Kidsgrove Athletic 0 Stafford Rangers 3
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League (Div One South) - Wednesday 26th August 2015

Rangers moved up to 2nd in the table with a comfortable win at Kidsgrove Athletic.

In the same fixture twelve months earlier, Rangers hit their beleaguered hosts for six. This time they found a more resilient blues side although their league position suggests another relegation battle may be on the cards.

Rangers always looked the stronger side but it took some time to break down the home defence and there was an element of luck in the build up to Alex Melbourne’s opener on 25 mins when Joe Woolley’s attempted clearance bounced off Christian Dacres and spun kindly into the path of Melbourne who made no mistake.
Neil Harvey could have equalised for Kidsgrove a couple of minutes later but found Adam Whitehouse in good form.

Ben Haseley missed a great chance to double Rangers’ lead after Josh Craddock had turned the ball goalwards while Melbourne fired wide from 25 yards out.
A mistake from Whitehouse nearly cost his side a goal just before the interval when he failed to reach a free kick floated into the area but Harvey headed over when well placed.

Rangers’ second goal came from a smart finish from Nathan Rooney on 56 mins. A quick free kick from Dacres sent Melbourne away and though Haseley found his path blocked, Rooney picked up the loose ball and fired in via the far post from the tightest of angles.

Haseley got his reward for some tremendous hard work and determination by grabbing the third on 70 mins.
A good turn from Dacres launched the attack but Haseley was forced wide by Warren Holmes. Refusing to give up, he battled to keep possession and eventually find a way past the Kidsgrove defender before firing past Ben Chapman.

The home side enjoyed their best spell over the last 20 mins. Jordan Johnson fired over after some good work then Anthony Malbon was denied by a superb challenge from Wayne Daniel.
Whitehouse ensured his first clean sheet of the season, saving with his feet after Johnson looked set to grab a consolation.

Kidsgrove: 1 Ben Chapman, 2 Paul Donnelly, 3 Jack Sherratt, 4 Warren Holmes (16 Ryan Dicker 78m), 5 Lewis Bergin, 6 Anthony Malbon, 7 Dan Skelton, 8 Ross Davidson, 9 Neil Harvey (17 Andy Kinsey 66m), 10 Jordan Johnson, 11 Joe Woolley (15 Will Booth 61m).
Unused Subs: 12 Dan Counter, 14 Ben Matthews

Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Sam Griffiths, 3 Matt Wood, 4 Leon Miles, 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Josh Craddock (15 Nick Wellecomme 73m), 7 Alex Melbourne, 8 Nathan Rooney, 9 Christian Dacres, 10 Ben Haseley (14 Dan Cope 83m), 11 Peter Till (12 Ryan Edmunds 87m).
Unused Subs: 16 Levi Reid, 17 Tom Morris

Cautions: Craddock, Daniel, Wellecomme (Rangers) Sherratt (Kidsgrove)
Ref: Justin Hayes
Att: 307

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 4 Lincoln United 1
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League (Div 1 South) - Saturday 22nd August 2015

Stafford Rangers got their promotion push back on track as the goals rained down against visiting Lincoln United on Saturday.

Christian Dacres, once again playing in the striker’s role that he finished last season, gave Rangers a perfect start, netting after only 26 seconds.
Ben Haseley nodded down from a throw on the left and Dacres took one touch before lashing the ball off the far post and into the net.
Josh Craddock then headed Ryan Edmunds' free-kick wide under pressure, before Whitehouse had to punch unconvincingly away from a Lincoln corner.

Rangers were a constant threat down the left in the first half, and a powerful strike from Peter Till, forced a save from Sam Vince.
Haseley saw a shot blocked on the line after reaching Alex Melbourne's cross, before Matt Wood tried his luck, Vince this time blocking with his feet.
At the other end, Jordan Lemon's shot was deflected wide for a corner, from which Jake Gibson saw his long-range effort blocked.

Haseley then had two good chances to open his Boro account, first heading Melbourne's cross wide and then finding himself one-on-one with Vince after a lofted through ball took out the Lincoln defence. However, with the chance to take the ball on and have an easy shot at goal, Haseley instead attempted to lob the keeper, only to clear the bar.
Wood was then off target with a shot across the face of goal before Dacres for Stafford and Daniel Brooks for Lincoln missed good chances.

Dacres made it 2-0 in first half stoppage time when he got on the end of a flick on from Jermaine Johnson to volley home following Ryan Edmunds’ corner.

The game was all but settled two minutes after the resumption as Haseley took down a lofted ball from Wood before coolly dispatching it to Vince's left to open his Boro account.
Then came a dominant spell for Lincoln with Boro indebted to Whitehouse for keeping the visitors at bay. The Boro keeper made a fantastic double save, diving left to save Cotton's initial shot, and then getting down well to block Sam Duncum's follow-up from point-blank range.
Edmunds and Melbourne then let Gibson drift past them, and he squared for Duncum, who forced another save from Whitehouse, this time with his feet.

And the duel between forward and keeper continued as Johnson was robbed after dawdling on the ball, and Duncum was denied by Whitehouse again.
Dacres had the ball in the net for a third time, but was dubiously flagged offside, before Lincoln pulled one back on 64 mins due to sloppy defending.
Rangers were caught off guard as Lincoln took a quick throw and the unmarked Grimes tapped the ball across for Hutchinson to scramble home.

But the three-goal cushion was restored four minutes later, as Wood's throw was knocked on to Dacres by Haseley, and the Boro skipper stabbed the ball through to Melbourne, who fired sharply home from the edge of the area.
Haseley missed out on a second when he shot wide while Dacres had another chance of a hat-trick, only to see his header land on top of the net.

At the death, Whitehouse completed a fine performance with another fine double save to see out the win for Rangers.

Stafford: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Alex Melbourne, 3 Matt Wood, 4 Jermaine Johnson, 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Josh Craddock, 7 Ryan Edmunds (12 Sam Griffiths 58m), 8 Nathan Rooney, 9 Christian Dacres, 10 Ben Haseley (14 Cope 74m), 11 Peter Till (16 Reid 58m).
Unused Subs: 15 Nick Wellecomme, 17 Leon Miles.

Lincoln: 1 Sam Vince, 2 Jordan Lemon (12 Stuart Reddington 46m), 3 Jake Gibson, 4 Jack McGovern, 5 Michael Jacklin, 6 Callum Ward, 7 Sam Duncum (14 Kallum Smith 77m), 8 Daniel Brooks, 9 Andrew Hutchinson, 10 Matthew Cotton, 11 Paul Grimes (15 Joshua Nichol 70m).
Unused Subs: 16 Brendan McDaid, 17 Robert Peet

Cautions: Wood, Dacres (Boro), Reddington (Lincoln)
REFEREE: Gareth Hubbard.
Att: 498

Report by Staffordshire Newsletter

Stafford Rangers 2 Romulus 2
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League (Div 1 South) - Tuesday 18 August 2015

Rangers paid the price for not putting the game to bed as Romulus snatched a point with virtually the last kick of the game.

Neil Kitching named an unchanged side but it was the visitors who struck first when Liam Holt’s pin point free kick gave them the lead after just 2 mins.
Mitchell McDonald could have doubled the lead before Rangers got back on level terms on 19 mins with their first serious attack.

The referee played a good advantage when Josh Craddock came under a late challenge from Holt as he found Ryan Edmunds on the left. Edmunds picked out Nick Wellecomme in the 6 yard box and though it wasn’t the most clinical of finishes it was enough to beat Chris Gemmell.
Ranger started to look more threatening but Ben Haseley and Levi Reid both spurned chances. Wellecomme did have the ball in the back of the net but it was direct from a drop ball after injury to a Rom’s player and the ‘goal’ was correctly ruled out.

Rom’s had two great chances just short of the hour.  It needed a superb challenge from Tom Morris to deny McDonald then a minute later, Adam Whitehouse made a close range save to keep out Luke Bottomer.
But it was Rangers who struck next, Nathan Rooney converting from the spot on 62 mins after Haseley had been tripped by Mark Branch.

Despite having their noses ahead, Rangers never really pressed on. There were some quality moments such as the build up with Matt Wood, Josh Craddock and Nathan Rooney but there was no one on the end of the move that saw Wood’s centre skid across the face of goal
A poor touch from Wellecomme cost Rangers another chance with Dan Cope in space to his left then Cope himself scuffed his shot wide of the target.
Romulus saw their chance and deep into the 6th minute of added time, Henery Eze got a glancing header past Whitehouse following a throw on the left to grab a share of the spoils.

Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Alex Melbourne, 3 Matt Wood, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Christian Dacres, 7 Levi Reid (14 Nathan Rooney 59m), 8 Josh Craddock, 9 Nick Wellecomme (16 Jermaine Johnson 87m), 10 Ben Haseley (15 Dan Cope 77m), 11 Ryan Edmunds.
Unused Subs: 12 Sam Griffiths, 17 Peter Till

Romulus: 1 Chris Gemmell, 2 Liam Holt, 3 Mark Branch, 4 Barry Fitzharris, 5 Henery Eze, 6 Cameron Lee, 7 Mattias Curley, 8 Connor Leek (16 Jordan Francis 70m), 9 Mitchell McDonald, 10 Luke Bottomer (17 Kuke Keen 75m), 11 Joel Grandison (14 Emmanuel Gueyes 85m).
Unused Subs: 12 Dominic McGarr, 15 Bakari Sinclair Smith

Ref: Paul Hobday
Cautions: Wellecomme (Rangers) Branch, Bottomer (Romulus)
Att: 489

Report by Chris Elsley

Daventry Town 1 Stafford Rangers 2
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League (Div 1 South) - Saturday 18 August 2015

STAFFORD Rangers started a season they hope will end in promotion with a tough win away at Daventry Town.
After conceding inside five minutes to the hosts' Karabo Motsweni, Boro equalised through Josh Craddock, before Ryan Edmunds put them ahead before the break.
Daventry came back into the game in the second half, but despite dominating the final half an hour, could not find a second goal.
Neil Kitching did not spring any major surprises with his first starting XI of the season, which included four new signings.

One of those, Alex Melbourne, was preferred at right-back to last year's manager's player of the season Sam Griffiths, while Ben Haseley started up front ahead of Dan Cope.
The other two new faces were Tom Morris alongside Wayne Daniel in the centre of defence, while Josh Craddock played in a narrow three-man midfield.
Edmunds was the outlet on the left, and was involved heavily once Boro had woken up from their early setback.
That came in the fifth minute, as the Stafford defence seemed to just stand and watch as the excellently-named James Tricks squared the ball from the right, and Motsweni charged in from the opposite flank to steer the ball past Adam Whitehouse.

The lead lasted just nine minutes though, as a second successive corner was swung in by Edmunds, and the Daventry backline were as statuesque as their rivals had been, allowing Craddock to head the ball down and into the net.
Edmunds then turned scorer in the 28th minute, collecting a loose clearance after Levi Reid's cross from the left and curling an excellent shot over the keeper and into the far corner.

Rangers had chances to extend their lead before the break, and looked like they might rue their profligacy as their hosts ramped up the pressure in the final 30 minutes, but Boro stood firm to record a valuable and confidence-boosting win.

Daventry: Ben Heath, Adam Creaney (16 Dan Childs 37m), Jon Buska, Ricky Hill, Jason Lee, Joe Curtis (12 Rob Prinzel 76 m), Tommy Waldock, Adam Confue, James Tricks (14 Kieran Fitzgerald 72m), Nabil Shariff, Karabo Motsweni.
Subs: Rob Prinzel, Kieran Fitzgerald, Barry Deacon, Dan Childs, Yarin Edimo

Stafford Rangers: Adam Whitehouse, Alex Melbourne, Matt Wood, Tom Morris, Wayne Daniel, Christian Dacres, Levi Reid (17 Peter Till 73m), Josh Craddock, Nick Wellecomme (14 Nathan Rooney 90m), Ben Haseley (15 Dan Cope 82m), Ryan Edmunds
Subs: 12 Sam Griffiths, 16 Jermaine Johnson,

Referee: Darren Russell
Cautions: Craddock, Wood
Att: 264

Report by Staffordshire Newsletter

Stafford Rangers 4 Sutton Coldfield Town 0
Friendly 8th August 2015

Rangers took on last season’s Div One South play-off winners, looking to continue their decent form. The early pressure came from Boro from the off and it didn’t take long to pay off.

A corner was headed onto the bar and as it dropped to Morris he volleyed into the roof of the net on 5 minutes. Town responded briefly with their first break then a corner that was cleared, before Rangers started to take control. Cope volleyed wide then shortly after this Ranger won another corner and the cross dropped to Craddock who made no mistake from close in.

Sutton rallied briefly but Rangers hit back and with a mix up in the visitors’ defence Wellecome took control and fired in from 10 yards on 28 minutes. He followed this on 31 minutes as he flicked the ball up and hammered home from 18 yards for a quick double.
Rangers continued to press and just before half time Wood broke down the left and put a powerful low cross in but this was cleared and Rangers went into the break 4-0 up.

The second half saw numerous changes and in fact, Rangers changed 9 players during the half. This had a bearing as Sutton tightened things up round the park but Rangers contained them comfortably. Cope and Wellecome combined for an effort that went just wide, then Reid also fired wide while for the visitors, Nadat was put through only to be denied by Wren and then Rowlie had a late shot well saved.

Rangers closed their pre season with another decent win and showed signs that the management have again pushed on with some decent signings and a strong mentality.

Att: 217

Report by Al Gee

Stafford Rangers 2 Hednesford Town 2
The Mike Hughes Memorial Trophy -
Tuesday 4 August 2015

A last minute equaliser from Christian Dacres earned Stafford Rangers a 2-2 draw against Hednesford Town in the 2nd Leg of the Mike Hughes Memorial Shield at Marston Road.

The result wasn’t enough for Rangers to overturn the 2-0 lead that the Pitmen held from the 1st Leg at Keys Park 10 days earlier but will give the side some confidence as they close in on the start of the Evo-Stik League season.

Hednesford, with former Boro midfielder Tom Thorley back in their side, looked sharper in the opening 45 mins.

The visitors were first to threaten, although there was nothing to trouble Adam Whitehouse, before Levi Reid swung a shot wide at the other end.

Hednesford captain Ben Bailey was almost embarrassed when he let a ball run through to keeper Dave Parton who had to race off his line to prevent Ben Haseley from grabbing the opening goal.

Instead, it was the visitors who struck first on 25 mins as Rangers were caught out when Paul Ennis picked out John Disney’s run on the overlap and the unmarked defender slotted past Whitehouse.

Chris Spencer wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 when he blazed over while an unsuspecting Haseley headed wide after the ball had glanced off the head of Thorley.

Rangers pressed early in the second half and Ryan Edmunds and Haseley both fired wide of the target and Josh Craddock was just unable to connect with an Edmunds free kick.

Rangers got back level on 71 mins through an excellent goal from Dacres who got on the end of a deep cross from Alex Curtis to volley past Parton.

But Hednesford restored their lead just three minutes later following an error by Alex Melbourne and Adam Thomas raced through to slot past Whitehouse.

But it was Dacres who had the final say when he headed home Curtis’ right wing corner with the final touch of the match.

Boro: Adam Whitehouse, Alex Melbourne, Tom Morris, Levi Reid (Joe Thomas 68m), Wayne Daniel, Leon Miles (Matt Wood 46m), Josh Craddock (Ryan Wynter 76m), Stuart McNaught (James Dance 46m), Nick Wellecomme Christian Dacres 46m), Ben Haseley (Dan Cope 59m), Ryan Edmunds (Alex Curtis 59m)   Unused Sub: James Wren

Hednesford: Dave Parton, John Disnet, Curtis Tilt, Ben Bailey, Tyrone Williams, Tom Thorley (Sean Williams 56m), Paul Ennis, Chris Spencer (Kennedy Digie 56m), Marvin Robinson (Adam Thomas 66m), Nathan Modest (Jake Heath 56m), Andy Todd (Tim Sanders 66m). Unused Sub Tom James

Ref: Steve Martin
Att: 436

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 4 Mickleover Sports 1

Friendly - Saturday 1st August 2015

Rangers entertained last season's league winners with most expecting a very tough battle. Rangers however had other ideas.

Taking the lead in the 4th minute when Edmunds whipped in a cross from the left for Haseley to convert with a diving header and their intentions were made clear.
Both sides had some decent possession and tried to play attractive football with Faorclough, Hazel, Bennett & Griffith all having efforts for Mickleover before Rangers struck again in the 17th minute, Rangers pressure forced a defensive mix up in the Sports defence and debutant Josh Craddock converted over the keepers head from 25 yards. A further effort from Melbourne saw Rangers almost punish the visitors defensive lapse again.

On 30 minutes they further increase their lead as Edmunds latched onto a clearance from a free kick and volleyed into the bottom corner from 20 yards. A further passage of play followed as both teams tried to open up and Rangers broke again only for Haseley to force a corner after a fine run and shot.
On 43 minutes Haseley broke clear again only to be brought down by keeper Turner for a clear penatly, Turner escaped punishment due it being a friendly but Reid stepped up to convert from the spot for a 4 0 half time lead.

Numerous changes for both sides at half time and Mickleover showed more intent and struck back early as Ricketts struck home a loose ball in the 46th minute. Again both sides showed some neat touches as they battled to take control and Mickleover improved after the changes with substitute Oshoboke making a difference for Sports.

Curtis and Cope both put efforts wide and Melbourne put a long range effort over the bar for Boro, while Cope just failed to convert a header from a Wynter cross and Thomas had a shot deflected over for a corner.

Further efforts for Sports by Bennett and Hazel were just off target as Rangers held the visitors at bay and pulled of a well deserved and somewhat impressive victory over their promoted opponents.

Att: 217

Report by Al Gee