Stafford Rangers 0 Tividale 0
FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying - Saturday 13th September 2014

The two sides must meet again after a non-event of an FA Cup tie.

Rangers made one change from the side that hammered Kidsgrove in midweek with Michael Williams replacing the injured Sam Griffiths. Rangers went close in the 10th minute when Christian Dacres nodded the ball into the path of Dan Cope but the striker’s lob cleared the crossbar. Rangers had started the brighter of the two sides and from a Ryan Edmunds corner, Ryan Wynter’s header found Cope at the far post but his shot was comfortably saved by Charlie Price.

The longer the game went on, the more comfortable the visitor’s became with the defensive pairing of Mark Smith and Luke Paskin winning everything in the air. Neither keeper was tested until Dacres hit a 35 yard volley which was comfortably held by Price

The start of the second half was delayed by 30 minutes due to an incident that occurred in the dressing rooms during the first half. When the half did eventually start, it was the visitors that looked more likely with Lewis Taylor-Boyce wide with an early attempt. Creativity from both sides was lacking and it was a mistake from Rangers which almost gifted the lead to Tividale. A poor back pass from Oliver Davies was too short for Adam Whitehouse and the Rangers’ keeper’s clearance cannoned off Taylor-Boyce but bounced safe.

A rash challenge from Cope sparked a melee on the edge of the Tividale area and when James Dance raised his hands to push Mark Smith, the referee had no hesitation in showing the Rangers midfielder a red card. The Yellows should have clinched the tie with 5 minutes left on the clock. Zack Foster’s corner was met by Luke Paskin who had a free header but couldn’t find the target.

Stafford Rangers: Adam Whitehouse, Michael Williams (Blake Thompson 69), Oliver Davies, Joe Ballinger, Wayne Daniel, Levi Reid (Tom Vaughan 69), James Dance, Christian Dacres, Ryan Wynter (Jack Edwards 81), Dan Cope, Ryan Edmunds.
Subs not used: Mark Branch, Louis Downs, Joel Mills

Tividale: Charlie Price, Andrew Parsons, Zack Foster, Chris Field, Mark Smith, Luke Paskin, Lewis Taylor-Boyce, David Bellis, Nigel Penney (Michael Wardle 81), Jazz Luckie (Karl Edwards 90), Leigh Downing (Mitchell Botfield 72).
Subs not used: Daniel Ashton, Tom Turner, Richard Huckfield.

Booked: Ballinger, Reid, Dacres, Cope (Stafford); Price, Parsons, Penney (Tividale)
Sent Off: Dance (Stafford)
Referee: Darren Rogers (Warrington)
Attendance: 437

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Kidsgrove Athletic 0 Stafford Rangers 6
Evo-Stik League 1st Division (South) - Tuesday 9th September 2014

Buoyant Rangers bounced back from Saturday’s defeat with a six goal thumping of manager-less Kidsgrove.

There were three changes to the Rangers starting line up with returns for Levi Reid, Ollie Davies and Dan Cope.

The first half hour provided little entertainment. Kidsgrove, who parted company with manager Neil Gill after Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Spalding, defended in numbers whenever Rangers had the ball. The Boro didn’t help themselves with some wayward passes although Christian Dacres and Ryan Wynter were stand out players.

However, you sensed that Kidsgrove’s defensive wall would collapse once breached and that proved to be the case.

There was a stroke of luck which led to Rangers finally making the breakthrough on 39 mins. A poor corner from Ryan Edmunds was cleared with equal quality and, given a second chance, this time Edmunds sent in a deep cross for Dacres to head home.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0. Levi Reid looked to have scuffed a free kick to the near post but Dan Cope read it well and nipped in to divert the ball past Joe Hemmings.

Kidsgrove almost pulled one back 10 minutes into the second half when Chris Smith hit the post from 18 yards. Adam Whitehouse caught the resulting corner and launched a long ball downfield where Cope gathered and slotted past Hemmings to make it 3-0.

Cope completed his hat trick on 62 mins with a similar move. This time it was Reid’s long ball that started the move. Cope outpaced Jacob Sturgess and managed to squeeze the ball home from the tightest of angles.

The goals kept coming and Kidsgrove contributed to their own downfall on 68 mins when Hemmings’ attempted clearance rebounded of Sturgess and rolled 20 yards into the unguarded net.

Edmunds made it 6-0 on 71 mins, netting at the second attempt after brushing past Kidsgrove sub Pat Ratcliffe with embarrassing ease.

Callum Hood’s long range effort dipped just over the Stafford bar as the home side enjoyed their best period of the game but it was still Rangers who looked most likely scorers.

Last season, Stafford’s Chris Smith managed a goal from 45 yards out at Grantham. On Tuesday he looked certain to score from about 4 feet out but somehow failed to get the shot in as Hemmings pounced on the ball.

The Kidsgrove keeper had little chance with any of the goals, was probably the home side’s man of the match and late on he made a decent save to deny Jack Edwards.

Kidsgrove Athletic: 1 Joe Hemmins, 2 Callum Hood, 3 Delroy Fox, 4 Tom Hackett (16 Sean Turner 53m), 5 Nick Woods, 6 Jacob Sturgess, 7 Rob Nicklin, 8 Scott Edwards (15 Pat Ratcliffe 64m), 9 Chris Smith, 10 Joe Woolley, 11 Aiden Matranga (12 Jack Woolley 57m).
Unused Sub: 14 Dwayne Spence

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Sam Griffiths (16 Blake Thompson 46m), 3 Ollie Davies, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Levi Reid (14 Chris Smith 70m), 7 James Dance, 8 Christian Dacres, 9 Ryan Wynter, 10 Dan Cope (12 Jack Edwards 78m), 11 Ryan Edmunds.
Unsued Subs: 15 Mark Branch, 17 Louis Downs

Cautions: None
Referee: Shaun Mohan
Att: 245

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 0 Coalville Town 2
Evo-Stik League 1st Division (South) - Saturday 6th September 2014

Coalville beat Rangers in a game where the ability to take their chances told.

After a tight opening, Curtis fired wide for Rangers on six minutes from 12 yards. Then a minute later Coalville had their first chance as Ben Saunders headed over from a free kick for Coalville while a couple of minutes later Alex Dean also had a shot saved by Whitehouse.
A period of stalemate followed before Coalville had another effort and Davies had a long range shot gathered, while Dean was then booked for a heavy challenge on Dance.
Rangers came more into the game and just past the half hour mark, Edmunds broke from half way and got into the box to supply Curtis who spurned another chance.

Just before half time Coalville took the lead as Jake Wooley was credited with the opening goal as a corner dropped to him and he found the net from close range via a couple of ricochets.

Rangers started the second half with only ten men on the pitch as Winter was still receiving stitches for a head wound received from a clash near the end of the first half. Rangers applied more pressure and a threatening cross was narrowly missed by Dance.
Another Curtis cross was then cleared over his own bar by McAteer and from the cleared corner more Rangers pressure followed, and penalty appeals were waved away as Curtis was blocked on a run into the box.

Coalville responded and Dean split the defence for Davies to beat the off side but he put his shot the wrong side of the post. Soon after, Coalville broke again and Farmer fired over.
On 68 minutes the ball somehow was deflected into the path of Ben Saunders and on the edge of the Rangers box he quickly dispatched the ball over Whitehouse's head into the roof of the Boro net.
Saunders then had a further headed effort saved. Rangers did not give up chasing the game and late on Cope flicked a header wide, then following a corner, both Cope and Edmunds had efforts blocked.

Rangers: Whitehouse, Griffith's, Branch, Ballinger, Daniel, Smith, Edmunds, Dacres, Winter, Dance, Curtis.
Subs: Williams, Edwards, Davies, Reid, Cope.
Coalville: Bowles, Farmer, Way, S.Saunders, McAteer, Dean, Miveld, Edwards, Woolley, B.Saunders, Davies.
Sub's: Brown, Orton, Moore, Cotton.

MOM: Ryan Edmunds
Att: 684

Report by Al Gee

Market Drayton Town 1 Stafford Rangers 2
Evo-Stik League 1st Division South - Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Sub, Jack Edwards headed a late winner as Rangers came from behind to overcome a hard working Market Drayton side.

The first half was a keenly contested affair with the best chances falling to the home side, although it was Rangers who were first to show when an Alex Curtis header landed on the roof of the Drayton net.

The home side nearly opened the scoring in spectacular fashion when a 35 yard volley from Ian Edmunds had Adam Whitehouse back pedalling to tip the ball over for a corner.

A poor clearance from Whitehouse gave Drayton their next opening but Dave Harry dragged his shot across the face of goal.

Whitehouse dived low to his left to push a well struck drive from Will Whieldon onto the post and then the Rangers keeper saved well at close range from Jordan Peach’s header.

Having weathered the storm, Rangers created a couple of half chances themselves but never really tested Danny Read in the Drayton goal.

Kicking down the slope in the second half, Rangers took the game to Drayton. James Dance wasted a great opportunity when he went solo with Curtis unmarked to his left while Curtis himself was denied by a last ditch challenge from Elliott Ledwards.

On the hour, Christian Dacres thumped his header against the underside of the bar before seeing a desperate Read punch the ball clear.

But it was Drayton who finally broke the deadlock on 73 mins when Peach slammed home his penalty after Wayne Daniel had been unlucky to handle a Robbie Millington drive.

But Rangers were back level five minutes later with a goal that will haunt Drayton’s James Askey. Under pressure from Curtis, the Drayton skipper’s attempted back pass was intercepted by Ryan Wynter and the ever improving Rangers forward slotted past Read.

In the closing minutes, Rangers piled on the pressure and were rewarded three minutes from time when Edwards rose to head a right wing cross from Ryan Edmunds into the top corner, giving former Boro stopper Read no chance.

In added time another former Boro man, Alex Hedley, saw red for his crude challenge on Edmunds.

Market Drayton Town: 1 Danny read, 2 Jake Bennett, 3 Iain Edmunds, 4 Elliott Ledwards, 5 James Askey, 6 Alex Hedley, 7 Lyndon Campbell (16 Joe Donaldson 80m), 8 Will Whieldon, 9 Dave Harry, 10 Jordan Peach, 11 Robbie Millington (15 Ashley Phillips 85m).
Unused Subs: 12 James O’Neil, 14 Bobby Spooner, 17 Jack Watson

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Sam Griffiths, 3 Mark Branch, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Chris Smith, 7 James Dance (14 Ryan Edmunds 62m), 8 Christian Dacres, 9 Ryan Wynter (17 Louis Downes 90+1m), 10 Dan Cope (15 Jack Edwards 81m), 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 12 Michael Williams, 16 Joel Mills

Cautioned: Edmunds, Askey, Harry (Market Drayton) Wynter, Edmunds (Rangers)
Sent Off: Hedley (Market Drayton)
Referee: Richard Gould
Attendance: 256

Report by Chris Elsley

Walsall Wood 0 Stafford Rangers 3
FA Cup Preliminary Round - Saturday 30th August 2014

Rangers progressed to the next round of the FA Cup courtesy of a Dan Cope hat-trick.

Rangers made one change from the side beaten at Leek Town with Chris Smith replacing Michael Williams. The Wood, who ply their trade one league below Rangers, were expected to provide tough opposition but it was the Boro who struck the first blow in the 12th minute. Good approach from Rangers gave Alex Curtis the chance o lob Keeper Mariusz Kisiel, and Dan Cope was on hand to supply the finish from inside the 6-yard box. 
Curtis again created an opening for Cope in the 19th minute but Kisiel raced off his line to gather. Ranges doubled their lead in the 30th minute. James Dance did well to shake off Shawn Boothe and a wicked right wing cross was headed home emphatically by Cope. The home side continued to probe without any penetration.

Rangers had an early reminder that the game was far from over when Dan Holgate curled a left-footed shot against the bar. Dance missed a good chance for Rangers, blasting over after Kisiel had made a fine save with his feet. A strong challenge from Booth foiled Ryan Wynter before Rangers grabbed their third on the hour mark. An excellent run by Cope, who got the wrong side of the defence, and a clinical finish past Kisiel. Rangers were now in complete control and Wynter was off target with an effort from the D. A cross from Williams was flicked goalwards by Christian Dacres but Kisiel reacted well to save from Curtis.

In the 71st minute, a cross from Dance was poorly cleared by Kisiel but Curtis’ right footed volley hit the outside of the post. Two minutes later, Curtis was pulled back in the area by Luke Adams and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and showing Adams a red card. Dance took the penalty and Kisiel made a remarkable save to keep it to three. Wynter then headed over a gilt edged chance from a Curtis cross. In stoppage time, Joey Butlin hit the post For Walsall Wood for what would have been a deserved consolation

Walsall Wood: Mariusz Kisiel, Luke Adams, Craig Deakin, Shawn Boothe, Lee Stretton, Anthony Juxon (Max Black 35), Tom Evans (Danny McGhee 70), Danny Forrest, Joey Butlin, Drew Aiton, Daniel Holgate.
Subs not used: Jamel Fuller, Dale Faultless, Ryan Wood, Jamie Hankin.

Stafford Rangers: Adam Whitehouse, Sam Griffiths, Mark Branch, Joe Ballinger, Wayne Daniel, Chris Smith, James Dance (Louis Downs 81), Christian Dacres, Ryan Wynter (Jordan Nadat 78), Dan Cope (Michael Williams 69), Alex Curtis.
Subs not used: Jack Edwards, Joel Mills

Booked: None
Sent Off: Adams (Walsall Wood 73)
Referee: Ian Hurdle
Attendance: 277

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Leek Town 2 Stafford Rangers 0
Evo-Stik Northern Premier 1st Division (South) - Monday 25th August 2014

This Bank Holiday fixture brought together two sides who held a 100% record after three games but it was Leek who preserved their perfect start with two first half goals.

The home side controlled much of what is believed to be the first ever league meeting between the two Staffordshire clubs but it was Rangers who had the first decent opportunity when Christian Dacres planted his header wide of the target after just 3 mins.

Adam Whitehouse had a scare when he failed to gather cleanly as Matt Bell shot from distance but Tim Grice was flagged offside as he challenged for the loose ball.

There were no less than five former Rangers players in the Leek starting line up with another named on the substitutes bench. It was one of those five, Karl Espley who prevented Dan Cope from getting on the end of a long throw from Sam Griffiths as Rangers threatened once more.

But it was Leek who made the breakthrough on 25 mins when a well rehearsed corner from Bell was played out to Dan Shelley some 25 yards out from goal. His drive deflected past Whitehouse off the boot of Niall Maguire.

There was little goal mouth action for the remainder of the half but with two minutes of added time played, Sam Hall doubled Leek's lead when he headed Bell's free kick beyond the reach of Whitehouse.

Leek continued to create the better chances after the interval with Shelley and Maguire both guilty of missing the target when well placed while Liam Shotton reminded Rangers fans of his time with the Boro a coulpe of years ago when his shot ended up out of the ground.

Shotton missed another glorious chance when he fired against the post from two yards out. Joe Ballinger was on hand to head Hall's follow up off the line.

Rangers sub Jordan Nadat forced a near post save from Ben Chapman but it was Leek who looked the most likely to add to the scoring as Whitehouse tipped over a drive from Bell and Shotton hit the woodwork once more but Leek settled for their two first half strikes to take the points.

Leek: 1 Ben Chapman, 2 Dan Smith, 3 Ashley Jackson, 4 Sam Hall, 5 Karl Espley, 6 Darren Chadwick, 7 Niall Maguire, 8 Dan Shelley, 9 Tim Grice (12 Jordan Johnson 77m), 10 Liam Shotton, 11 Matt Bell (14 Anthony Danylyk 80m). Unused Subs 15 Paul Donnelly, 16 Andrew Kinsey, 17 Bradley Moorhead

Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Sam Griffiths, 3 Mark Branch, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Michael Williams (12 Chris Smith 72m), 7 James Dance, 8 Christian Dacres, 9 Ryan Wynter (15 Jack Edwards 67m), 10 Dan Cope, 11 Alex Curtis (14 Jordan Nadat 53m). Unused Subs 16 Joel Mills, 17 Louis Downes

Cautioned: Smith, Maguire, Grice (Leek) Daniel, Dacres (Rangers)
Referee: Matthew Donohue
Att: 472

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 3 Mickleover Sports 1
Evo-Stik Northern Premier 1st Division (South) - Saturday 23rd August 2014

Mickleover started brightly winning a succession of corners, so when Rangers took the lead on 8 minutes it was somewhat against the run of play. Mickleover keeper, Chris Martin failed to hold a cross and Ryan Wynter was able to prod the ball home from the resulting skirmish.

The game changed around the hour mark. A Mickleover equaliser was looking on the cards and in the 61st minute former Rangers player Liam Walshe headed home from a Dales corner on the right. However 2 minutes later Christian Dacres and Liam Walshe contested a corner which despite Liam Walshe claiming to be fouled, Christian Dacres headed goal counted.

Mickleover continued to press for an equaliser and looked the more positive side, and former Rangers striker Karl Ashton, hit the post following a quick turn and shot. On 90 minutes their substitute Simeone Oshoboke missed what appeared to be a simple chance, when unmarked he shot wayward from about 15 yards with just Adam Whitehouse to beat.

Rangers turned the screw, when in time added, Ryan Wynter chased a long clearance putting Nico Degirolamo under pressure, who intending to make a back pass only succeeded in lobbing his own goal keeper for the Rangers 3rd goal.

Stafford Rangers: Adam Whitehouse, Sam Griffiths, Mark Branch, Joe Ballinger, Waye Daniel, Chris Smith (Christian Dacres 52), James Dance, Ryan Edmunds (Michael Williams 71), Ryan Wynter, Dan Cope (c) (Jordan Nadat 79), Alex Curtis.
Subs not used: Joel Mills, Jack Edwards.

Mickleover Sports: Chris Martin, Kyle Bryant (Simeon Oshoboke 74), Kevein Growcott, Liam Walshe (c), Dwayne Wiley (Ashley Grayson 81), Nico Degirolamo, Andy Dales, Callum Lloyd, Karl Ashton, Karl Demidh, Arcadi Espositio (Ashley Griffiths Junior 46)
Subs not used: Romaine Graham, Jon Lavatt.

Cautions: Dance (SRFC), Bryant, Lloyd, Walshe (Mickleover)
Referee: George Warren
Attendance: 426

Report by Phil Bennett

Stafford Rangers 1 Norton United 0
Evo-Stik Northern Premier 1st Division (South) - Tuesday 19th August 2014

Neil Kitching's side made it two wins out of two on a night when Stafford Rangers paid their respects to former Chairman and Secretary Mike Hughes with a heartfelt minute's applause prior to kick off.

It was the visitors, managed by former Rangers midfielder Scott Dundas, who were first to show with a scuffed shot from Michael Lennon and another effort from Niall Green taking a deflection off Joe Ballinger inside the opening three minutes.

Rangers gradually got a foothold on the game and saw Ryan Wynter fire wide with a shot on the turn from 18 yards out.

Wynter then turned provider as his left wing cross was laid off to James Dance but the midfielder failed to get a clean connection with the shot and the opportunity went by.

Half time came with the two sides still on level terms but there were chances at both ends just before the break. After Dan Cope blazed his shot high over the Norton bar, Rangers keeper Adam Whitehouse showed good reflexes to push over a rising shot from Lee Cropper.

Rangers received a set back early in the second half when midfielder Levi Reid limped off with a hamstring strain but it was his replacement, Ryan Edmunds, who was to grab the only goal of the game on 58 mins when he climbed to head an Alex Curtis free kick beyond the reach of Ryan Boot.

Cope forced a save from Boot with a low shot from 20 yards out while Norton's Richard Smith wasted a great chance for the visitors when he sent his free kick high over the Stafford bar.

Wynter missed a couple of chances to add to the score while Edmunds was denied a second when Boot parried his shot.

Norton gave the Rangers fans a nervy ending to the night as they pressed for an equaliser but Whitehouse rarely looked threatened.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Sam Griffiths, 3 Mark Branch, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Chris Smith, 7 James Dance, 8 Levi Reid (16 Ryan Edmunds 49m), 9 Ryan Wynter (15 Tom Vaughan 90+1m), 10 Dan Cope (18 Jordan Nadat 77m), 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 12 Michael Williams, 14 Ollie Davies.

Norton United: 1 Ryan Boot, 2 Sam Bradbury, 3 Paul Taylor, 4 Richard Smith, 5 Adam Dawson (12 Chris Baker 88m), 6 Glyn Blackhurst, 7 Tom Winkle, 8 Mark McDonald (16 Daniel Cocks 81m), 9 Lee Cropper, 10 Michael Lennon (14 Leigh Skellern 72m), 11 Niall Green.
Unused Subs: 15 Kyle Diskin, 17 Robert Hawthorn

Cautions: Daniel (Rangers) Dawson (Norton)
Referee: Craig Taylor
Attendance: 483

Report by Chris Elsley

Carlton Town 1 Stafford Rangers 3
Evo-Stik Northern Premier 1st Division (South) - 16th August 2014

Rangers started the season with an emphatic victory at Carlton Town.

A young Rangers side took the game to their hosts with Alex Curtis seeing a shot saved inside two minutes. Curtis turned provider a minute later, an inch-perfect cross being headed home by Levi Reid in the 6-yard box. Rangers continued on the front foot with Reid again testing Millers keeper, Liam Mitchell.
Dan Cope missed a glorious chance in the 9th minute, putting a header wide from an excellent Reid cross. Joe Ballinger was next to miss the target with a header from a James Dance corner. Cope again went close when his shot was deflected for a corner.
It took Carlton 19 minutes to make any impression and when they did Kallum Keane should have done better from a Benn Minshull corner. The impressive Ryan Wynter failed to hit the target with a header before the home side equalised against the run of pay. Minshull’s free-kick was flicked on by Alex Troke, and Junior Ogede-Uzokwe headed home at the far post.
Mitchell made a final double save for Carlton denying Curtis and Chris Smith. Wynter hit a fine 30 yard effort just over the bar before Rangers had the ball in the net from an unlikely source. Goalkeeper Adam Whitehouse hit a free-kick which squirmed through the hands of Mitchell into the net only to have the goal unluckily chalked off for a supposed foul by Wynter. Kameron Campbell then headed past his own post while at the other end Whitehouse saved well from Aaron Hooton.
In first half stoppage time, a through ball by Curtis was taken in his stride by Cope and slotted past the advancing Mitchell to give Rangers a deserved lead.

Rangers continued to control the game after the break with Wynter creating an early opportunity for Cope who volleyed wide. Cope and Curtis combined for the left winger to force a sharp save from Mitchell. Rangers sealed all three points in the 72nd minute. Wynter was fouled outside the area. Reid hammered the free-kick inside Mitchell’s near post leaving the keeper grasping at thin air. As hard as the home side tried, Whitehouse wasn’t tested as Rangers ran out comfortable winners.

Carlton Town: Liam Mitchell, Robert Nnaji, Tyler Guy (Kameron Campbell 29), Alex Troke, Lee Torr, Kallum Keane, Benn Minshull (John Lufudu 72), Maksym Kowal, Junior Ogede-Uzokwe (Ben Flynn 80), Aaron Hooton, Joseph Brothwell.
Subs not used: Daniel King-Bisungu, Luke Cook.

Stafford Rangers: Adam Whitehouse, Sam Griffiths, Oliver Davies, Wayne Daniel, Joe Ballinger, Chris Smith (Tom Vaughan 84), James Dance, Levi Reid, Ryan Wynter, Dan Cope (Jordan Nadat 75), Alex Curtis.
Subs not used: Michael Williams, Mark Branch, Ryan Edmonds

Booked: Minshull, Brothwell (Carlton), Griffiths, Smith (Rangers)
Referee: Oliver Bickle
Attendance: 165

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Rushall Olympic 2 Stafford Rangers 1
Pre Season Friendly Saturday 9th August 2014

Craig Marshall popped up to give Rushall a win in their final pre-season friendly before the real action gets underway.

Marshall was on the spot right at the end of normal time to apply a neat finish to a low Luke Keen cross after Josh Craddock had done well to win the ball.

Stafford, who the Pics played in the league last season, had the better of the first half, former Rushall player James Dance just putting a shot wide after nipping in on 16 minutes when the Rushall defence failed to clear the ball.

Immediately after though, Graham Deakin brought the ball down well and volleyed over the bar.

It was Stafford who deservedly took the lead though on 33 minutes when a mix up between Chris Gemmell and his defence meant the keeper failed to clear his lines and Ryan Wynter shot into an empty net from 25 yards out.

Rushall came into the game after the break and on 50 minutes Zak Martin found some space and tried a measured drive which hit the post.

Seven minutes later Alex Curtis brought out a good save with a close header from Gemmell.

Then on 64 minutes, half time substitute Marshall was just wide of post with a shot.

Jack Duggan headed a Ryan Winwood corner just wide and Marshall headed an Aaron Farrell cross onto the top of the cross bar as the Pics continued to press.

Craddock headed another Winwood corner into the net on 80 minutes and turned provider for Marshall right on time to give Rushall a boost before the league opener at Frickley.

Gemmell; Christophorou; Martin; Tolley; Caines (c); Westwood; Farrell; Deakin; Craddock; Heath; Danks.
Subs: Duggan (for Westwood 45); Smith (for Tolley 31); Winwood (for Deakin 45); Marshall (for Danks 45); Keen (for Farrell 71); Craner; James

Wright; Grriffiths; Davies; Ballinger; Daniel; Smith; Dance; Reid; Wynter; Cope; Curtis.
Subs: Branch (for Davies 59); Downes; Spittle (for Wynter 87); Mills; Edmunds (for Smith 51); Edwards (for Cope 72); Palmer; Berekeley

Report courtesy of Rushall Olympic

Stafford Rangers 1 Chester 3
Pre Season Friendly Saturday 2nd August 2014

Rangers enjoyed another good work out against Steve Burr’s  Chester with the visitors eventually winning by three goals to one.

Rangers more than held their own in the first half against what is likely to be the conference Premier outfits’ starting line up and even went ahead inside 8 minutes when a long ball from Ollie Davies picked out Dan Cope and he clipped the ball neatly over Jon Worsnop in the Chester goal.

Chester levelled on 27 mins when John Rooney’s high ball into the area saw Kieran Charnock fairly hold off Wayne Daniel and Craig Hobson snapped up the chance.

A few minutes later, Daniel kept the scores level as he blocked a shot from Kingsley James while Charnock should have made it two when he sent a free header over the Stafford bar.

Although he looked to have fouled Daniel in the build up, James fired Chester in front on 52 mins with a powerful drive that gave Callum Preston little chance.

Multiple substitutions saw the game lose momentum but there were still some promising chances for Rangers as James Dance forced a save from Jon Danby while Jack Edwards sliced his shot wide.

But it was Chester who finished the scoring five minutes from time when Peter Winn cut in from the left and squeezed home a 20 yarder beyond the reach of Stafford’s sub keeper Wes Hopwood.

Callum Preston (Wes Hopwood 80m), Michael Williams (Matt Berkeley 78m),  Mark Branch, Ollie Davies (Joel Mills 74m), Wayne Daniel, Levi Reid (Steve Palmer 62m), Chris Smith (Ryan Edmunds 46m), James Dance (Dean Bromley 78m), Ryan Wynter (Matt Berkeley 74m), Dan Cope (Richard Greaves 62m), Alex Curtis (Jack Edwards 57m)

Jon Worsnop (Jon Danby 57m), John Disney, Gareth Roberts, Matty Brown (Danny Taylor 46m), Kieran Charnock, Craig Mahon (Wayne Riley 46m), Kingsley James (Liam Blake 64m), Craig Hobson (Sean McConville 46m), John Rooney (Tom Pears 78m), Jamie Menagh (Peter Winn 46m), Danny Harrison (Bradley Tomlinson 78m)

Referee: Craig Taylor
Att: 297

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 AFC Telford United 2
Pre-Season Friendly Thursday 31st July 2014

Rangers suffered the first defeat of their pre season schedule but it was still another good work out for the Boro.

Telford took an early lead through Mike Phenix who poked home the rebound after Deale Chamberlain had saved well from his first effort.

Rangers went close to an equaliser through Ollie Davies but his header went across the face of the Telford goal before being scrambled away for a corner.

Telford were just that bit stronger and quicker in most departments and it was they who created the better chances as Andy Owens and Sean Cooke both missed the target when well placed while a volley from Phenix bounced back off Chamberlain’s legs.

Ryan Wynter looked increasingly confident and forced a good save from Andy Pryce with a 20 yard drive before heading an Alex Curtis corner straight at the Telford keeper.

The second half produced little of note until a dreadful error from Owens on 64 mins allowed Wynter to play in Dan Cope and last season’s top scorer made no mistake.

But Telford restored their lead just two minutes later when the ball looped up from a defensive header and sub Tony Gray finished smartly from 15 yards.

Rangers came close to another equaliser when Wynter and Curtis combined well but Cope’s shot went a foot wide.

Gray could have helped himself to a hat trick but headed over from a couple of yards out then blasted another shot out of the ground.

At the other end, Jordan Fincher picked out Davies with a free kick but the young defender headed over.

Gray missed another chance for Telford in the final minutes when he was denied by Chamberlain.

Deale Chamberlain, Michael Williams, Mark Branch, Oliver Davies, Joel Mills (Jordan Fincher 52m), Tom Vaughan (Ryan Wynter 35m), James Dance, Steve Palmer (Dean Bromley 71m), Dan Cope (Jack Edwards 71m), Ryan Edmonds (Louis Downes 52m), Alex Curtis (Matt Berkeley 83m).

Andy Pryce (Jonathan Hedge 46m), Wes Baynes, Sean Clancy, Mike Grogan, Andy Owens, Godffrey Poku (Kristian Platt 62m), Mike Phenix (Adam Farrell 46m), Jordan Deacey, Sam Smith (Tony Gray 46m), Sean Cooke, Josh Hancock (Chris Leaver 84m).

Referee: Matt Jones
Att: 259

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 3 Nantwich Town 2
Pre-Season Friendly Saturday 26th July 2014

Rangers continued their unbeaten pre-season with an excellent win against Evostik Premier Nantwich at a sun baked Marston Road.

James Dance should have won Rangers a penalty in the 4th minute when his goalbound effort was blocked by a Nantwich Hand but the referee waved play on. Ryan Wynter robbed Adam Jones but couldn’t pick out Dance as rangers started on the offensive. Former Rangers defender Andy White forced a fine save from Adam Whitehouse before the Dabbers took the lead in the 133th minute. Jordon Johnson outpaced Wayne Daniel and gave Whitehouse no chance. 

Rangers were back on level terms in the 31st minute. Alex Curtis beat his defender and slid a ball into the path of Dance who finished with the outside of his right foot. Rangers competed the turnaround just before the break When Dance turned provider, threading the ball through to Wynter whose first time shot nestled in the corner.

The Dabbers were level in the 56th minute. A cross from Louis Callaghan from the right was headed home by the tall Vinney McKeide. Rangers continued to threaten with Dan Cope forcing a save from Steve Philips. The home side took the lead with 6 minutes remaining. An excellent cross from Jack Edwards was volleyed home by Chris Smith. In the final minute, Louis Downes fired just over following an excellent ball from Levi Reid.

Stafford Rangers:
Adam Whitehouse, Michael Williams, Oliver Davies, Lucan Spittle (Mark branch 57), Wayne Daniel, Tom Vaughan (Levi Reid 62), James Dance (Louis Downes 69), Christian Dacres (Jack Edwards 79), Ryan Wynter (Dan Cope 57), Ryan Edmunds (Chris Smith 69), Alex Curtis (Steve Palmer 74)

Nantwich Town:
Terry Smith (Steve Philips 57), Sam Wilson, Andy White (Peter Green 45), Louis Callaghan, Adam Jones (Moussa Bakhti 45), Mat Bailey (Vinney McKeide 45), Harry Clayton, Adam Pepper (Max Harrop 62), Jordon Johnson (Jorden long 45), Mark Winslade (Steve Jones 62), Cohan Bramall.

Att: 198

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Eccleshall FC 1 Stafford Rangers 3
Pre-Season Friendly Thursday 24th July 2014

A SECOND half master class from Alex Curtis saw Stafford Rangers overcome neighbours Eccleshall.
An action packed second half saw the visitors go down to 10 men before Curtis was introduced scoring one and setting up the other two further Boro goals.

Despite being a lower league opposition it was the hosts who started the game on the front foot with Jim Garside and Jim Lee both going close within the opening 10 minutes.

It took 28 minutes for the Rangers to get a foothold in the game when Richard Greaves beat the off-side trap but saw his effort cannon off the post as the teams went in level at the break.

The second half started with a bang when a late tackle saw a fracas develop and Jordan Fincher seeing a straight red card.

Curtis was introduced after 53 minutes and made an impact two minutes later when linking up with Matt Berkeley who released Chris Smith to score from close range.

Rangers doubled their lead after 65 minutes when Matt Berkeley lobbed a charging goalkeeper allowing for Curtis to tap the ball into an open net.

The game was put to bed after 65 minutes when a whipped in Curtis free-kick cannoned around the box before Dan King headed home.

Eccleshall clinched a deserved consolation goal thanks to a run into the box by Sam Bailey who slotted home under pressure.

However, it was Rangers who came out on top clinching their third pre-season victory,
and their their second pre-season victory within a week.

Report by Ben Goddard

Halesowen Town 2 Stafford Rangers 2
Pre-Season Friendly Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Two late goals earned Rangers a deserved draw in a pre-season friendly at The Grove.

Rangers started positively against their higher ranked hosts with James Dance and Christian Dacres off target with efforts. Rangers keeper Adam Whitehouse made the first of many saves of the evening after quarter of an hour to thwart Peter Till.

The Yeltz took the lead in the 21st minute when Ben Haseley shrugged off a challenge from Michael Williams before despatching a scuffed shot past Whitehouse.
Dacres was unlucky with a header looping on to the Halesowen crossbar. Dan Cope missed a gilt edged chance, heading wide from inside the 6-yard box after being picked out by Ryan Wynter.

Halesowen had more of the play after the break with Whitehouse saving well from Haseley and Neil Mackenzie. Ryan Edmunds went close for the Boro forcing a save at his near post from Matt Sergeant. Robert Thompson-Brown rattled the underside of the Rangers bar with Dacres blocking the follow up shot from Chris Lait.
Aaron Griffiths forced another excellent save from Whitehouse but the Rangers topper couldn’t do anything with the Halesowen 2nd. Thompson-Brown ran from the halfway line, beat 3 defenders before crashing a 25 yarder into the corner.

Rangers pulled one back a minute before time when Cope beat Sergeant to the ball and headed into the empty net. Rangers should have equalised almost immediately but Ryan Edmunds blasted his shot over the bar. With three minutes of stoppage time played, Dacres reacted quickest to fire home a deserved equaliser.

Halesowen Town:
Matt Sergeant, Joel Kettle (Eric Bowen 45), Asa Charlton (Jamie Oliver 68), Aaron Forde (Neil Mackenzie 45), Joe Hull, Curtis Tilt, Elliott Turner, Tom Tonks (Chris Lait 45), Iyseden Christie (Mark Danks 63), Ben Haseley (Robert Thompson-Brown 63), Peter Till (Aaron Griffiths 68).

Stafford Rangers:
Adam Whitehouse, Michael Williams, Mark branch, Joe Ballinger, Wayne Daniel (Lucan Spittle 45), Steve Palmer (Tom Vaughan 65), James Dance (Levi Reid 65), Christian Dacres, Ryan Wynter (Jack Edwards 51), Dan Cope, Alex Curtis (Ryan Edmunds 45)

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 5 Edgware Town 0
Pre-Season Friendly Saturday 19th July 2014

Rangers recorded the third consecutive clean sheet of their pre season programme as they defeated Edgware Town.

It took just five minutes to open the scoring as Dan Cope side footed home a corner from Ryan Edmonds.

Cope netted his second from the spot a couple of minutes later after Mark Guildea had tripped Alex Curtis.

Ryan Wynter and Cope both should have added to the score before Edgware’s Daren Bloor – himself a former Rangers player – missed their best chance of the afternoon when he shot over from close range.

But it was Rangers who remained in control with Curtis and Wynter both going close.

The half ended with some good defensive work from Mark Branch denying Michael Uche a shot on goal.

Cope completed his hat trick on 53 mins when he finished off a good move involving Levi Reid and Jack Edwards.

Ruben da Silva denied cope a fourth before he became one of a number of substitutions on the hour mark.

One of those replacements, Loui Downes impressed and scored a fourth on 63 mins, converting a deep cross from Edwards and then headed in the fifth on 82 mins following a quality cross from Levi Reid.

1 Deale Chamberlain (Adam Whitehouse 51m), 2 Michael Williams (Loui Downes 58m), 3 Mark Branch (Sam Westray 76m), 4 Joel Mills, 5 Wayne Daniel (Lucan Spittle 46m), 7 Ryan Edmonds (Jordan Finch 58m), 8 Tom Vaughan (Levi Reid 46m), 9 Ryan Wynter (Jack Edwards 46m), 10 Dan Cope (Matt Berkeley 58m), 11 Alex Curtis (Steve Palmer 58m)

Edgware Town:
1 Ruben Da Silva, 2 Mark Guildea, 3 David Bevicon, 4 Luke Burton, 5 Robbie Quatromini, 6 Daren Bloor (Mark Campbell 59m), 7 Kevin Grzapka (Dan Quatromini 56m), 8 Arron Rivero (Olu Quadri 64m), 9 Michael Uche (Daniel Grey 77m), 10 Mark McIvor, 11 Victor Perez (Manuel Patel 66m)

Ref: James Scerri
Att: 178

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 2 Stafford Town 0
Pre-Season Friendly 15th July 2014

Rangers overcame the Town in this pre-season derby between the two Stafford teams but the price to pay was a second half injury to Danny Smith which could keep him out for some time.

Rangers made the early showing as James Dance brought a save from Town keeper Richard Stone but the Reds’ responded when George Burslem’s shot forced Adam Whitehouse diving low to his right to keep out.

Both Ollie Budd and Dan Bradbury missed out for Town but Rangers began to assert their authority with Ryan Wynter and Dan Cope each having a couple of efforts kept out by Stone.

Budd blazed over and then forced a save from Whitehouse as Town began brightly in the second half but it was Rangers who finally made the breakthrough on 62 mins when Dance snapped up the rebound after a tremendous shot from Tom Vaughan had come back off the bar.

Jack Edwards volleyed home a second 12 mins later before Smith’s late injury saw him stretchered off.

Adam Whitehouse (Dale Reaney 46m), Jordan Fincher, Ollie Davies (Mark Branch 46m), Wayne Daniel (Joel Mills 74m), Lucan Spittle (Michael Williams 46m), Steve Palmer (Tom Vaughan 46m), James Dance (Loui Downes 74), Christian Dacres, Ryan Wynter (Jack Edwards 63m), Dan Cope (Danny Smith 46m (Matt Berkeley 87m)), Ryan Edmonds (Alex Curtis 63m)

Richard Stone, James Cresswell, Reis Nadat, Ben Henderson, Joe Woodward, Aaron Finley, Dan Bradbury, George Burslem, Ollie Budd, Matt Buckham, Alex Barnfather. Subs Sid Dawson, Wayne Bailey, Warren Slater, Tom Doody, James Price, Tom Wright, Ishmale Reid, Lee Melvin

Ref: Steve Martin
Att: 241

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 0 Leamington 0
Pre-Season Friendly 12th July 2014

Rangers first competitive game under the new management team of Neil Kitching and Nick Amos finished with a creditable 0-0 draw against conference North visitors Leamington. Rangers more than held their own over the 90 minutes and gave the sun baked fans cause for optimism.
Rangers went close on the 25th minute when Dan Cope and Christian Dacres both had shots blocked by the Leamington defence. Lee Chilton missed a decent chance for the visitors before Lucan Spittle had a shot cleared off the line. Former Rangers defender Stuart Pierpoint was off target with a header. In first half stoppage time Cope rattled the Brakes crossbar following a deft touch from Ryan Wynter.
Alex Curtis forced a save with his first touch just after the resumption. Joe Magunda should have scored for Leamington but contrived to miss the target with a header. Lewis Fenney made a fine save to thwart Danny Newton. Rangers almost grabbed the lead from an unlikely source when a mix up in the Brakes defence saw David McNamee knock the ball towards his won goal but the full back recovered with a last ditch clearance. Leamington thought they had nicked a win in the dying seconds but Fenney again excelled to thwart the impressive Newton.
Adam Whitehouse (Lewis Fenney 45), Michael Williams, Oliver Davies (Mark Branch 45), Lucan Spittle, Wayne Daniel, Christian Dacres, Tom Vaughan (Louis Downes 45), Steve Palmer (Matt Berkeley 75), Ryan Wynter (Jack Edwards 45), Dan Cope (Alex Curtis 45), Danny Smith (Ryan Edmunds 45)

Report by Gary Hazlehurst