangers continued to press and had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Graham Ashton bundled Heler over.

Thompson scored what proved to be the winner, twelve minutes from time, when he linked with Sean Kinsella on the left before curling his shot in to the top corner, giving Gill no chance.
Thompson should have wrapped things up in the closing stages when Ashton failed to cut out a square ball from Chris Budrys but his delayed shot gave Gill time to recover and make a smart save.

Rangers now meet the winners of the tie between Newcastle Town and Stratford Town who drew their 1st Qualifying Round match 5-5.

AFC Wulfrunians: 1 Rajaan Gill, 2 Mark Tipton, 3 Anthony Collins, 4 Graham Ashton, 5 David Asbury, 6 Michael Eagles, 7 Daniel Crudgington, 8 Robin Sheffield, 9 Christopher Rabone (14 Andrew Mitchell 76m), 10 Nathan Rose-Laing, 11 Ade Bandele (18 Martin Mallott 87m).
Unused Subs: 12 Thomas Ray, 13 Marc Evans, 15 Richard Anslow, 16 Oliver Meanley, 17 Thomas Piggott

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny read, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Luke Chapman, 4 Luke George, 5 Mike Douglas, 6 Sean Kinsella, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Glynn Blackhurst, 9 Alan Nagington (12 Chris Budrys 76m), 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Rob Stevenson (16 Shaun Jones 90+1m).
Unused Subs: 14 Liam Shotton, 15 Ryan Dicker, 17 Jordan Wood

Ref: Martin Dexter
Att: 304

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Rushall Olympic 1
EVO-STIK Premier Division Tuesday 13th September 2011


Stafford Rangers extended their unbeaten run to four games with a home draw against Rushall Olympic.

Rangers played the better football on the night but found it hard going against a physical Rushall side.
The first real opening fell to Liam Shotton who fired over after a smart turn in the area.
Ahmed Obeng responded for the visitors midway through the half when he beat Luke George on the right hand side but his shot was straight at Boro keeper Sam Johnson.

On the half hour, Sean Kinsella went close with a stunning free kick from near the left touchline.
Kinsella and Andy White failed to test the Rushall keeper with further efforts that came Stafford’s way but it was Kinsella who wasted the best opening of the half when he fired wide from just inside the area with just the keeper to beat.
As the half drew to a close, Rushall’s Matt Lewis set up Danny Bragoli but Paul Donnelly made an excellent challenge to deflect the shot over.

Chris Gemmell needed two goes to grab the ball after White had tried his luck from distance at the start of the second half but Rangers were nearly undone on 53 mins when a right wing cross from Sean Platt caught out Johnson but, to his relief, the ball came back out off the far post.

Rangers were still creating the better chances and Shotton fired over after getting the better of James Skedgel while Peter Heler forced a good save from Gemmell after beating two men in his approach.
The Rushall threat was still there and the unmarked Lewis missed out when he headed tamely at Johnson.
Another Kinsella free kick flashed just over before a shot from Heler that went the same way.

Johnson saved well from Obeng but the Rushall forward was involved in the scramble that lead to the visitors opening the scoring nine minutes from time.
Platt’s corner saw Johnson save from Bragoli. Obeng and Christian Dacres both had follow up efforts blocked before the ball bounced in off the unfortunate Heler.

Rangers were level within two minutes as referee Sian Massey penalised Platt for tripping Boro sub Chris Budrys and Kinsella netted from the spot.

But the drama was not over yet. A couple of minutes later Luke George got in a good tackle to halt Obeng but Massey saw differently and awarded Rushall a penalty.
There was some justice as Lewis sent Johnson the wrong way but put his kick wide of the post.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Andy White, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker (15 Lee McAnulty 74m), 6 Mike Douglas, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Glynn Blackhurst (16 Rob Stevenson 77m), 9 Liam Shotton, 10 Neville Thompson (12 Chris Budrys 58m), 11 Sean Kinsella.
Unused Subs: 14 Alan Nagington, 17 Jordan Wood

Rushall Olympic: 1 Chris Gemmell, 2 Sean Platt, 3 Grant Beckett, 4 Mitchell Tolley, 5 James Skedgell, 6 Lucan Spittle, 7 Christian Dacres, 8 Richard Blythe (16 Luke Edwards 63m), 9 Matt Lewis, 10 Ahmed Obeng (17 Nick Amos 90+1m), 11 Danny Bragoli.
Unused Subs: 12 Gary Fitzpatrick, 14 Louis Keenan, 15 Adrian Smith

Ref: Sian Massey
Att: 453

Report by Chris Elsley.

Kendal Town 0 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Premier Division Saturday 10th September 2011


A resurgent Stafford Rangers ruined Kendal’s 100% home record thanks to a solitary Liam Shotton strike at the Lakelands Radio Stadium.

Rangers made three changes from midweek giving a debut to young full back Andy White on a month’s loan from Crewe Alexandra. Rangers took the game to Kendal and almost grabbed the lead inside the 2nd minute when Peter Heler’s left-footed shot beat Tom Newton but hi the top of the crossbar. Danny Wisdom sent Danny Williams clear down the Kendal left but the dangerous cross was cleared by Mike Douglas.
Glynn Blackhurst tried his luck from distance on three occasions but failed to put Newton under any real pressure. Rangers were fortunate not to concede a sloppy goal in the 32nd minute when Kieran Walmsley’s free-kick was missed by White and Mark Jackson failed to make any real connection allowing Sam Johnson to gather the ball under pressure. Johnson was forced into a better save thwarting Jackson when he had latched onto a ball over the Rangers back-line.

Kendal missed an early opportunity after the break when Walmsley’s deflected shot was headed wide by Williams. Blackhurst had another opportunity but his low drive was easily held by Newton. Newton was again called into action after 62 minutes when Alan Nagington outpaced the Kendal defence but the keeper did well to catch his low shot. Within a minute, Nagington wasted a better opportunity, clipping a cross from Jon Sheldon past the post.

The home side had a glorious chance in the 65th minute but Walmsley chose to cross instead of shooting when clean through.
Rangers made Kendal pay in the 72nd minute by taking the lead. Liam Shotton controlled the ball on the left touchline, shrugged off three defenders, picked his spot from 25 yards and finished with aplomb. Kendal were almost level on 77 minutes when Jackson’s volley beat Johnson but hi the bar. In stoppage time, Gary McKevatt had a great chance but shot wide and rangers returned to Staffordshire with a deserved 3 points.

Kendal Town: Tom Newton, Kieran Walmsley, Danny Wisdom, Jordan Tucker (Gary McKevatt 76), Marc Joseph, Ciaran Donnelly, Mark Peers (Rory Winters 45), Mark Jackson, Alex Taylor (Tom Kilifin 65), Ian Kilford, Danny Williams.
Subs not used: Tom Baines, John Ross

Stafford Rangers: Sam Johnson, Paul Donnelly, Andy White, Luke George, Mike Douglas, Sean Kinsella, Peter Heler, Glynn Blackhurst, Alan Nagington (Chris Budrys 67), Neville Thompson (Liam Shotton 67), Jon Sheldon (Robert Stevenson).
Subs not used: Lee McAnulty, Jordan Wood

Booked: Donnelly, Williams (Kendal), George (Stafford)
Referee: Matthew Pope
Attendance: 258

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Matlock Town 1 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Premier Division Wednesday 7th September 2011


A last minute equaliser denied Stafford Rangers their second win in four days at Matlock Town on Wednesday night.

Rangers made four changes to the side that had beaten Marine on Saturday with recalls for Chris Budrys, Kevin Street, Glyn Blackhurst and Peter Heler and it was the visitors who began the game brightly.

Sean Kinsella was within inches of giving the Boro the lead after just one minute when his 25 yard free kick was pushed over the bar by the outstretched hand of Matlock keeper Jon Kennedy.

The resultant corner saw Heler and Budrys in the mix before TJ Nightingale scrambled the ball away.

Rangers had another great chance a couple of minutes later when Budrys flicked on a long kick from Sam Johnson. Neville Thompson got clear as Adam Yates lost his footing but Kennedy came out quickly to block the shot.

Rangers continued to look the stronger side and Blackhurst forced another save from Kennedy.

But, Stafford’s flowing football became less noticeable as Matlock began to get into the game and Liam King and Nightingale both failed to hit the target when well placed.

Rangers finally got their deserved break through in the 39th minute when Thompson’s lay off put in Kinsella and he finished smartly from just inside the area.

Both sides struggled in the greasy conditions as the game resumed after the interval and the clock had reached the hour mark before Kennedy was forced into action, turning away a 20 yard effort from Street.

Matlock continued to probe and it needed a timely intervention from Luke George to halt Ian Holmes while Heler blocked the way of Nightingale after a threatening run from the Matlock midfielder.

Johnson somehow managed to keep out a shot from Yates before Kennedy produced an excellent save to prevent Micky Harcourt from turning the ball into his own net.

Knowles almost levelled with a cheeky flick that went just over with Johnson in no man’s land but the Matlock number 11 wasn’t to be denied and as the 90 minute mark was reached, he got on the end of a Chris Bettney centre to head in the equaliser.

Matlock Town: 1 Jon Kennedy, 2 Micky Harcourt, 3 Ben Algar, 4 Liam King, 5 Adam Yates, 6 James Lukic, 7 Chris Bettney, 8 TJ Nightingale (14 Lee Whittington 78m), 9 Ian Holmes, 10 Kris Bowler, 11 James Knowles.
Unused Subs: 12 Stephen Warne, 15 Kris Whitcombe, 17 Nick Buxton

Stafford Rangers: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Jon Sheldon, 4 Luke George, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Glyn Blackhurst (14 Mike Douglas 67m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (16 Luke Chapman 72m), 9 Chris Budrys, 10 Neville Thompson (12 Alan Nagington 79m), 11 Sean Kinsella.
Unused Subs: 15 Liam Shotton, 17 Jordan Wood

Ref: A Cawtherley
Att: 388

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 2 Marine 1
EVO-STIK Premier Division Saturday 3rd September 2011

Stafford Rangers finally kick-started their season with a hard fought victory over high flying Marine.

Following the Bank Holiday defeat at Hednesford, Greg Clowes made three changes to the starting line-up giving a debut to 17 year old Rico Taylor on loan from Tamworth and handing recalls to Alan Nagington and Jon Sheldon.
It was the visitors from Merseyside that looked the most likely early on when a drive from Louis Barnes hit the outside of the post. Marine were dangerous from asset plays and from a corner from Barnes, John Shaw headed over the bar.
Against the run of play, rangers broke the deadlock in the 21st minute. An inch perfect cross from Sean Kinsella was headed into the bottom corner by Neville Thompson. Thompson should have made it two four minutes later but his shot from Sheldon’s cross flew over the bar.

On the half hour, the visitors were level. From a Barnes corner, Matty Brown poked a shot goalwards where it was acrobatically palmed over by Sam Johnson. Joe Fowler took the corner from the Marine left and Brown powered home a header, unmarked.

Rangers had the ball in the net in the 68th minute when Kinsella’s shot was half saved by Ryan McMahon and Nagington tapped home the rebound from an offside position. 
The all important goal fell to Rangers after 83 minutes. A direct free-kick from Kinsella was fumbled by McMahon and when Thompson picked up the rebound, he was bundled to the ground by the marine keeper. Kinsella stepped up and drilled home the penalty.
With the game entering stoppage time, Rangers were indebted to their young goalkeeper as Johnson pulled off a terrific left handed save to foil Barnes as Rangers hung on for three invaluable points.

Stafford Rangers: Sam Johnson, Paul Donnelly, Dan Skelton (Kevin Street 62), Luke George, Ryan Dicker, Mike Douglas, Rico Taylor (Peter Heler 54), Sean Kinsella, Alan Nagington (Chris Budrys 74), Neville Thompson, Jon Sheldon.
Subs not used: Glynn Blackhurst, Jordan Wood

Marine: Ryan McMahon, Sam Barnes, John Shaw, Matty Brown, Tony Davies (Paul Lundon), Joe Fowler, Stephen Johnson, Paul Henry (Ian Latham 68), Neil Harvey (Jon Goulding 68), Aaron Rey, Louis Barnes.
Subs not used: Dave Roberts, Thomas Moore

Booked: Skelton, Dicker, Douglas (Stafford), Barnes (Marine)
Referee: Ravel Cheosiaua
Attendance: 504

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Hednesford Town 5 Stafford Rangers 4
EVO-STIK Premier Division Monday 29th August 2011


A classic local derby that had all the right ingredients but the wrong outcome as Stafford Rangers threw away a 3-0 lead to lose to the last kick of the game.

Rangers made four changes from the side that drew with Whitby 48 hours earlier with goalkeeper Sam Johnson coming in on loan from Port Vale.

Rangers stunned the home crowd on 5 mins when Sean Kinsella beat Danny Crane in the Hednesford goal with a free kick from 20 yards out.

It was another free kick that saw Rangers go 2-0 ahead on 14 mins when Luke George headed the ball into the path of Mike Douglas and he netted from a yard out.

It got better still for Rangers on 19 mins when a swift build up allowed Dan Skelton to whip in a cross from the left and Neville Thompson swept the ball home from around 10 yards out.

Kinsella nearly made it four a couple of minutes later when his shot struck the post moments after Cheyenne Dunkley had almost sliced the ball into his own net.

Hednesford hardly threatened although Johnson did have to take one free kick from underneath his cross bar.

Meanwhile Rangers continued to push forward and Kevin Street fired wide after great approach play by Liam Shotton.

The game had reached the half hour mark before Johnson was called on to make a serious save as he pushed away a Chris Clements free kick.

Shotton an dKinsella went close again for Rangers but as they were thinking of their half time break, Marvin Robinson was allowed space to flick a header over Johnson from Jamey Osborne’s long throw.

The second half was evenly contested with Thompson shooting over for Stafford and Clements putting his shot straight into the arms of Johnson at the other end.

Johnson saved well from Danny Quinn but Hednesford were lucky to keep a full eleven players on the pitch when Osborne went in late on Peter Heler having already received a caution for a more innocuous challenge at the start of the half.

Rangers were still looking comfortable until Douglas inexplicably handled a free kick from Clements and the former Stafford midfielder stepped up to score from the spot to make it 2-3 with 11 minutes left.

But Rangers restored their two goal advantage two minutes later when sub Chris Budrys turned Pedro Monteiro and then took advantage of a hesitant Crane to stab the ball into the net.

Bohan Dixon set up Robinson for his second of the game on 84 mins to make it 4-3 and Rangers pressed the self destruct button.

Four minutes later it was all square. Clements crossed and the unmarked Quinn headed in the equaliser. From then on, there was only going to be one winner. Quinn flashed a shot wide and Clements saw his effort deflect off a Stafford defender.

In the seventh minute of added time, Robinson completed an amazing comeback for the home side when he met Osborne’s right wing cross with an overhead kick that went through the legs of Johnson to send Rangers to their first league defeat against the Pitmen in over 60 years.

Hednesford Town:
1 Danny Crane, 2 Pedro Monteiro, 3 Darren Campion (14 Phil Clarke 61m), 4 Chris Shaw, 5 Cheyenne Dunkley, 6 Jay Denny, 7 Kyle Haynes (16 Bohan Dixon 61m (15 Ben Bailey 90+1m)), 8 Chris Clements, 9 Marvin Robinson, 10 Danny Quinn, 11 Jamey Osborne.
Unused Subs: 12 Decio Gomes, 17 Bradley Grice

Stafford Rangers:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Luke George, 3 Dan Skelton , 4 Paul Donnelly, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Mike Douglas, 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street (15 Lee McAnulty 82m), 9 Liam Shotton (12 Chris Budrys 77m), 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Sean Kinsella.
Unused Subs: 14 Alan Nagington, 17 Jordan Wood

Ref: Mr J Clark
Att: 1086

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 3 Whitby Town 3
EVO-STIK Premier Division Saturday 27th August 2011


Stafford Rangers were left still searching for their first win of the season after being held to a draw at home by fellow strugglers Whitby Town.

But this was not the kind of dour affair that the Stafford fans have become used to witnessing over recent seasons as the two sides shared six goals and the referee Edward Smart ensured their were several talking points after the match.

Whitby were first to show and Matty Tymon should have hit the target when he put a free header over the bar inside three minutes but Rangers responded well with Jon Sheldon and Kevin Street forcing saves from David Campbell in quick succession.

Soon after Sheldon had a shot blocked by Kevin Burgess following some good approach play by the home side.

Whitby were dealt a blow when Michael Brough, who played one game for Stafford several years ago, required hospital treatment for a head injury received in an accidental clash with Neville Thompson.

Danny Read kept out Andy Campbell after the former Middlesbrough striker had beaten the Stafford offside trap but it was Rangers who made the breakthrough after 32 mins when Street released Thompson down the right and his firmly struck centre cannoned in off Alan Nagington.

The resumption was delayed due to an injury to Read and though the Stafford keeper tried to continue, he was forced off, to be replaced by 17 year old Jordan Wood.

For a time, the Stafford defence seemed to lose its way and looked very unsettled but they managed to deny the visitors a shot.

As half time loomed it looked as though Rangers would take a lead in to the break but on 45 mins, Campbell was brought down in the area by Ryan Dicker to give Whitby a penalty.

Dicker was sent off and Mark Robinson levelled from the spot.

Rangers’ response was positive and before the half time whistle finally went they had seen both Thompson and Street send shots wide of the Whitby goal.

The visitors went ahead six minutes into the second half. Peter Heler conceded a needless corner and David McTiernan’s flag kick was met on the half volley by the unmarked Tymon to fire home from 15 yards out.

Once again, Rangers’ response was to attack and just four minutes later Luke George played in Thompson. The striker had missed a number of good chances during the defeat to Chorley in the previous game, but this time he made no mistake as he placed the ball past David Campbell in the Whitby goal.

The action continued and the major talking point came just past the hour when Wood was penalised for holding the ball too long as Andy Campbell stood in his way on the edge of the Rangers area.

Wood, in his inexperience, placed the ball on the ground, but Campbell pounced to roll a quick free kick to Robinson who rolled the ball into the empty net to put Whitby 3-2 ahead.

Within 8 mins, Rangers were level again when David Campbell was caught out by Sheldon’s free kick from 35 yards out and the ball went in at the top corner.

Almost immediately, Andy Campbell had a free header but glanced his effort off the top of the bar as the game looked set for more goals.

Both sides pushed on in the final ten minutes. Whitby sub Andy Leeson headed wide while Thompson found himself closed down as he made a run into the Whitby area.

Wood did well to palm away a good strike from Callum Martin to ensure the game ended on level terms.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read (17 Jordan Wood 38m), 2 Luke George, 3 Dan Skelton, 4 Lee McAnulty, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Mike Douglas, 7 Peter Heler (14 Glynn Blackhurst 55m), 8 Kevin Street (16 Sean Kinsella 66m), 9 Alan Nagington, 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 12 Chris Budrys, 15 Liam Shotton

Whitby Town: 1 David Campbell, 2 Ashley Lyth, 3 Alex White, 4 Ibrahim Hassan, 5 Kevin Burgess, 6 Michael Brough (12 Andy Leeson 28m), 7 Callum Martin, 8 David McTiernan, 9 Matty Tymon (15 Jake Faichney 59m), 10 Andy Campbell, 11 Mark Robinson.
Unused Subs: 14 Darren Williams, 16 Sam Hodgson, 17 Tom Courtney

Ref: Edward Smart
Att: 420

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 0 Chorley FC 1
EVO-STIK Premier Division - Tuesday 23rd August 2011


A much improved performance from Stafford Rangers went unrewarded as leaders Chorley maintained their 100% record with a late winner at Marston Road.

Following a disappointing performance at Stocksbridge on Saturday, Rangers’ boss Greg Clowes made 5 changes to the side and the new line up acquitted themselves well and, but for a series of missed chances, should have picked up the points.

The game took some time to settle and it was the visitors who had the first real opening when Lee McEvilly forced a good save from Danny Read on 13 mins.
A couple of minutes later, McEvilly curled one over from the edge of the area.
Steve Flitcroft fired wide after Peter Heler had blocked a shot from Simon Whaley and it looked as though it would be just a matter of time before the Rangers goal was breached.

There were almost 20 mins on the clock before Mike Douglas produced Stafford’s first shot on goal but it was a tame effort that didn’t trouble Russ Saunders.
Play immediately switched to the opposite end and poor defending allowed McEvilly in once more but again Read was there to keep the scores level.

Rangers began to get into the game and a probing run from Heler was brought to a frustrating end when his path was blocked just inside the area and the shooting opportunity was lost.
Jon Sheldon made an impressive debut on the left and he went close with a free kick that just cleared the Chorley cross bar.

Neville Thompson went closer still after holding off Tom Williams to go clear but his effort rebounded back off the cross bar with Heler free to his right.
Rangers remained on top as the first half drew to a close and Sheldon had a close range effort saved after being set up by Alan Nagington and Thompson was unable to convert the rebound.

Thompson missed another good chance as Rangers began the second half on top, prompting Chorley to make a double substitution.
Thompson became the target for two or three crunching tackles that saw two Chorley players cautioned in the space of a minute.

The visitors created a couple of chances of their own and Paul Donnelly was twice on hand to deny them the opening goal while visiting skipper Andrew Teague put two headers off target.
Another chance for Thompson went begging before Chorley delivered the heartbreak blow with just 8 mins remaining.

A free kick awarded for handball some 25 yards out was in the range for Adam Roscoe and he stepped up to beat Read low to his left.

Kevin Street missed out on a chance to snatch an equaliser for Rangers when he fired over but it was a performance that must bring encouragement to Clowes and his team as well as the Stafford support.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Danny Read, 2 Luke George, 3 Dan Skelton (16 Rob Stevenson 86m), 4 Paul Donnelly, 5 Ryan Dicker, 6 Mike Douglas (14 Glynn Blackhurst 82m), 7 Peter Heler, 8 Kevin Street, 9 Alan Naginton (12 Chris Budrys 69m), 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Jon Sheldon.
Unused Subs: 15 Sean Kinsella, 17 Jordan Wood

Chorley: 1 Russ Saunders,2  Tom Williams, 3 Tom Ince, 4 Andrew Teague, 5 Andrew Russell, 6 Dale Whitham, 7 Adam Roscoe, 8 Steve Flitcroft (15 Jason Fairhurst 89m), 9 Lee McEvilly (16 Tom Walker 51m), 10 Steve Foster, 11 Simon Whaley (12 Wayne Maden 51m).
Unused Subs: 14 Matt Jansen, 21 Chris Howarth

Ref: N Hobbis
Att: 471

Report by Chris Elsley

Stocksbridge Park Steels 1 Stafford Rangers 0
EVO-STIK Premier Division – Saturday 20th August 2011


Stafford Rangers returned empty handed from their trip to the Pennines after a disappointing defeat at the Look Local Stadium.
Rangers welcomed back skipper Paul Donnelly with Dan Skelton moving to the replacements bench. With both sides eager for their first win of the season, a tight midfield battle was anticipated. Liam Shotton created Rangers first opportunity when he was clipped outside the area by Colin Marrison. Luke Chapman drilled the free-kick low but Ben Scott saved well. Rangers gave Marrison too much space down the right and his cross was well cleared by Luke George with Mark Ward ready to apply the finishing touch. Steels thought they should have had a penalty in the 21st minute when Chris Adam appeared to be tripped by Peter Heler but referee Ian Patten waved away the protests.
The home side took the lead in the 33rd minute. Despite being blocked by two Rangers defenders, Kevin Davies managed to cross to the near post where Marrison headed home unmarked. The goal buoyed the home side and Rangers failed to make any impression.

Stockbridge came close to doubling their lead after 55 minutes when Brett Lovell met a corner from Ward but his header drifted wide of the far post. Skelton forced a save low down from Scott after a driving run. Shotton thought he had equalised in the 61st minute but his goal bound shot was acrobatically cleared off the line by Richard Haigh. Rangers’ best chance fell to Neville Thompson in the 69th minute. Shotton laid the ball into the path of Heler and his first time cross was inch perfect for Thompson but he headed over. Rangers never looked like equalising after this and Steels ran out comfortable victors.

Stocksbridge Park Steels: Ben Scott, Anthony Lloyd, Kevin Davies, Richard Haigh, Brett Lovell, Dominic  Riordan, Colin Marrison,  Matt Telling, Jack Muldoon (Danny Joynes 83), Mark Ward (Mickey Blythen 67), Chris Adam (Chris Glarvey 75).
Subs not used: Darren Schofield, Zeph Thomas

Stafford Rangers: Danny Read, Luke George, Paul Donnelly, Lee McAnulty, Ryan Dicker, Mike Douglas, Peter Heler , Glynn Blackhurst (Sean Kinsella 67) , Chris Budrys (Neville Thompson 64), Liam Shotton, Luke Chapman (Dan Skelton 41).
Subs not used: Alan Nagington, Jordan Wood

Booked: Glarvey (Stocksbridge PS), Kinsella (Stafford)
Referee: Ian Patten
Attendance: 172

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Worksop Town 1 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Premier Division – Wednesday 17th August 2011


Stafford Rangers gained their first point of the season in a hard fought draw at the Windsor Food Services Stadium.

Rangers were forced into defensive changes following the defeat by FC United of Manchester. Skipper Paul Donnelly was unavailable and he passed the captain’s armband to fit again Ryan Dicker while Charlie Reeves had departed for a new life in Hong King and he was replaced by debutant Lee McAnulty. After conceding an early goal in their opening game of the season, Rangers repeated the act going 1 down after 6 minutes. Jamie Jackson ricked hi way past Luke Chapman, got to the by-line and passed to Mark Hudson who sidefooted home left-footed.
Rangers had not really shown until the 16th minute when a first time cross from Luke George was headed goalwards by Chris Budrys forcing Jon Worsnop into a flying one-handed save. Worksop had a potent weapon in the long throw-ins from Marc Roberts and from another excellent delivery, Luke Sharry had a shot deflected fro a corner. From the resultant dead ball taken by Hudson, Roberts had a free header but missed the target. Chapman forced Worsnop into a save before Glynn Blackhurst missed the target with a free header

Rangers were the better side after the break, however they were indebted to Danny Read in the 47th minute who palmed a way a sting effort from Luke Shiels.  Rangers equalised in the 58th minute when Budrys received a pass from Luke George, turned and shrugged off his defender before beating Worsnop with a right footed shot. Liam Shotton created an opportunity for himself, spinning away from his marker but dragging his shot wide. Both sides had late opportunities to grab a winner. Neville Thompson was played through by Blackhurst but with Sean Kinsella in acres of space to his right, he chose to shoot and the shot was deflected for a corner. At the other end, debutant McAnulty just did enough to thwart Hudson in front of goal. There were 7 bookings in a game which was far from physical with referee David Benton over officious in his interpretation.

Worksop Town: Jon Worsnop, Chris Wood, Callum Williams, Luke Shiels, Marc Roberts, James Cotterill, Steve Gardner,  Luke Sharry (Terry Barwick 79), Jamie Jackson, Mark Hudson, Marc Thompson.
Subs not used: Ben Turner, Loz Matthewson, Josh Sweetnam, Matt Young

Stafford Rangers: Danny Read, Luke George, Luke Chapman, Lee McAnulty, Ryan Dicker, Mike Douglas, Peter Heler (Sean Kinsella 78), Glynn Blackhurst , Chris Budrys (Neville Thompson 66), Liam Shotton (Alan Nagington 78), Dan Skelton.
Subs not used: Alex Forde, Jordan Wood

Referee: David Benton
Attendance: 456

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 0 FC United of Manchester 2
EVO-STIK Premier Division - Saturday 13th August 2011

Stafford Rangers began their Evo-stik Northern Premier season with a defeat at home to FC United of Manchester.

New look Stafford Rangers gave league debuts to no fewer than 11 players with only Sean Kinsella in the match day squad from last season. The visitors were backed by a large and vociferous following and they gave their travelling hordes something to shout about inside the first minute. Charlie Reeves attempted to head the ball back to Danny Read but conceded a needless corner. Carlos Roca played the ball to the near post where the unmarked Matthew Wolfenden headed home after just 34 seconds.
The diminutive Roca was causing problems with his pace and trickery and from another excellent cross, Wolfenden’s shot was saved by the legs of Read. The rebound fell invitingly for Nicky Platt who fired over. Read again came to Rangers rescue after Ben Deegan had shrugged off the challenge of Reeves.
Rangers only threatened on one occasion when a volley from Peter Heler flew over the bar. Rangers continued to struggle with the threat of Deegan and the pace of Roca and it was no surprise when the visitors extended their lead in first half stoppage time. Roca was again the provider, crossing into the six yard box where the unmarked Dean Stott fired home left footed.

Rangers improved slightly after the break and a driving run from Liam Shotton was thwarted by James Spencer, diving at the striker’s feet. FC United almost grabbed a third when Roca and Neville combined to tee up Stott but his rising shot was palmed over by the excellent Read. Read continued to impress with further saves from Deegan as FC United ran out comfortable winners.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Rhead, Luke George, Dan Skelton, Paul Donnelly, Charlie Reeves, Mike Douglas, Peter Heler (Rob Stevenson 77), Glynn Blackhurst , Chris Budrys (Neville Thompson 63), Liam Shotton, Luke Chapman (Sean Kinsella 63).
Subs not used: Joe Rogers, Jordan Wood

FC United of Manchester: James Spencer, Kyle Jacobs (Michael Carr 13), Lee Neville, Jake Cottrell, Adam Jones, Dean Stott, Carlos Roca (Steve Torpey 78), Nicky Platt, Ben Deegan, Matthew Wolfenden (Adam Edwards 84), Richard Battersby.
Subs not used: David Chadwick, Danny Grimshaw

Booked: Battersby (FC United)
Referee: Nick Hopton (derby)
Attendance: 1707

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 2 Woodley Sports 0
Saturday 6th August 2011


Stafford Rangers completed their pre-season games with an unconvincing victory over Woodley Sports at Marston Road.

The visitors were the first to show with a curling effort from Jack Dorney. Alan Nagington picked out the overlap from Joe Rogers but the young defender only found the side-netting. Woodley should have taken the lead in the 19th minute when Jordan Stepten headed over from Brad Maylett’s cross. Peter Heler beat tow defenders and saw his near post shot saved by Liam Higginbottom. Rangers took the lead in the 31st minute. A free-kick from Kevin Street fell kindly for Chris Budrys who shot on the turn to beat Higginbottom. Danny Read came to Rangers rescue saving well from Adam Mather. From the corner, Aaron Chambers headed wide when he should have hit the target.

Woodley almost equalised 6 minutes after the restart but Ben Richardson’s header rebounded off the bar.  A mistake by triallist Dan Brown allowed Stepten one-on-one with Read but he put his shot wide of the goal. Nothing was seen from rangers as an attacking force and it was Evostik South Woodley that were asking all the questions. Daniel Shannon pulled the ball into the path of Mark Haslem but Paul Donnelly was on hand to block the effort on the line. Rangers added a second in the final minute. Substitute Rob Stevenson skipped down the right touch line and crossed perfectly into the path of Neville Thompson who bundled the ball home.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Rhead (Jorden Wood 78), Joe Rogers, Jon Sheldon (Sean Jones 61), Paul Donnelly, Ryan Dicker (Dan Brown 35), Alex Forde (Glynn Blackhurst 61), Peter Heler, Kevin Street (Sean Kinsella 61), Chris Budrys (Liam Shotton 54), Alan Nagington (Neville Thompson 54), Luke Chapman (Rob Stevenson 67)

Woodley Sports: Liam Higginbottom, Chris Rowney , Matt Russell (Ben Richardson 45), Gary Furnival, Aaron Chambers (Harry Bockarie 59), Kyle McGonigle (Russ Lee 45), Brad Maylett (Mark Heslem 61), Jack Dorney, Nathan Neequay (Daniel Shannon 59), Jordan Stepten, Adam Mather

Referee: Matt Jones (Penkridge)
Attendance: 195

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 1 AFC Telford United 1
1st August 2011


Stafford Rangers continued to impress as they drew with Conference opposition for the second time in 72 hours at Marston Road.

The visitors started with four former Rangers players and it was last season’s Player of the Year Lee Evans who was forced into an early save to deny Sean Kinsella. Rangers stunned their higher ranked opponents by taking the lead in the 8th minute. A lovely ball inside from Kinsella picked out the run of Peter Heler who got to the by-line and crossed for Luke Chapman to continue his pre-season scoring form, finishing at the second attempt.

Greg Mills almost pulled a goal back on the restart but his shot went wide and at the other Chris Budrys screwed an effort wide of the post.
Evans was again called into action as Chapman headed goalwards from a Glynn Blackhurst cross. Rangers were well on top and Evans did well to tip over a stunning free-kick from Kinsella.
On the stroke of half-time, Rangers came close to doubling their lead. Levi Reid failed to control the ball in midfield giving possession to Chapman. Rangers’ scorer spotted Evans off his line and his audacious 35 yard chip had the Bucks goalkeeper backpedalling to turn the ball over the bar.

Telford strengthened their side after the break and the fresh legs soon made inroads into the Rangers defence.
On 51 minutes, a misplaced pass from Kinsella let in Alex Meechan who picked out Adam Proudlock but Ryan Dicker was on hand to thwart the former Wolves striker.
It was Meechan that drew Telford level on 55 minutes, twisting and turning through the Rangers defence and squeezing his shot home despite a desperate effort by Dicker to clear his lines. 
As Rangers tired, Telford continued to press but Danny Rhead in the Rangers goal stood firm to deny James Lawrie and Mills. With time running out, Rhead did well to save from Jon Adams before Telford missed a golden chance to snatch an undeserved victory but Andy Brown missed the ball in front of a gaping net.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Rhead , Joe Rogers, Dan Skelton (Rob Stevenson 69), Paul Donnelly, Ryan Dicker, Sean Kinsella, Peter Heler (James Marsden 74), Glynn Blackhurst (Alex Forde 65), Chris Budrys (Alan Nagington 61), Neville Thompson, Luke Chapman

AFC Telford United: Lee Evans, Will Salmon, Dwayne Samuels (Nathan Rooney 80), Richard Davis (Alex Meechan 45), Curtley Williams, Gavin Caines, Greg Mills (Andy Brown 69), Courtney Pitt, Adam Proudlock, James Lawrie (Jon Adams 69), Levi Reid (Mark Preece 45)

Referee: Steve Martin (Stafford)
Attendance: 352

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 1 Tamworth 1
Saturday 30th July 2011


A much improved performance from Rangers saw them share the spoils with Blue Square Premier Tamworth at Marston Road.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the 5th minute when Kyle Patterson slipped past Mike Douglas, sending Kieron St Aimie clear but he fired over the bar.
Young winger Rob Stevenson beat Scott Barrow and crossed to the near post where Chris Budrys’ effort was saved by Jonathon Hedge.

Tamworth took the lead in the 21st minute. Ashley Cain played the ball into the feet of Patterson who laid the ball into the path of Richard Tait. Tait picked his spot with the outside of his right foot and fired home. Rangers should have drawn level 7 minutes later when Liam Shotton was brought down in the penalty area by Barrow.
Shotton himself took the penalty but it was too near Hedge and the Lambs keeper made a fine save, Rangers were now having more of the game and when the front two of Shotton and Budrys combined to set up Stevenson, the young winger’s shot flew across the face of the goal. 

Rangers should have been awarded a second penalty 5 minutes before the break when Shotton was pulled back by Liam Francis but nothing was given.

A poor defensive header from Paul Donnelly let in Cain but his shot missed the far post and the onrushing St Aimie. Cain was proving a real thorn in the Rangers defence and after another jinking run Donnelly was on hand to clear the danger.
Tamworth had the ball in the net after 64 minutes but the header from Francino Francis was ruled out for offside. 
Danny Rhead was forced into a fingertip save by Paul Green as both sides struggled to dominate after a raft of substitutions.

Rangers got the equaliser they deserved in stoppage time when Francino Francis handled the ball under pressure from Sean Kinsella giving rangers a second penalty of the afternoon.
Kinsella took responsibility and hammered home the spot-kick to give rangers the draw they richly deserved.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Rhead (Jordon Wood 76), Sean Jones (Joe Rogers 56), Luke Chapman (James Marsden 76), Paul Donnelly, Charlie Reeves, Mike Douglas (Alex Forde 73), Rob Stevenson (Peter Heler 45), Glynn Blackhurst (Sean Kinsella 63), Chris Budrys (Neville Thompson 59), Liam Shotton (Alan Nagington 69), Dan Skelton

Tamworth: Jonathon Hedge, Richard Tait, Scott Barrow (Francino Francis 45), Duane Courtney, Liam Francis (Connor Gudger 45), Harry Milton (Jay Smith 45), Daniel Bradley (Samuel Habergham 45), Ashley Cain, Kyle Patterson (Paul Green 45), Kieron St Aimie, Danny Thomas (Liam McDonald 45)

Referee: Tom Harty (Wolverhampton)
Attendance: 290

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 4 Norton United 1
Tuesday 26th July 2011


Stafford Rangers finally found their scoring boots as they picked up their first pre-season win on home soil.

The visitors had an early opportunity when Dan Brown got the wrong side of the Rangers defence but his shot was into the side netting. 
Rangers’ first real opportunity came after 20 minutes when Liam Shotton headed over Luke Chapman’s cross. Chapman created a chance for Alex Forde but he miss-hit his volley.
Jason Hulme wasted a good chance for Norton sending his shot high over the bar.
Rangers took the lead in the 37th minute. Rob Stevenson skipped past his defender and laid the ball into the path of Dan Skelton who gave Lloyd Parry in the Norton goal no chance. Rangers doubled their lead four minutes later from the penalty spot. Wayne Brotherton pulled back Shotton in the area and Shotton despatched the spot kick with aplomb.
Norton should have pulled a goal back before the break when Ryan Dicker left the ball for keeper Gareth Barker allowing Brown to nip in but he headed wide.

Norton did pull a goal back in the 52nd minute. A mistake by Dicker allowed Brown to race clear and his cross was turned into his own net by Joe Rogers.
Chapman should have scored seconds after the restart but he sent his chip wide. Neville Thompson set up Skelton whose shot grazed the bar before another fine run from Stevenson resulted in a last ditch clearance from Steven Brunt. 
Rangers’ third goal came after 80 minutes when Chapman sidefooted home from a Thompson pass.
The scoring was competed in bizarre fashion in the 84th minute. A clearance from Norton keeper Parry cannoned off Brunt’s back and fell invitingly to Chris Budrys who rolled the ball home to give the scoreline a rather flattering look for Rangers.

Stafford Rangers: Gareth Barker (Jordon Wood 45), James Marsden, Sean Jones, Joe Rogers, Ryan Dicker (Paul Donnelly 66), Alex Forde (Mike Douglas 66), Rob Stevenson, Dan Skelton, Liam Shotton (Chris Budrys 66), Neville Thompson, Luke Chapman

Norton United: Lloyd Parry, Dave Davies, Liam McMann, Tom Winkle (Jon Beaumont 52), Wayne Brotherton, Steven Brunt, Michael Machin (Paul Rutter 45), Jason Hulme (Jack Ash 71), Lee Talbot (Dean Williams 78), Dan Brown (Greg Wood 85), Delroy Fox

Booked: Machin (Norton)

Referee: Terry Holbrook
Attendance: 156

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Rocester 1 Stafford Rangers 0
Saturday 23rd July 2011


Stafford Rangers profligacy in front of goal led to their single goal defeat at Midland Alliance, Rocester.
Rangers almost broke the deadlock in the third minute when a free-kick from Jon Sheldon was headed onto his own cross bar by Darren Bullock.
Mike Douglas had a shot saved while at the other end Craig Holland blasted wide.
Danny Rhead came to Rangers rescue tipping over a curling shot from Chris Owen. Liam Shotton forced a fine save from Richard Froggatt after turning his defender following a crisp pass from Luke Chapman. Chapman missed the target with a 20 yard effort and Alex Forde stung the keeper’s hands with a fierce effort as Rangers’ played neat football.
Rangers hit the woodwork in the 27th minute when Sheldon’s cross eluded the Rocester keeper. 

Rocester started the second half brightly and from a Chris Stirling cross, Paul McMahon’s header was cleared off the line by Sean Jones. Sheldon was finding more space after the break and from another left wing cross, Neville Thompson’s shot was blocked and Forde’s follow up flew over the bar.
Rangers were indebted to skipper Paul Donnelly in the 63rd Minute. A mistake by Jones sent McMahon clear and his effort was blocked by a last ditch challenge from the defender. Jack Langston saw a shot graze the Rangers bar.
Substitute Dan Skelton forced Froggatt into a fine save at his near post. The aforementioned Skelton then had a shot cleared off the line by Bullock after Jon Stevenson had beaten his man on the Rangers right. Rocester took the lead in the 81st minute. Excellent play by Mensah Kinch on the Rocester right saw him play a through ball into the path of Langston who slid the ball past Rhead.
Ultimately, the lack of a cutting edge in front of goal cost Rangers at least a share of the spoils.

Rocester: Richard Froggatt, Rob Perks, Leon Pugh (Josh Butler 32), Dan McLeod, Darren Bullock, Matty Rutter (Jack Langston 64), Mensah Kinch, Craig Holland (Pete Martin 83), Chris Sterling, Paul McMahon (Craig Smith 70), Chris Owen (Chris Beeston 64)

Stafford Rangers: Danny Rhead (Tom turner 82), Sean Jones (Joe Rogers 69), Luke Chapman, Paul Donnelly, Ryan Dicker, Mike Douglas (James Marsden 82), Rob Stevenson , Alex Forde (Danny Edwards 73), Liam Shotton (Chris Budrys 53), Alan Naginton (Neville Thompson 53), Jon Sheldon (Dan Skelton 65)

Booked: Sterling (Rocester), Donnelly (Stafford)
Referee: Matt Barlow (Stoke on trent)
Attendance: 216

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stone Dominoes 2 Stafford Rangers 3
Thursday 21st July 2011

Stafford Rangers won their first game under new manager Greg Clowes at Springfield Park.
Rangers started brightly when Luke Chapman made a surging run from left-back.
Rangers took the lead in the 6th minute. Dan Skelton was tripped on the edge of the box. James Marsden’s free-kick cannoned off the wall but Chapman was on hand to rifle the rebound into the net.
An excellent ball from the impressive Chapman picked out Chris Budrys but he scuffed his shot. Marsden dragged a shot wide before Stone rattled the Rangers crossbar with a header that looped over Danny Rhead.
The home side equalised in the 30th minute when a penalty was awarded for a challenge by Sean Jones, Omar made no mistake from the spot.

Rangers were awarded a penalty on 34 minutes when Liam Shotton was flattened in the area. Ryan Dicker saw his spot kick saved well by the Dominoes keeper.
Skelton wasted another good chance for Stafford before Chapman was foiled again by the Stone keeper.
Skelton and Shotton were thwarted by the keeper before Rangers took the lead in the 57th minute, Rangers were awarded a free-kick some 25 yards from goal and Chapman hammered the ball into the net giving the keeper no chance.
Alan Naginton had a shot blocked on the line and then headed wide from an inch perfect cross from Rob Stevenson.
Stevenson again turned provider in the 80th minute and this time Neville Thompson made no mistake with his header.
Chapman was again thwarted by the Stone keeper but it was the home side that had the last word when Omar beat Dicker to the ball at the near post and beat Rhead with ease.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Rhead, Sean Jones, Luke Chapman, Paul Donnelly, Ryan Dicker, Danny Edwards, James Marsden (Rob Stevenson 58), Mike Douglas, Chris Budrys (Alan Naginton 50 (Jack Allen 82)), Liam Shotton (Neville Thompson 55), Dan Skelton (Jon Sheldon 62)

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Kidsgrove Athletic 2 Stafford Rangers 0
Saturday 16th July 2011


Stafford Rangers slipped to their second consecutive pre-season defeat against Kidsgrove at the Seddon Stadium.
Both teams were missing key players due to injury and unavailability as Rangers looked for their first win of the campaign.
Both sides struggled to make any impression in the early stages. A good run from Liam Shotton against his former team mates was blocked by an excellent challenge from Sam Hall. 
Tom Urwin tested Gareth Barker in the Boro goal and Luke Chapman fired over at the other end. Kidsgrove began to dominate and Urwin fired over before Andy Kinsey fed Danny Griggs on the left but his shot curled over.
Kidsgrove broke the deadlock on 32 minutes. A poor clearance from Joe Rogers hit Urwin and Rogers upended the Kidsgrove striker as he tried to remedy the situation. Kinsey made no mistake from the penalty spot. Rangers went close just before the break when Shotton picked out James Marsden but his shot was clawed away by Adam Wilkes.

Rangers began the second half well and Mike Douglas headed wide from a Kevin Street cross. Tom Turner reacted well to save from Urwin after Kinsey won the header. Chapman tried his luck from 25 yards before Kidsgrove doubled their lead in the 55th minute.
Former Rangers midfielder Ross Davidson beat the Rangers defence, picked out Kinsey who beat Turner with a crisp finish. Kidsgrove were now well on top and Kinsey went close to a hat-trick, heading Danny Smith’s cross wide. Griggs twice went close before Kinsey missed a glorious chance after more good work from Davidson. Turner pulled off a good save to thwart Griggs as Rangers began to rally.
Glynn Blackhurst shot wide and Chapman forced a save from keeper Nick Eaves.
Rangers should have been awarded a penalty in the 90th minute when substitute Jack Allen was tripped in the box but they were destined to return to Marston Road with little to show for their efforts.

Kidsgrove Athletic: Adam Wilkes (Nick Eaves 75), Danny Smith, Elliott Ledwards, Richard Smith (Ryan Grocutt 72), Wayne Johnson, Sam Hall, Danny Griggs, Ross Davidson, Andy Kinsey (Steve Brannan 81), Tom Urwin, Steve Brannan (Dave Harry 72). Subs (not used): Karl Charlton

Stafford Rangers: Gareth Barker (Tom Turner 45), Kevin Street, Dan Skelton (Jack Allen 72), Joe Rogers, Alex Forde, Charlie Reeves (Glynn Blackhurst 39), James Marsden, Mike Douglas, Liam Shotton (Chris Budrys 58), Luke Chapman, Danny Edwards

Referee: Kevin Moore
Attendance: 180

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 2 Port Vale 6 
Saturday 9th July 2011


New-look Stafford Rangers were beaten by a strong Port Vale 22 as they began their pre-season fixtures at Marston Road.
Rangers named a complete new first eleven and welcomed back old boys Kevin Street and Glyn Blackhurst to the fold. With Vale intending on fielding two different sides each half, a tough opening was expected and received, Danny Read was brought into action inside the first minute saving well from Ben Williamson. Rangers took the lead in the 13 minute.
A free-kick from Kevin Street reached Liam Shotton and the former Kidsgrove man turned his defender and shot past Stuart Tomlinson.  Read again saved well to deny Robbie Taylor before Marc Richards headed wide when well placed.
Vale drew level in the 29th minute when John McCombe headed powerfully home from a cross from Taylor. Within a minute the visitors had taken the lead when Taylor was allowed a free-header from Adam Yates deep cross.  Vale continued to ask all the questions and Read pulled a fine fingertip save to thwart Sam Morsy.
Port Vale grabbed their third two minutes before the break when Williamson headed home a cross from Gary Roberts.

Chris Budrys forced a save from Chris Martin after the interval as Rangers looked to get back into the game. Justin Richards should have made it four when clean through on goal but read did enough to block the striker.
Rangers were struggling to make any impact against their full time opponents and it was no surprise when the lead was extended in the 66th minute. Persistence from Phil Roe saw the ball played into Sean Rigg who slotted the ball home at the near post. Richards was again the villain for the visitors when he failed to control the ball in front of an empty net following good work from Lewis Haldane.
Rangers pulled a goal back in the 76 minute. Budrys was fouled outside the box by Martin and James Marsden stepped up and rifled home a 25 yard free-kick. The comeback was short-lived as Vale scored their fifth of the afternoon in the 79th minute when former Rangers midfielder Anthony Griffith finished superbly from 25 yards.
The final goal of the afternoon came nine minutes from time when Doug Loft picked up a loose clearance from Gareth Barker, waltzed through the Rangers defence and slid the ball home.

Although the scoreline was an emphatic one, there were enough positive signs to send the Rangers fans home optimistic for the season ahead.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Read (Gareth Barker 73), Karl Espley (Shaun Jones 54), Louis Keenan (Luke Chapman 58), Paul Donnelly, Ryan Dicker (Joe Rogers 54), Charlie Reeves, Peter Heler (James Marsden 76), Glyn Blackhurst, Chris Budrys, Liam Shotton, Kevin Street (Danny Edwards 60). Subs (not used) Sean Kinsella, Tom Turner

Port Vale (1st half): Stuart Tomlinson, Adam Yates, Mike Green, Gary Roberts, John McCombe, Lee Collins, Louis Dodds, Sam Morsy, Marc Richards, Ben Williamson, Rob Taylor
Port Vale (2nd half): Chris Martin, Adam Yates (Dominic Plant 62), Phil Roe, Anthony Griffith, Charlie Raglan, Joe Davis, Lewis Haldane, Kingsley James, Justin Richards, Doug Loft, Sean Rigg

Referee: Steve Martin
Attendance: 754

Report by Gary Hazlehurst