STAFFORD RANGERS 1 NANTWICH TOWN 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Monday 21st April 2014


Rangers completed their programme of home fixtures with victory over Nantwich Town.

After a bright opening, the first half was a bit of a hit and miss affair with plenty of spirit on show but few clear chances created at either end.

Alex Meaney provided the Dabbers’ main threat and he had the first shot of the afternoon on 3 mins with a 25 yarder that Andrew Jones pushed away for a corner.
At the other end, Saul Henderson fired over from distance but Nantwich again went close as Jones saved with his legs from former Rangers defender Andy White.

Aaron Burns steered another chance wide of Jones’ near post after Nick Haughton had got the better of Darren Bullock as the sides went in at half time on level terms.

The second period showed a little more promise and Jack Edwards nearly opened his Rangers account on 47 mins when his header came back off the post before being cleared.

Levi Reid looked threatening all day for Rangers and sent a shot a couple of feet wide of the target.

A piece of direct football saw Max Harrop clear as he latched on to Burns’ flick but Jones was equal to his attempted chip and the danger was averted.
Jones saved again – this time from Nantwich skipper Mark Jones before Rangers scored what was to prove the only goal of the game on 64 mins.

Reid fed James McCarthy who in turn found Saul Henderson. The tall striker still had plenty to do but he cut inside on to his right foot and curled a fine shot inside the far post.
Henderson should have doubled the lead a minute later but hit the side netting after being put through by Edwards.

Jones pushed a long range free kick from Burns away for another corner while Burns ballooned a great chance over the bar after Rangers’ defence was caught napping.

Nantwich continued to press for the equaliser but Harry Clayton’s header into the side netting in the final minute was as close as they got and Rangers recorded consecutive league victories for the first time this season.

After the match, Dan Cope was awarded with the Supporters’ Player of the Year Award.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Andrew Jones, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Darren Bullock (12 Dan Cope 74m), 6 Lewis Chalmers, 7 Saul Henderson, 8 Levi Reid, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Alex Hannan (16 Jack Edwards 46m), 11 Matt Berkeley (14 Alex Curtis 55m).
Unused Subs: 15 Tom Vaughan, 17 Matt Johnson

Nantwich Town: 1 Steve Jones, 2 Oliver Devanney, 3 Andy White, 4 Andy Keogh (14 Ben Deegan 61m), 5 Earl Davis (15 Peter Green 67m), 6 Sam Wilson, 7 Nick Haughton (12 Harry Clayton 59m), 8 Mark Jones, 9 Aaron Burns, 10 Alex Meaney, 11 Max Harrop.
Unused Subs: 16 Phil Eastwood, 17 Alex Frost

Cautions: Bullock (Rangers) Devanney (Nantwich)
Ref: Matthew Wilkes
Attendance: 394

Report by Chris Elsley

Trafford 1 Stafford Rangers 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - 19th April 2014


Rangers withstood a late onslaught to take a deserved 3 points at Trafford.

Rangers made one change with teenage striker Jack Edwards replacing Darren Bullock in the starting line-up.
The first chance of the game fell to Trafford bur Shelton Payne was off target with his free-kick. Rangers opened the scoring in the 8th minute.
An Ian Craney free-kick to the far post was headed back into the danger zone by Dan Cope and the on rushing Andy Griffiths powered home the header.

Trafford missed a great chance in the 15th minute. Luke Heron and Payne exchanged passes to tee up Heron but the shot was straight at Andrew Jones.
A strong challenge and clever back heel from Jimmy McCarthy sent Cope clear but his shot skimmed the post.
Trafford continued to have the bulk of the possession but failed to trouble Jones with the Rangers back four in excellent form.

Rangers doubled their lead in the 31st minute. Edwards turned his defender inside out; hit a crisp shot to the near post which was well saved by Hayden Buckley-Smith, the rebound falling to Griffiths who tapped home.
Cope almost grabbed a third before half-time, shooting wide from a Craney through ball.

Trafford had the momentum in the second half, however their finishing let them down. Rory Fallon hit the side netting when well placed and Michael Oates headed wide as Rangers held on. The two skippers, Martyn Andrews and McCarthy, were having a running battle and it was the Trafford man that gave his side a lifeline, slotting home in the 79th minute.

It was now all Trafford and Nia Bayunu hit the angle of post and bar with a header.
In stoppage time, Oates went down under a clumsy challenge from Griffiths but the referee decided there was no foul and Rangers, deservedly took home the three points.

Trafford: Hayden Buckley-Smith, Rees Welch, Andy Smart, Steve Mason, Nia Bayunu, Tom Schofield (Joe Shaw 78), Luke Heron (Michael Oates 54), Martyn Andrews, Shelton Payne, Rory Fallon, Paul Ashton (Simon Hackney 65).
Subs not used: Chris Palmer, Callum Jones

Stafford Rangers: Andrew Jones, Andy Griffiths, Oliver Davies, Lewis Chalmers, Joe Ballinger, Levi Reid, Dan Cope (Saul Henderson 71), Ian Craney, Jimmy McCarthy, Jack Edwards (Darren Bullock 81), Alex Curtis (Harry Wightman 88).
Subs not used: Dan Nowell, Matt Berkeley

Booked: Ballinger (Stafford)
Referee: W Smallwood (Barnton)
Attendance: 324

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

STAFFORD RANGERS 1 ASHTON UNITED 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 12th April 2014


Two goals in the final ten minutes condemned Rangers to defeat against Play Off hopefuls Ashton.

Rangers made four changes to the side beaten by King’s Lynn with Oliver Davies, Andrew Griffiths, Darren Bullock and Levi Reid all returning to the starting line up but, with the wind in their backs, it was Ashton who made most of the running in the first half.

Kayde Coppin caused Griffiths problems all afternoon and the Ashton wide man orchestrated the visitors’ first opening on 2 mins but Ashley Young’s shot deflected wide off one of his own players.

Gary Gee looked set to give Ashton the lead only for Lewis Chalmers to make a good block before Jason Gorton sent two headers wide inside sixty seconds.

Bullock had earlier headed wide for Rangers but their best chance fell to Dan Cope who, having done well to create the opening, lobbed just over on 40 mins.

Ashton wasted several chances during the opening exchanges of the second half, notably when Dale Johnson shot straight at Andrew Jones from six yards out.

Rangers used all three subs and it was the final one that paid dividends on 73 mins when Ian Craney sent Saul Henderson away to slot past Paul Philips just two minutes after coming on.
But the goal seemed to spark some life into Ashton and they leveled through one of their own substitutes when Chris Baguley volleyed past Jones on 80 mins.

Ashton’s winner came on 86 mins when Gary Gee linked with Lee Rick before delivering a near post centre and Dale Johnson stole in to calmly place his shot past Jones.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Andrew Jones, 2 Andrew Griffiths (12 Saul Henderson 71m), 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Lewis Chalmers, 7 Levi Reid, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Dan Cope (14 Chris Smith 58m), 11 Alex Curtis (15 Jack Edwards 67m).
Unused Subs: 16 Alex Hannan, 17 Harry Wightman

Ashton United: 1 Paul Phillips, 2 Aaron Chalmers (14 Chris Baguley 75m), 3 Chris Lynch, 4 Jason Gorton, 5 Jack Higgins, 6 Ashley Young, 7 Matthew Kosylo (12 Matthew Chadwick 56m), 8 Gary Gee, 9 Dale Johnson, 10 Martin Pilkington, 11 Kayde Coppin (17 Lee Rick 84m).
Unused Subs: 15 Mark Haslam, 16 Aidan Chippendale

Cautions: McCarthy (Rangers), Lynch, Gorton (Ashton)
Ref: Neil Pratt
Att: 288
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 0 KING’S LYNN 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 5th April 2014


A goal in the last ten minutes condemned Rangers to defeat on an uninspiring afternoon of football at Marston Road.

The first hour was a dour affair with neither side doing much to suggest a goal was on the menu.
Linnets’ David Bell looked the most likely creator but he was unable to find a way past a well organised Rangers back line.

It was Bell who orchestrated the first real opening on 13 mins when he got past Lewis Chalmers to centre for Sam Mulready but the King’s Lynn front man couldn’t keep his header on target.
Soon after, Boro keeper Andrew Jones flicked a George Thomson free kick over the bar and that was about it for the first 45 mins.

The second half did show some improvement. Thomson and Andrew Hall combined well before an excellent tackle from Chalmers halted the danger and Thomson fired just wide a minute later.

Ian Craney gave Dan Cope half an opening but his shot on the visitors’ goal flew well wide.
The better chances fell to the Linnets but Hall and Thomson both missed when well placed before Ewan Clarke intercepted a poor clearance from Jones only for the Rangers keeper to recover and block the shot.

The game hardly deserved a goal but it was King’s Lynn who finally found a way through on 81 mins when Thomson snapped up the chance after some sloppy defending in the Rangers area.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Andrew Jones, 2 Saul Henderson (14 Alex Hannan 58m), 3 Alex Curtis, 4 Lewis Chalmers, 5 Joe Ballinger, 6 Chris Smith (15 Tom Vaughan 76m), 7 Dan Cope, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Matthew Berkeley, 11 Jack Edwards (16 Dan Nowell 80m).
Unused Subs: 12 Darren Bullock, 17 Matthew Johnson

King’s Lynn: 1 Alexander Street, 2 Peter Bore, 3 Jordan Yong, 4 Jason Lee, 5 Ryan Clarke, 6 George Thomson, 7 Andrew Hall (15 Charlie Butt 90+3m), 8 Dan Quigley, 9 Sam Mulready (12 Ewan Clarke 70m), 10 David Bell, 11 Liam Hurst (14 Shaun Stocker 84m).
Unused Subs: – None (only three subs named)

Cautions: Craney (Rangers) Hall (King’s Lynn)
Referee: Robbie Dadley
Att: 315
 
Report by Chris Elsley

BUXTON 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 29th March 2014


The final nail was hammered into the coffin as Rangers’ relegation was confirmed after they drew at Buxton.

Needing a win to give themselves any chance, Rangers looked doomed when they went 2-0 down on the hour but a fortuitous goal from Ian Craney and a bicycle kick from Dan Cope put them back on level terms before Chris Smith nearly grabbed a dramatic winner in the final minute.

It was Cope who went close to opening the scoring inside the first five minutes but Buxton did most of the pressing in the opening half.
Smith cleared off the line from Neil Stevens and Josh Davies clipped his free kick just over but Lee Morris wasted the best chance when he skied over from around 15 yards.

Cope did manage to force a save from Buxton keeper Andy Warrington while Stafford keeper Andy Jones saved well from Stevens on the stroke of half time.

Buxton were in front within a minute of the restart as Mark Reed linked with Jamie Green on the left. Sub Matt Thornhill appeared to have wasted the chance but Reed had advanced and fired past Jones.
Both Reed and Thornhill missed chances to double the lead but the former made no mistake on the hour when he was allowed a free close range header.

Buxton’s defending was just as woeful when Craney pulled one back a minute later with a free kick from the left that found its way through a crowded area.

Reed went close to completing his hat trick but it was Rangers who finished stronger and levelled when Cope converted from close range following a long throw from James McCarthy.

Craney and Smith both came within inches of the winner but Rangers were forced to accept a share of the spoils. In the end, the result was immaterial as victories for Marine and Witton would have condemned Rangers anyway.
 
Buxton: 1 Andy Warrington, 2 Stuart Ludlam, 3 Jamie Green, 4 Steve Istead, 5 Ash Palmer, 6 Sam Brooks, 7 Neil Stevens, 8 Josh Davies, 9 Mark Reed, 10 Lee Morris (15 Matt Thornhill 46m), 11 Craig King.
Unused Subs: 12 Derek Niven, 14 James Handley, 16 Tim Ryan – only four subs named

Stafford Rangers: 1 Andrew Jones, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Joe Ballinger, 4 Lewis Chalmers, 5 Darren Bullock (14 Levi Reid 9m (12 Matt Berkeley 50m)), 6 Chris Smith, 7 Dan Cope, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Saul Henderson (15 Jack Edwards 59m), 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 16 Alex Hannan, 17 Matthew Johnson

Cautions: Reed (Buxton), Griffiths (Rangers)
Referee: Joe Simpson
Att: 257
 
Report by Chris Elsley

GRANTHAM TOWN 3 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 25th March 2014


A late goal condemned Rangers to defeat as Grantham boosted their own survival hopes.

Eight weeks earlier, this fixture was abandoned after little more than a minute following a dramatic thunderstorm and this game kicked off in equally bizarre circumstances as the late arrival of Dan Cope and Darren Bullock meant that Rangers played for the first minute with just nine players on the pitch.

The drama continued as Rangers took the lead on 7 mins when Chris Smith spotted Grantham keeper Dan Haystead off his line and launched a shot from some 45 yards. Anything Wayne Rooney can do…. the ball cleared Haystead and bounced into the roof of the net.
Jordan Hempenstall wasted two good chances to bring Grantham back level while Michael Towey missed his chance when he stood on the ball.
But Hempenstall made amends for his earlier errors when he embarked on a solo run, holding off the challenges of Andrew Griffiths and Joe Ballinger before rounding Johnny Sutherland to equalise on 27 mins.

Chances were limited at either end but Dan Cope did find an opening following a poor clearance from Haystead but sent his shot rising over the bar.
Cope then beat Haystead to a long free kick from Bullock but Matt Berkeley was unable to get in a shot on goal.

Rangers regained the lead on 55 mins when Smith sent James McCarthy away. His centre should have been cut out by either of two Grantham defenders but instead found its way through to Saul Henderson who was presented with a simple tap in.
But sloppy defending allowed Grantham back in just three minutes later, Michael Jacklin left unmarked at the back post to head in Jack McGovern’s corner.

Haystead pushed away a shot from Cope but after Berkeley had blazed a great chance wide of the target, the final 20 mins saw Grantham doing all the pressing.

It looked like Rangers would hold out but, with five mins left, McGovern floated in a free kick for Paul Lister to head home the winner.

Grantham Town: 1 Dan Haystead, 2 Sam Purcicoe, 3 Michael Jacklin, 4 Deon Meikle, 5 Paul Lister, 6 Jack McGovern, 7 Keiron Walker (17 Rhys Lewis 70m), 8 Michael Towey, 9 Jordan Hempenstall, 10 Greg Smith (16 Paul Grimes 76m), 11 Lee Potts (15 Gary King 88m).
Unused Subs: 12 Adrian Howes, 14 Lee Ridley.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Johnny Sutherland, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Chris Smith, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Alex Curtis, 7 Saul Henderson, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Matthew Berkeley, 11 Dan Cope.
Unused Subs: 12 Jack Edwards, 14 Sam Heathcote, 15 Alex Hannan, 16 Tom Vaughan, 17 Matthew Johnson

Cautions: Bullock (Rangers)
Referee: A Pashley
Att: 138
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 0 WORKSOP TOWN 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 22nd March 2014


Rangers conceded their 100th league goal of the season on their way to defeat against title chasing Worksop.

The visitors boast the most prolific strike force in the league, having netted 104 times prior to kick off, but they rarely showed their killer instinct in front of goal.

Rangers suffered an early set back as Ollie Davies was forced out of the action on 15 mins due to injury but it was they who had an early half chance as Dan Cope broke into the area but he was forced wide by keeper Jonathon Stewart and the chance went.

Worksop had the ball in the back of the Rangers net on 22 mins but Shane Clarke was flagged offside after debutant keeper Johnny Sutherland had fumbled Jack Muldoon’s centre.
Leom Mettam wasted a golden opportunity to put the visitors ahead on 28 mins when Lewis Chalmers tripped Jake Scott in the area but Mettam put his spot kick well wide.
Sutherland then saved from Muldoon but Worksop were ahead on 33 mins when Adam Quinn added the finishing touch from Clarke’s goalward header although Sutherland looked impeded.

Alex Curtis missed out on a chance to bring Rangers level at the start of the second half when Levi Reid’s high centre caught Stewart in no man’s land but Curtis saw his attempted chip trickle wide.
A well struck drive from Clarke flew just wide of Sutherland’s right post while a similar effort from Ian Craney went the same way at the other end.

Worksop put the game beyond Rangers’ reach on 65 mins when James McCarthy needlessly tripped Scott and this time Mettam made no mistake.

The nearest Rangers came to reducing the deficit came when Curtis volleyed over from 8 yards out while a good save from Sutherland prevented Tom Denton from adding a third.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Johnny Sutherland, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Oliver Davies (15 Alex Curtis 15m), 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Lewis Chalmers, 7 Levi Reid, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Saul Henderson (16 Alex Hannan 80m), 11 Dan Cope (14 Chris Smith 71m).
Unused Subs: 12 Matthew Berkeley, 17 Andrew Jones.

Worksop Town: 1 Jonathan Stewart, 2 Warren Burrell, 3 Alex Pursehouse, 4 Jake Scott, 5 Adam Quinn, 6 Tom Burgin, 7 Jack Muldoon, 8 Shane Clarke (15 Craig Clay 84m), 9 Tom Denton, 10 Leon Mettam (16 Josh Thomas 81m), 11 Conor Higginson (17 Jamie Jackson 74m).
Unused Subs: 12 Chris Salt, 14 Josh Williams.

Cautions: McCarthy (Rangers), Burgin (Worksop)
Referee: Paul Hobday
Att: 327
 
Report by Chris Elsley

FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 4 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 18th March 2014


Rangers slipped ever closer to relegation as FC United cantered to a 4-0 victory.

Their problems began before kick off as a congested M6 meant several players were delayed en route and things never improved.

A goal line clearance from Levi Reid prevented Charlie Raglan heading the home side in front in the first minute but the opening goal was not long in coming when a poor back pass from Jack Lees sent Tom Greaves through for a simple goal on 7 mins.

Andrew Jones saved from Callum Byrne and Matt Wolfenden saw his follow up well blocked by Lewis Chalmers as the home side threatened again but Rangers could have leveled when Ian Craney put Lees behind the United defense but his rising shot was parried by Dave Carnell.
United went close again through Greaves and Liam Brownhill before Jones was called into action to keep out efforts from Greaves and Mike Norton.

Ollie Davies scuffed a shot over the United bar but it was the home side who extended their lead on the stroke of half time when Raglan forced the ball into the back of the net from Brownhill’s corner.

An injury to the linesman meant a 15 min delay before play resumed for the second half but it was United who did the attacking when play finally got under way.
Jones saved from Norton and Darren Bullock got in the way of a shot from Joe Fox but Greaves made no mistake on 59 mins when he netted United’s third from 20 yards out.
After Craney’s 40 yarder had almost caught the United keeper off his line, Greg Daniels added the fourth for the home side on 74 mins, curling the ball past Jones with the outside of his right boot.

FC United: 1 Dave Carnell, 2 Liam Brownhill, 3 Lee Neville, 4 Dean Stott, 5 Tom Davies, 6 Charlie Raglan, 7 Matt Wolfenden, 8 Callum Byrne (16 Joe Fox 48m), 9 Mike Norton, 10 Jerome Wright, 11 Tom Greaves (17 Matt Walwyn 63m (15 Greg Daniels 69m)).
Unused Subs: 12 Astley Mullholland, 14 Adam Jones.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Andrew Jones, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Jack Lees (12 Darren Bullock 53m), 6 Lewis Chalmers, 7 Levi Reid, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Dan Cope (14 Saul Henderson 69m), 11 Alex Curtis (15 Matt Berkeley 69m).
Unused Subs: 16 Alex Hannan, 17 Matt Johnson

Cautions: Neville (FCUM)
Referee: Darren Strain
Att: 1589
 
Report by Chris Elsley

MATLOCK TOWN 0 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 15th March 2014


Rangers pulled off a shock result by beating play off chasing Matlock.

It was very much one way traffic in the first half as Matlock did most of the attacking, despite a strong wind in their faces.
Ollie Davies kept out a David Haggerty header with a goal line clearance before Joe Ballinger slid in to deny Daryll Thomas.

Thomas headed over from close range then failed to connect with a Danny Holland centre that flashed across the face of the Rangers goal while James Ashmore should have done better when he sidefooted over from 8 yards out.

On the stroke of half time, Darren Bullock cleared well from Thomas and Levi Reid immediately launched a counter attack. Dan Cope saw his shot handled by Joe Leelsey and Andrew Griffiths stepped up to convert the penalty to give Rangers a shock lead.

The start of the second half saw Matlock press again. Thomas’ header glanced off the top of the bar and Bullock cleared the lines after Andrew Jones had fumbled a free kick from Ashmore.
But it was Rangers who stunned the home side once more on 58 mins when the wind held up a free kick from Alex Curtis and James McCarthy sent a looping header into the back of the Matlock net.

Matlock came again. Lavell White fired over but the referee spotted a deflection – nobody else did – and gave a corner from which Haggerty headed wide. It was to be the last action for the Matlock defender who was injured for his efforts and required hospital treatment.

Jones parried shots from Leesley and Holland and pushed over a wind assisted free kick from Adam Yates as Rangers held on for an unexpected win.

Matlock Town: 1 Jon Kennedy, 2 Micky Harcourt, 3 Joe Leesley, 4 Martin Foster (12 Corey Gregory 60m), 5 David Haggerty (14 Cecil Nyoni 67m), 6 Adam Yates, 7 Liam Needham, 8 James Ashmore, 9 Danny Holland, 10 Darryl Thomas (16 Alex Bradshaw 90m), 11 Lavell White.
Unused Subs: 15 Liam Gaughan, 17 Matty Leese.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Andrew Jones, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Lewis Chalmers (15 Chris Smith 66m), 7 Levi Reid, 8 Ian Craney, 9 Matthew Berkeley (12 James McCarthy 53m), 10 Dan Cope (14 Saul Henderson 79m), 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 16 Jack Lees, 17 Matthew Johnson

Cautions: Needham (Matlock), Bullock, Chalmers (Stafford)
Referee: D Street
Att: 346
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 1 PORT VALE 1 – after extra time.
Port Vale win 3-2 on penalties

STAFFS SENIOR CUP 2ND ROUND - Monday 10th March 2014


A youthful Rangers side acquitted themselves well before going out of the Staffs Senior Cup on penalties.

Goalkeeper Adam Whitehouse, no stranger to the Rangers bench in recent seasons, finally got a start in place of the departed Jon Brain while there were first senior outings for youth team players Tom Vaughan, Alex Hannan and Jack Edwards – all as second half substitutes.

Rangers took the lead through Alex Curtis on 14 mins after Vale keeper Sam Johnson could only parry Matthew Berkeley’s header.
But it was the visitors who did most of the attacking throughout the evening although they rarely threatened Adam Whitehouse in the Rangers goal.

The lively Wilson Carvalho badly miscued when well placed. A more accurate drive from Gary O’Neil was well taken by Whitehouse while Dominic Dell wasted Vale’s best chance of the half when he skied over from close range.

The second half saw Vale continue to press for the equaliser.

Dell headed just wide and Whitehouse had to race off his line to deny Louis Tambini.

Johnson was unable to hold on to a 30 yarder from Dan Cope but the ball bounced clear. That was to be Rangers’ only notable shot of the half.

Whitehouse saved brilliantly from Ryan Lloyd and then tipped over a shot from O’Neil.
But Whitehouse was finally beaten with 11 minutes remaining when Lloyd floated a shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.

Neither side produced anything threatening in extra time and so it was down to penalties to decide which team would host Newcastle Town in the semis.
Sadly for Rangers, only Berkeley and Andrew Griffiths managed to find the target while Burke, Hannan and Curtis all missed. Whitehouse managed to keep out former Rangers’ loanee Tom Morris but Vale went through 3-2.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Joe Ballinger, 5 Darren Bulliock, 6 Matthew Burke, 7 Daniel Cope (15 Alex Hannan 85m), 8 Ian Craney (14 Tom Vaughan 66m), 9 Saul Henderson (16 Jack Edwards 74m), 10 Matthew Berkeley, 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 12 Jack Lees, 17 Matthew Johnson

Port Vale: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Cheye Alexander, 3 Tom Morris, 4 Gary O’Neil, 5 Doug Price, 6 Joe Davis, 7 Wilson Carvalho (16 Ricardo Swaby 74m), 8 Ryan Lloyd, 9 Dominic Dell (18 Luke Beesley 64m), 10 Louis Tambini, 11 Ben Jefford.
Unused Subs: 14 Nathan Smith, 15 Elliot Osbourne, 17 Billy Reeves

Cautions: None
Referee: Alan Sarginson
Att: 166

Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 WITTON ALBION 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 8th March 2014


Rangers were held to a draw by a late Witton equaliser but the point will be of little use to either side in their respective battles against relegation.

For Rangers, time is rapidly running out before their place in the bottom four is confirmed and while Witton’s hopes remain in their own hands, they will have targeted this game for maximum points.

It was a dour start with little action in either goal mouth. That changed on 19 mins when Witton took the lead, Michael Powell left with a simple nod home after Robert Brodie had headed Daniel Adnrews’ free kick back across goal.
Soon after, Witton’s Martyn Jackson went to ground after Levi Reid had blocked his path but the referee showed no interest in his penalty appeals.

The visitors were just about shading it before Rangers struck twice just before the break to take the half time lead.
It was leading scorer Dan Cope who brought the scores level on 40 mins, pouncing on a poor defensive header from Jonathan Dawson, to net his fifth goal in eight games.
A minute into added time, Alex Curtis scored his first senior goal for the club, firing home the rebound after James McCarthy’s shot had been saved.

It could have been three soon after the restart but Levi Reid was unable to steer the ball home.
Witton offered little, their best chance falling to right back Alistair Brown but he fired into side netting.
It was only in the final 10 minutes that the pace of the game picked up. Ben Harrison headed wide for Witton while Matthew Berkeley somehow missed the target from a couple of yards out after Saul Henderson’s shot was blocked.

Witton’s equaliser came with just four minutes left on the clock, Andrews heading home after Jon Brain had saved well from Michael Powell.
The Cheshire side threatened again a minute later when a defensive lapse allowed Dave Walker in. Jon Brain raced out of his area, arriving at the ball at the same time as Walker who suffered an injury in the challenge and was stretchered off.

Having used all three subs, Witton had to play out the final minutes with just ten men, but it was they who came closest to taking the three points when Brain was forced to save well from Andrews before Bodie’s header was blocked on the line by Reid.

Rangers remain 18 points from guaranteed safety and with just ten games to play, it seems an impossible task.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain,2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lewis Chalmers, 5 Joe Ballinger, 6 Matthew Burke, 7 Levi Reid, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy (14 Saul Henderson68m), 10 Dan Cope (16 Jack Lees 76m), 11 Alex Curtis (15 Matthew Berkeley 76m).
Unused Subs: 12 Darren Bullock, 17 Matthew Johnson

Witton Albion: 1 Matthew Cooper, 2 Anthony Gardner, 3 Alistair Brown, 4 Ben Harrison, 5 Robert Brodie, 6 Jonathan Breeze (14 Scott Bakkor 53m), 7 Jonathan Dawson (16 Dave Walker 75m), 8 Michael Powell, 9 Martyn Jackson (12 Anthony Sheehan 81m), 10 Alex Titchiner, 11 Daniel Andrews.
Unused Subs: 15 Joshua Crofts, 17 Stewart Plant

Cautions: Bakkor (Witton)
Referee: Grant Taylor
Att: 393
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAMFORD 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 1st March 2014


Rangers suffered defeat with a disappointing showing at Stamford.

A poor opening half ended with Stamford taking the lead in the first minute of added time when Shawn Richards headed home from close range to convert Matthew Cotton’s left wing centre.
Rangers had threatened inside the opening minute when Saul Henderson sent his drive just wide of the upright but that was the only real chance they created.

The home side didn’t offer much more and a shot from Charlie Binns, which was well blocked by Brian Smikle, was as close as they came in the first 30 mins.
Jon Brain was then forced to make saves with his legs to keep out Nabil Sheriff and Matthew Cotton in the space of a minute but the Rangers keeper was left helpless when Richards was allowed time and space to head the home side in front as the first half entered added time.

Rangers made a positive start to the second half as Jermaine Johnson fired just wide then sent a diving header just over the Stamford bar.
But Stamford dealt Rangers a second blow on 62 mins when Cotton flicked on Shariff’s corner and Alvin Jarvis stole in to smash the ball home from close range.
Jarvis was then on hand to keep the two goal lead as he cleared off the line from Alex Curtis before Levi Reid’s rising shot just cleared the Stamford bar.

A Matty Burke free kick forced Will Jones into his first save of the game in the final 10 mins but there was no way back as Rangers’ survival hopes took another setback.

Stamford: 1 Will Jones, 2 Lewis Carr, 3 Jack Ashton, 4 Alvin Jarvis, 5 Richard Jones, 6 Emeka Nwadike, 7 Shawn Richards (15 Ryan Robbins 75m), 8 Ashley Robinson, 9 Nabil Shariff, 10 Charlie Binns (14 Daniel Lawlor 67m), 11 Matthew Cotton (12 Ryan Walker 88m).
Unused Subs: 16 Jason Field, 17 David Staff

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Jermaine Johnson (16 Andrew Griffiths 67m), 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lewis Chalmers, 5 Joe Ballinger, 6 Matt Burke, 7 Brian Smikle (12 Darren Bullock 79m), 8 Ian Craney, 9 Saul Henderson (14 Dan Cope59m), 10 Levi Reid, 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 15 Darren Chadwick, 17 Matthew Johnson

Cautions: Burke (Rangers)
Referee: Alistair Wilson
Att: 346

Report by Chris Elsley

STOCKSBRIDGE PARK STEELS 0 STAFFORD RANGERS 3
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 22nd February 2014


The substitutes produced the goods as Rangers moved out of the bottom two for the first time since October with a win at fellow strugglers Stocksbridge.
All three goals came in the final 16 mins after Graham Heathcote had used his three substitutes and all three introductions got their name on the scoresheet.

Rangers played the better football throughout but it was Steels who were first to show as Nathan Joynes forced a save from Jon Brain on 17 mins.
Play quickly switched to the opposite end and Ollie Davies dragged his shot across goal while penalty appeals went unrewarded when Alex Curtis was tripped by Tom Cadzow.
Curtis was denied his first senior goal by a finger tip save from Jack Ward while Brian Smikle shot wide when well placed.
But Rangers should have taken the lead two minutes into added time at the end of the first half when Connor Dimaio pulled back Curtis but Ian Craney sent his penalty out of the ground.

The odds swung firmly in Rangers’ favour just five minutes into the second half when Joynes inexplicably led with a fist in to the face of Lewis Chalmers.
But apart from one chance when Smikle was denied by a superb challenge by Brett Lucas, Rangers struggled to pose much of a threat on the Steels goal.

A double substitution on 73 mins saw the introduction of Levi Reid and Saul Henderson and with his first taste of the action, Henderson crossed for the first of the afternoon’s subs, Dan Cope, to hammer the ball into the roof of the net.
A minute later, Cope turned provider playing the ball into the path of Levi Reid who produced an equally smart finish.
Henderson completed the scoring in the final minute with a simple tap in after Cope’s shot had been blocked.

Stocksbridge: 1 Jack Ward, 2 Tom Cadzow, 3 Ben Turner, 4 Connor Dimaio, 5 Brett Lucas, 6 Matthew Telling, 7 Liam Royles, 8 Janni Lipka, 9 Danny South (14 Andy Ring 81m), 10 Nathan Joynes, 11 Alex Callery (15 Jake Eyre 63m).
Unused Subs: 12 Jack Andrews, 13 Ben Scott - only four subs named.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Darren Chadwick, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lewis Chalmers, 5 Joe Ballinger, 6 Matt Burke, 7 Brian Smikle, 8 Ian Craney (14 Levi Reid 73m), 9 James McCarthy (15 Saul Henderson 73m), 10 Andrew Griffiths (16 Dan Cope 58m), 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 12 Darren Bullock, 18 Matthew Berkeley

Cautions: Cadzow, Callery (Stocksbridge)
Sent Off: Joynes (Stocksbridge)
Referee: S Richardson
Att: 124
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 BLYTH SPARTANS 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 15th February 2014


Dan Cope netted a late equaliser to salvage a point for Rangers on a Marston Road mud bath.

An early morning inspection had passed the pitch as playable but the heavens opened once more shortly before kick off.
Rangers coped better early on and debutant Brian Smirkle went close to putting the home side ahead when he raced on to Matty Burke’s through ball but, after rounding keeper Conor Grant, he found the angle too tight and fired into the side netting.
But Smirkle was involved in the opening goal of the afternoon on 7 mins when his right wing cross was bundled home by James McCarthy.
Burke then had a shot blocked but Blyth gradually gained a foothold and Robbie Dale curled home an equaliser on 23 mins.

After Dan Maguire fired wide for the visitors, Danny Parker was allowed time and space to head home Paul Robinson’s right wing corner to put Blyth ahead on 35 mins.
Blyth had a number of chances to add a third as Robinson fired over and Maguire wasted another great chance when he tried to walk the ball home.
Shortly before the break, Nathan Buddle’s shot struck Maguire on the line before Robinson fired wide of the target.

Blyth attacked again early in the second half and Jon Brain was forced to save from Robinson before Dale’s shot bounced to safety after striking the inside of the far post.
The game then entered stalemate as heavy legs began to take their toll but in a resurgent final ten minutes both sides gave it one last effort.

Cope hit the side netting after a break from Lewis Chalmers but the former was there at the right moment when he slid in to meet an excellent centre from Alex Curtis to bring Rangers level on 86 mins.
Blyth immediately went out to restore their lead.
Brain tipped over from Craig Hubbard while neither Hubbard or Ian Watson were able to add the finishing touch to an inswinging centre from Ashley Davis.
Rangers had a chance to snatch it in added time but Smirkle’s drive struck the side netting.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Joe Ballinger, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Darren Chadwick (16 Levi Reid 57m), 5 Jermaine Johnson, 6 Matt Burke, 7 Brian Smirkle, 8 Ian Craney (15 Jack Lees 73m), 9 James McCarthy (14 Dan Cope 68m), 10 Lewis Chalmers, 11 Alex Curtis.
Unused Subs: 12 Darren Bullock, 18 Matthew Berkeley

Blyth Spartans: 1 Conor Grant, 2 Ian Watson, 3 Joseph Kendrick, 4 Danny Parker, 5 Nathan Buddle, 6 Paul Robinson, 7 Arran Wearmouth (18 Ashley Davis 84m), 8 Neil Hooks, 9 Dan Maguire, 10 Matthew Wade (12 Craig Hubbard 70m), 11 Robbie Dale (15 Shaun Litterson 75m).
Unused Subs: 14 Lewis Horner, 16 Arjun Purewal.

Cautions: Ballinger, Burke (SRFC), Watson, Wade (BSFC)
Referee: Thomas Harty
Att: 319
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 0 FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 1st February 2014


Rangers slim hopes of avoiding relegation received another blow as fellow strugglers Frickley Athletic returned to Yorkshire with all three points.

A strong wind blew down the ground towards the Social Club end and it was with the wind in their backs that Rangers began the game.
They should have been a goal up inside the first minute but Jermaine Johnson headed wide at the back post.
A minute later, James McCarthy got behind the Frickley back line but fired wide.

Fernando Moke fired the first threat on the Rangers goal with a drive that Jon Brain saved at his near post but it was still Rangers who looked the most dangerous and Dan Cope looked certain to score when he was put through by McCarthy but Ben Simpson’s half block allowed Steven Gardner to clear the lines.
Moments later it was Rangers’ keeper Brain who made the half block to deny Moke, the ball dribbling just wide.

As the half went on, Rangers’ threat diminished and it was the visitors who went in with the half time lead after a slip from Darren Chadwick allowed Gavin Allott to fire past Brain on 37 mins.
Frickley added a second on 55 mins when Allott’s flick sent Moke on his way and he showed how to finish.
Allott should have made it 3-0 a minute later when he blazed over from 10 yards out although somehow the referee had a blatant hand ball by the Frickley man in the build up.

Rangers sub Jack Lees created a great chance for McCarthy to pull one back but he failed to find the target from inside the 6 yard box.
But that was as near as it got for Rangers and it was Frickley who looked most likely to add to the score.

Brain saved from Jake Picton and then denied both Allott and Picton in a minute before Luke Hinsley sent the final chance of the game wide of the Rangers goal.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Alex Melbourne, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Jermaine Johnson, 6 Matt Burke, 7 Dan Cope (15 Jack Lees 64m), 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Andrew Griffiths (16 Levi Reid 76m), 11 Sean Kinsella (14 Alex Curtis 64m).
Unused Subs: 12 Matthew Berkley, 17 Matthew Johnson

Frickley Athletic: 1 Ben Simpson, 2 Steven Gardner, 3 George Grayson, 4 Jake Picton, 5 Sam Denton, 6 Kasper Amdal (15 Andy Villerman 73m), 7 Fernando Moke, 8 Joe Wilcox, 9 Luke Hinsley, 10 Gavin Allott, 11 Joseph Kenny.
Unused Subs: 12 James Ghaichcem, 14 Leon Osborne, 16 Ryan Paczkowski, 17 James Hitchcock.

Cautions: Johnson (Rangers), Grayson, Wilcox, Kenny (Frickley)
Referee: Matthew Wilkes
Att: 310
 
Report by Chris Elsley

GRANTHAM TOWN 0 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 25th January 2014


Abandoned after 72 seconds due to waterlogged pitch.

The thunderstorms that had hit the midlands early on Saturday afternoon reached Lincolnshire as the players came out for the start of this Evo-Stik Northern Premier League game.
Referee A Pashley got play underway despite thunder and lightening all around with torrential rain and hail crashing down on to the Grantham pitch.
The ball went out for an early goal kick to Grantham but before home keeper Dan Haystead could take the kick the referee took the players off the field.
They returned 10 mins later but with the rain still falling, the referee decided the game could not continue.

Grantham Town: 1 Dan Haystead, 2 Joshua Lacey, 3 Lee Ridley, 4 Deon Meikle, 5 Paul Lister, 6 Rhys Lewis, 7 Gary King, 8 Anton Foster, 9 Paul Grimes, 10 Greg Smith, 11 Lee Potts.
Unused Subs: Michael Towey, 14 Kallum Smith, 15 Adrian Hawes, 16 Sam Purcicoe, 17 Liam Motson.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Alex Melbourne, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Jermaine Johnson, 6 Matt Burke, 7 Dan Cope, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy, 10 Andrew Griffiths, 11 Sean Kinsella.
Unused Subs: 12 Matthew Berkeley, 14 Levi Reid, 15 Alex Curtis, 16 Jack Lees, 17 Mathew Johnson

Cautions: None
Referee: A Pashley
Att: 288
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 3 DROYLSDEN 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 18th January 2014


Rangers recorded back to back home wins in the league for the first time in over 12 months as they overcame Droylsden in the clash of the NPL’s bottom two.

Dan Cope gave the Boro the perfect start on 4 mins. There didn’t look much of a threat when Cope collected a loose ball just inside the Droylsden half but he left Bloods keeper Craig Dootson helpless when he unleashed a 30 yard screamer into the top corner.
It was all Rangers as debutant Ian Craney controlled midfield affairs and James McCarthy went close to adding a second when he shot across the face of the Droylsden goal.

Dootson saved from Sean Kinsella on 16 mins but moments later Craney doubled the lead via the inside of the post following an excellent lay off from McCarthy.
John Lynch prevented Cope extending the lead further and Matt Burke went wide from just outside the area.

Finally, the visitors gave Jon Brain some work to do but the Rangers keeper proved he was up to the task when he kept out Sam Freakes.
But Dootson remained the busier of the two keepers, diving to his left to deny McCarthy then making a brave save to keep out another McCarthy effort after he had only been able to parry the initial shot from Kinsella.

Droylsden’s Sam Madeley worked hard to create an opening and forced Brain into another good save low to his left while Cope should have put Rangers three up on the stroke of half time only to blaze over from 8 yards out.

The visitors began the second half well but Rangers responded and McCarthy made it 3-0 on 57 mins when he ran on to a long ball from Jermaine Johnson to slot past Dootson.
The visitors pulled a goal back on 69 mins when Madeley forced the ball home from close range following a powerful goalwards header from former Rangers midfielder Ged Murphy.

The visitors threatened again but lacked where it mattered and after withstanding what Droylsden had to offer, Rangers finished the game the stronger of the two sides.
Sub Alex Curtis did well on the left to beat Ben McNamara but neither of his fellow replacements was able to add the finishing touch as the ball flew past Karl Ashton and Jack Lees.
Curtis was denied a first senior goal for the club in stoppage time when Dootson pushed his terrific shot on to the post.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Alex Melbourne, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Jermaine Johnson, 6 Matt Burke, 7 Andrew Griffiths, 8 Ian Craney, 9 James McCarthy (12 Karl Ashton 80m), 10 Sean Kinsella (14 Jack Lees 65m), 11 Dan Cope (15 Alex Curtis 58m).
Unused Subs: 16 Levi Reid, 17 Matthew Johnson.

Droylsden: 1 Craig Dootson, 2 Ben McNamara, 3 John Lynch, 4 Daniel Meadowcroft, 5 Ian Bold (16 James Agoo 58m), 6 Ged Murphy, 7 Sam Freakes, 8 Luke Sharry, 9 Domaine Rouse, 10 Sam Madeley, 11 Lloyd Dean.
Unused Subs: 12 Ryan Hibbert, 14 Danny McLoughlin, 15 Matt Knowles, 23 Lewis Fielding.

Cautions: McNamara, Rouse (Droylsden)
Referee: Grant Taylor
Att: 428
 
Report by Chris Elsley

BLYTH SPARTANS 6 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 11th January 2014


There was no way back for Rangers after Blyth raced to a 4-0 lead inside 22 mins with the impressive Dan Maguire helping himself to a ten minute hat trick.

Maguire opened the scoring on 7 mins with an excellent clip over Jon Brain after a good though ball from Ian Watson.
Seconds after Alex Melbourne had denied Maguire, the Blyth forward made it 2-0 after finding space in the Rangers area on 10 mins.
Maguire’s third came on 17 mins after he outpaced Jermaine Johnson to latch on to a long ball from Nathan Buddle.
A simple header from Watson made it four after Mathew Wade’s shot looped up of a Rangers defender, the midfielder finishing a move that he had begun.

Andy Griffiths nearly pulled a goal back with a good shot that rebounded off the Blyth cross bar then the same player went close again but fired wide of the target.
Blyth almost made it five shortly before the break, Maguire setting up Neal Hooks but he fired wide.

It was Blyth captain Robbie Dale who added the fifth on 62 mins firing past Brain after a swift approach comprising first touch passes from Maguire and Hooks .
It was thanks to an own goal from Buddle that Rangers pulled one back on 66 mins, the Blyth defender diverting Griffiths’ centre past Misiewicz and Griffiths himself pulled another back on 73 with a well taken goal from the edge of the area.

Fittingly, Blyth had the final word of the afternoon when Wade smashed home Blyth’s sixth in the 89th minute.

Blyth Spartans: 1 Michal Misiewicz, 2 Nathan Buddle, 3 Joe Kendrick, 4 Danny Parker, 5 Arjun Purewal (12 Ryan Cummings 66m), 6 Lewis Horner, 7 Ian Watson (15 Arran Wearmouth 61m), 8 Neal Hooks (14 Damen Mullen 71m), 9 Dan Maguire, 10 Mathew Wade, 11 Robert Dale.
Unused Subs: 17 Conor Grant (only four subs named)

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Alex Melbourne, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Jermaine Johnson, 6 Andrew Griffiths, 7 Matt Burke, 8 Louis Harris, 9 Karl Ashton (12 Sean Kinsella 74m), 10 James McCarthy, 11 Jack Lees (14 Dan Cope 67m).
Unused Subs: 15 Jake Healy, 16 Alex Curtis, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: None
Referee: Mr Shaun Hudson
Att: 315
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 3 STOCKSBRIDGE PARK STEELS 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 4th January 2014


Rangers began life under the reign of Graham Heathcote by recording their first league victory in 9 outings.

Rangers had Karl Ashton in the starting line up for the first time since breaking his ankle in February and it was Ashton who got the first shot on target when he forced Jack Ward to save just before the 15 minute mark.

Gradually Stocksbridge got a foothold on the game and Jon Brain kept out Danny South with his left foot on 20 mins.
South got behind the Rangers defence again a minute later but Brain just managed to keep out the shot after a half block from Jermaine Johnson.

Louis Harris fired wide for Stafford but it was Stocksbridge who broke the deadlock on 37 mins.
Johnson failed to deal with a long clearance from Ward and his error let in Nathan Joynes whose shot from the edge of the area deflected off Darren Bullock and beyond the reach of Brain.
But Rangers hit back straight away. Stocksbridge failed to clear a Tom Morris free kick and Andrew Griffiths headed down for James McCarthy who kept his feet to level the scores on 40 mins.

McCarthy was again involved when Rangers took the lead on 50 mins, his centre picking out the unmarked Ashton who headed home.

Rangers looked to build on their lead and Ward saved at his near post after Jack Lees’ centre deflected off Brett Bowden-Lovell.
Morris and Darren Chadwick also went close for Stafford but the home side still had to rely on the alertness of Brain to prevent Bradley Grayson from restoring parity before sub Janni Lipka fired wide for Steels.

Griffiths missed a chance to wrap the points up for Rangers but it was Dan Cope who finally struck the killer blow, the striker producing an excellent finish from the edge of the area with just two minutes remaining.

Stafford: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Jermaine Johnson, 3 Tom Morris, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Darren Bullock (14 Sean Kinsella 46m), 6 Andrew Griffiths, 7 Oliver Davies, 8 Louis Harris, 9 Karl Ashton, 10 James McCarthy (15 Matt Burke 81m), 11 Jack Lees (12 Dan Cope 67m).
Unused Subs: 16 Phil Mooney, 17 Alex Curtis

Stocksbridge: 1 Jack Ward, 2 Thomas Cadzow, 3 Julian Banton, 4 Nick Swirad (12 Liam Royles 86m), 5 Brett Bowden-Lovell, 6 Connor Dimaid (15 Janni Lipka 72m), 7 Matthew Hamshaw (16 Stephen Hoyle 86m), 8 Alex Callery, 9 Danny South, 10 Nathan Joynes, 11 Bradley Grayson.
Unused Subs: 14 James Knowles, 17 Andy Ring

Cautions: Chadwick, Harris (Rangers), Banton, Bowden-Lovell, South, Joynes (Steels)
Referee: Steven Mycock
Att: 342

Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 RUSHALL OLYMPIC 5
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Wednesday 1st January 2014


A new year but the same old story as Rangers were thumped by a Rushall Olympic side that contained five former Boro players.

The visitors played the first period with a strong wind behind them and they quickly set up camp in the Rangers half.
Jon Brain saved well from Dele Adebola – the ball rolling across the face of goal, just eluding the finishing touch of Christian Dacres.
But, from the resultant corner, Josh Craddock’s downward header bounced up into the roof of the net to give Rushall a 7th minute lead.

A header from James Dance flashed wide, a first time shot from Zak Martin went inches wide of the post and Darren Bullock blocked a shot from Adebola as Rushall pressed.
Their efforts were finally rewarded on 27 mins when Carl Palmer volleyed home after Jimmy Turner’s throw had been helped on by Christian Dacres and Ahmed Obeng.

Adebola made it 3-0 on 38 mins after sidestepping Bullock then was denied a second after Tom Morris made the important tackle.
Rangers’ only attack came a minute before the break when Phil Mooney got behind the Rushall defence but chose to pass rather than shoot and the chance was lost.

There was a little more fight in evidence from Rangers after the interval and they finally pulled a goal back on 57 mins when sub Jack Lees fired in James McCarthy’s centre to finish off a move that he had started.
But Rushall restored their three goal lead on 66 mins through a Gavin Caines penalty after Morris had tripped Palmer.
A static Rangers defence stood and watched as Palmer set up Dacres to tap home Rushall’s fifth on 71 mins.

The only bright point for Rangers came on 88 mins when Karl Ashton continued his comeback from injury with a goal when he headed in a Louis Harris free kick.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Andrew Griffiths, 3 Tom Morris, 4 Jack West (14 Jack Lees 46m), 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Phil Mooney, 9 Dan Cope (16 Matt Burke 78m), 10 Louis Harris, 11 Oliver Davies (12 Karl Ashton 62m).
Unused subs: 15 Sean Kinsella, 18 Alex Curtis

Rushall Olympic: 1 Chris Gemmell, 2 Jimmy Turner, 3 Zak Martin, 4 Gavin Caines (14 Jack Duggan 73m), 5 Wayne Daniel, 6 Josh Craddock, 7 Carl Palmer, 8 Christian Dacres, 9 Dele Adebola (16 Craig Bannister 82m), 10 Ahmed Obeng (17 Stan Mugisha 71m), 11 James Dance.
Unused Subs: 12 Matt Wood, 15 Liam Spink

Cautions: Morris, Johnson (Stafford)
Referee: Matthew Wilkes
Att: 323
 
Report by Chris Elsley

ASHTON UNITED 4 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 28th December 2013


Rangers will be glad to see the end of 2013 as the year finished in familiar fashion.

There were some positive moments but they were too few and too far apart and once Ashton had been gifted a 9th minute lead, there was only going to be one outcome.

Oliver Davies went close to grabbing an early lead for Rangers when he dispossessed Paul Phillips after the Ashton keeper had come out of his area but Davies’ effort from the left wing was off target.

A misplaced pass from Andy Griffiths saw Matty Chadwick get in ahead of Matt Burke and the Ashton midfielder advanced to fire under Jon Brain to put the home side ahead.

Dale Johnson missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 when he missed the ball with the goal at his mercy while Gary Gee failed to take advantage of a poor clearance from Louis Harris as Ashton continued to threaten.
Darren Bullock intercepted a Martin Pilkington shot and saw the ball bounce up and just over the Stafford bar.

The inevitable second goal came on 37 mins when Lee Rick smashed home the rebound after Brain had parried Pilkington’s initial shot. It was the 100th league goal that Rangers had conceded in 2013.

Brain saved from Chadwick at the start of the second half before Johnson added a third on 52 mins, nodding the ball home after a game of head tennis in the Stafford area.

Still not satisfied, Ashton continued to find gaps in the Rangers defence, although they didn’t have to look hard.  Brain saved twice from Pilkington in quick succession and Rick chipped over after an error from Bullock.

Kayde Coppin added Ashton’s fourth on 78 mins when he ran clear of the defence. Although Brain managed to get something on the ball, he was unable to stop it trickling into the net.

Ashton United: 1 Paul Phillips, 2 Chris Lynch, 3 Greg Pearson, 4 Jay Gorton, 5 Jack Higgins, 6 Ash Young, 7 Matty Chadwick, 8 Gary Gee, 9 Martin Pilkington (15 Joe O’Neill 55m), 10 Dale Johnson (16 Cavell Coo 78m), 11 Lee Rick (12 Kayde Coppin 60m).
Unused Subs: 14 Steve Halford, 17 Josh Steadman.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Jake Healy, 3 Tom Morris, 4 Darren Chadwick (14 Jack Lees 27m), 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson (18 Jack West 64m), 7 Oliver Davies, 8 Matt Burke, 9 Dan Cope (15 Sean Kinsella 64m), 10 Andrew Griffiths, 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 12 James McCarthy, 16 Phil Mooney.

Cautions: Pilkington (Ashton)
Referee: Colin Whitaker
Att: 167

Report by Chris Elsley

NANTWICH TOWN 4 STAFFORD RANGERS 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Thursday 26th December 2013


It was another miserable afternoon for Rangers as they were heavily beaten at Nantwich.

Dan Cope failed to take an early chance that fell Rangers’ way who then saw full back Paris Bateman limp out of the action after just six minutes.
Another chance fell to Cope but he struck his shot wide before Jon Brain parried away the first opening at the opposite end as Steve Foster was denied.
But Nantwich opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Mark Jones got in ahead of Matt Burke to find Osebi Abadaki and he sent his first time shot past Brain.

Rangers bounced back inside two minutes as newcomer Andrew Griffiths met Sean Kinsella’s free kick to head past Jack Cudworth.
Two headers from Louis Harris went wide and a shot from Jermaine Johnson was fumbled by Cudworth as Rangers created the better chances for a time but the home team were taking charge by the interval
Harry Clayton fired over and Brain saved from Ben Deegan before a bizarre moment saw Deegan hit the post from close range and Sam Wilson fire wide of an open goal from the rebound.

The inevitable Nantwich second came just two minutes after the break when Deegan showed more desire to get in between Brain and Darren Chadwick and forced the ball home at the second attempt.

Chadwick and Ollie Davies sent efforts over the Nantwich bar but the game was as good as over when Steve Foster added a third for the Dabbers on 67 mins when he ran on to Deegan’s pass to clip the ball over Brain.

Brain kept out an Aaron Burns shot with his legs but Rangers were forced to play out the final 14 mins with just ten men after Darren Bullock was sent off for bringing down Abadaki and this time Brain could not deny Burns who buried his spot kick into the corner of the net.

Chadwick went close to reducing the arrears but it was Nantwich who came closest to adding to the scoring.
Kinsella cleared an Earl Davis header off the line, Burns skied over and Clayton selfishly sent another effort into the night sky with team mates queuing up.
Abadaki hit the post from 18 yards and Brain pushed away another Abadaki shot from a similar position just moments later but, once again, the efforts of the Rangers keeper were all in vain.

There was just one bright moment as Karl Ashton saw his first action of the season, coming on as a 75th minute substitute.

Nantwich Town: 1 Jack Cudworth, 2 Sam Wilson, 3 Andy White, 4 Mark Jones, 5 Alex Frost, 6 Adam Jones (15 Earl Davis 48m), 7 Harry Clayton, 8 Oliver Devenney (16 Andrew Keogh 80m), 9 Ben Deegan (12 Aaron Burns 68m), 10 Steve Foster, 11 Osebi Abadaki.
Unused Subs: 14 Max Harrop, 17 Andrew Pearson

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman (15 Sean Kinsella 7m), 3 Tom Morris, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 Oliver Davies, 8 Matt Burke (12 Karl Ashton 75m), 9 Dan Cope (14 Jack Lees 60m), 10 Andrew Griffiths, 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 16 Phil Mooney, 18 Jack West
 
Cautions: White, Deegan (Nantwich), Johnson (SRFC)
Sent Off: Bullock (SRFC)
Referee: Joe Simpson
Att: 507
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 0 WHITBY TOWN 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 21st December 2013


There was no early Christmas present for Rangers as visitors Whitby took maximum points back to North Yorkshire.

With the wind behind them, the visitors were soon on the attack and Darren Chadwick was forced to make a clearance to deny Lee Mason an early goal.
A good build up from the home side ended with James McCarthy heading wide but for the remainder of the half it was Whitby who looked the most likely to score.

Steven Snaith held off Darren Bullock to latch on to a long clearance from Shane Bland but Bullock recovered well to block the shot. Graham Armstrong then sent a shot across the face of the Stafford goal.

It was tall defender Richard Pell who opened the scoring on 17 mins when he rose to head home Mason’s corner.
Armstrong came closest to adding to Whitby’s lead with a clipped shot which went a foot or so over before he pulled another effort across the face of goal.

Hopes of a Rangers’ come back were dashed when Whitby went 2-0 up within two minutes of the start of the second half. Jon Brain did well to parry a shot from Armstrong but the ball rolled into the path of Shane Henry who made no mistake.

Rangers gradually mounted more of a threat but never really tested Bland. Jack Lees went close to pulling one back with a shot that went just the wrong side of the post while Chadwick’s back post header was straight at the Whitby keeper.
Henry fired across the face of the Stafford goal while Lee Bullock’s header skimmed off the top of the cross bar as Whitby went in search of a third. Their best chance fell to sub David McTiernan but Brain saved well.
It wasn’t until five minutes from the end that Bland was finally called into serious action as he managed to keep out a shot from Lees.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman, 3 Tom Morris, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Oliver Davies, 7 James McCarthy (14 Andrew Griffiths 77m), 8 Matt Burke, 9 Dan Cope (12 Jake Healy 72m), 10 Sean Kinsella (16 Phil Mooney 52m), 11 Jack Lees.
Unused Subs: 15 Jack West, 18 Alex Curtis

Whitby Town: 1 Shane Bland, 2 Ibrahim Hassam, 3 Mark Robinson, 4 Lee Bullock, 5 Richard Pell, 6 Darren Williams (16 Tom Portas 28m), 7 Shane Henry (14 David McTiernan 80m), 8 Lee Mason, 9 Graeme Armstrong, 10 Steven Snaith (15 Craig Farrell 67m), 11 Adam Rundle.
Unused Subs: 12 Kevin Burgess, 17 David Campbell

Cautions: Robinson, Henry, Mason (Whitby)
Referee: Geoff Law
Att: 313
 
Report by Chris Elsley

BARWELL 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 14th December 2013


Dan Cope missed a first half penalty as Rangers’ troubles continued with defeat at Barwell.

Rangers played down the slope in the opening 45 mins but failed to take advantage as too many passes were carried away by the strong wind.
A couple of chances came and went for Rangers as Darren Bullock toe poked a shot straight to Liam Castle and Tom Morris fired wired from around 20 yards.

Instead, it was Barwell who found the way through on 18 mins when Tyrone Kirk curled his shot beyond the reach of Jon Brain after Danny Spencer’s cross wasn’t cleared.

Rangers were gifted a great chance to bring the scores level on the half hour when Barwell right back Jack Edwards was harshly penalised for hand ball but Castle dived to his right to block Cope’s spot kick.
It needed the combined efforts of Brain and Darren Bullock to stop Spencer from making it 2-0 before Spencer blazed another effort high over the bar.

Early second half action saw play quickly switch from end to end. Bullock threw himself in front of a shot from Spencer moments before Cope’s shot was blocked by Castle.
Barwell broke quickly with Spencer chipping over the Stafford bar then Kieron Brehorn denied Darren Chadwick a shot on the Barwell goal.
But a miscued clearance from Bullock on 51 mins conceded possession to Luke Barlone wide on the Rangers left. Barlone advanced and eased past Morris before firing inside the far post to double Barwell’s advantage.

Barlone wasted a chance to add to the lead but Rangers rarely looked like getting back into the game. Their best effort came in the final minutes when sub Jack Lees met an Ollie Davies cross on the half volley but he was unable to control his shot and the ball skewed high and wide.
 
Barwell: 1 Liam Castle, 2 Jack Edwards, 3 Connor Gudger, 4 Guy Hadland, 5 Jamie Hood, 6 Nigel Julien, 7 Kieron Brehorn, 8 Tom Weale (15 Shane Byrne 69m), 9 Luke Barlone, 10 Tyrone Kirk (14 Scott Lower 86m), 11 Danny Spencer (12 Scott Hadland 82m).
Unused Subs:  16 Eliot Putman, 17 Richard Lavery

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman, 3 Tom Morris, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Tom Marshall, 6 Darren Bullock, 7 James McCarthy (12 Oliver Davies 62m), 8 Matt Burke (14 Jack Lees 58m), 9 Dan Cope, 10 Sean Kinsella (16 Phil Mooney 73m), 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 15 Nathan Rooney, 18 Jack West

Cautions:
None
Referee: Mark Billingham
Att: 182
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 AFC FYLDE 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 7th December 2013

Rangers gave an improved performance to pick up a point against high flying Fylde but it could, and should, have been all three as they led by two goals with just eight minutes of normal time remaining.

Fylde missed a host of chances themselves with Matt Blinkhorn the chief culprit, his first miss coming on 6 mins when he fired wide with just Jon Brain to beat.
Rangers then took an 11th minute lead when Louis Harris stole in to tap home James McCarthy’s left wing cross.

A breakdown in communication in the Rangers defence looked set to gift Fylde an immediate leveller but Brain came to the rescue to block Blinkhorn’s shot.
Luke Denson fired wide while Harry Winter and Blinkhorn both had shots blocked as Fylde continued to threaten but it was Rangers who added to the score, a minute into added time at the end of the first half, when Harris took advantage of some sloppy defending to fire past Ben Hinchliffe.

Fylde made a couple of substitutions at half time and although Marcus Carver steered a free header over the Rangers bar, the expected onslaught failed to materialise.
Rangers saw unconverted chances fall for Sean Kinsella and Nathan Rooney before Blinkhorn wasted another great chance for the visitors when he chose to pass instead of taking the shot.

A minute after a Kinsella free kick went just a foot over, Fylde were once more pressing the Rangers goal and Denson’s well struck shot at the back post looked to be kept out by team mate Carver.
When a good penalty claim from Fylde was waved away, you sensed it might be Rangers’ day but the visitors had other ideas and finally pulled one back on 82 mins through Jack Dorney after Brain had only be able to parry Blinkhorn’s drive.

A clearance from Tom Marshall rebounded off Carver and bobbled over Brain’s dive before hitting the outside of the post. Another scramble saw two shots from Bradley Barnes blocked before Denson’s effort was deflected wide.

Rangers had a great chance to secure the win when a poor back pass put Kinsella away. Lacking the legs, Kinsella tried to set up Jack Lees and Denson was able to get back to block the way.
Rangers conceded possession deep inside the Fylde half, the visitors were able to break away for one last time and Denson fired home the equaliser, five minutes into added time.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman, 3 Tom Morris, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Tom Marshall, 6 Nathan Rooney, 7 James McCarthy (14 Jack Lees 79m), 8 Matthew Burke, 9 Dan Cope (12 Oliver Davies 82m), 10 Sean Kinsella (16 Philip Mooney 90+1m), 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 15 Jake Healy 18 Jack West

Fylde: 1 Ben Hinchliffe, 2 Tom Eckersley, 3 Adam Sumner, 4 Matt Hughes (17 Aaron Fleming 46m), 5 Andy Russell, 6 Caspar Hughes (14 Jack Dorney 46m), 7 Bradley Barnes, 8 Harry Winter (12 Joe Booth 79m), 9 Matt Blinkhorn, 10 Marcus Carver, 11 Luke Denson.
Unused Subs: 15 Mark Winslade, 16 Jake Gregory

Cautions: Chadwick, Mooney (Stafford), Eckersley, Winter, Denson (Fylde)
Referee: Nigel Smith
Att: 311
 
Report by Chris Elsley

LOUGHBOROUGH DYNAMO 4 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
Doodson Sport Cup 2nd Round - Tuesday 3rd December 2013


Rangers’ season of misery continued with an embarrassing defeat away to Division 1 South side Loughborough Dynamo.

The home side took the lead inside two minutes when Jake Betts fired home from close range following a scramble in the Rangers area.
Loughborough’s Luke Smithson was given the freedom of the right wing and when the ball came out to him in the 10th minute, he doubled the lead with a cross-shot which went in off the far post.
A header from Lee Morris flashed wide and Jon Brain was forced to save from Rob Norris as the home side continued to threaten. Finally Rangers showed some threat but Ross Whalin saved with his feet when James McCarthy just had the keeper to beat.

Both sides were guilty of missed chances. Whalin saved from Sean Kinsella and Darren Chadwick headed wide for Stafford while Brain saved from Morris at the other end.
It was Loughborough who came closest to adding to the first half score when Smithson struck the Rangers bar with a good drive.

Rangers began the second half in a more positive frame of mind and pulled a goal back on 47 mins through Paris Bateman.
Almost immediately, an error from Chadwick nearly let in Morris to restore the two goal margin but Brain saved brilliantly.

It was a swift break from the home side that saw Norris put Smithson in for his second of the night on 56 mins then Kris Nurse easily held off Bateman to curl home Loughborough’s fourth with 20 mins remaining.

Rangers did press in the final stages but lacked the finishing touch needed.
Dan Cope did pull another back for the Boro on 82 mins when he headed home James McCarthy’s corner but it was too little too late as Rangers suffered their third successive defeat.
 
Loughborough Dynamo: 1 Ross Whalin, 2 Grant Ryder, 3 Dean Gent, 4 Lee Attenborough (12 Martin Bowles 41m), 5 Jake Betts, 6 Mitch Williams, 7 Luke Smithson, 8 Sam Wood (16 Danny Blair 75m), 9 Kris Nurse, 10 Lee Morris (14 Ryan Tinsley 75m), 11 Rob Norris.
Unused Subs: 15 Connor Hughes, 17 Alex Pycock

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman, 3 Darren Chadwick, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Oliver Davies, 6 Nathan Rooney, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Matthew Burke (15 Jake Healy 68m), 9 Kaiyne Woolery, 10 Sean Kinsella (16 Dan Cope 57m), 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 12 Darren Bullock, 14 Jack Lees, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: Ryder, Betts (Loughborough), Davies, Burke (Stafford)
Referee: Richard Price
Att: 61

Report by Chris Elsley

KING’S LYNN TOWN 5 STAFFORD RANGERS 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 30th November 2013


Rangers suffered another heavy defeat, conceding five goals on their travels for the fourth time this season.

Nathan Rooney was absent after breaking down en route to the coach and Rangers suffered a further blow when Darren Bullock limped off after just 9 minutes.
The writing was already on the wall as the opening play saw one way traffic in favour of King’s Lynn but Rangers were still on level terms as Jake Jones fired wide inside the first five minutes.

Jon Brain had to scramble to his left to push away a free kick from Marc Goodfellow before Rangers stunned the home side by taking the lead on 21 mins when a free kick from Sean Kinsella glanced into his own net off the head of George Thomson.
The lead was to last just one minute. Goodfellow’s low centre found Rob Duffy via a deflection off Dan Quigley and he gave Brain no chance.

Thomson went close for the Linnets from 20 yards and the home side nearly took a lead into the half time break when Jones hit the post and Brain saved from Goodfellow’s follow up.

The Rangers keeper saved again from Goodfellow early in the second half but from the resultant corner, Ryan Fryatt headed home to put King’s Lynn in front on 50 mins.
Kinsella shot just wide for Rangers before Harris wasted a great chance to level the scores when he stopped his run to claim a penalty that was never going to be given with just the keeper to beat.

Thomson added to King’s Lynn’s lead from a disputed free kick on 72 mins and Andy Hall set up Ryan Clarke to make it 4-1 on 81 mins.
Hall completed the scoring two minutes into added time after Jack McGovern’s shot had deflected into his path.            

King’s Lynn Town: 1 Alex Street, 2 Ryan Clarke, 3 Jordan Yong, 4 Jason Lee, 5 Ryan Fryatt, 6 George Thomson, 7 Andy Hall, 8 Dan Quigley (16 Ewan Clarke 85m), 9 Robert Duffy (12 Jack McGovern 79m), 10 Jake Jones, 11 Marc Goodfellow (14 Massiah McDonald 65m).
Unused Subs: 15 Sam Mulready, 17 Chris Ward.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman, 3 Darren Chadwick, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Darren Bullock (15 Oliver Davies 9m), 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Matt Burke, 9 Kaiyne Woolery, 10 Sean Kinsella 14 Jack Lees 73m), 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 12 Jake Healy, 17 Adam Alcock (only four subs named)

Cautions: Burke (Stafford)
Referee: Dan Robathan
Att: 511
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 0 SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN 3
Walsall Senior Cup 2nd Round - Tuesday 26th November 2013

 
Rangers’ defence of the Walsall Senior Cup was ended with a dismal performance against Sutton Coldfield Town.

Sutton took an early advantage going ahead on 14 mins through Joel Kettle whose glancing header from Luke Chapman’s corner beat Adam Alcock via the inside of the far post.

Charlie Anagho-Ntamark dragged a shot across the face of the Boro goal before Sutton extended their lead on 25 mins.
Craig Milligan started the move with a ball over the top of the Rangers defence that sent Anagho-Ntamark clear and he in turn squared the ball across the Rangers area to where Milligan had advanced and he fired past Alcock.

Milligan almost caught Alcock out with a lob from the edge of the centre circle but the retreating Stafford keeper watched the ball just clear his cross bar.
The closest Rangers came to a first half goal came on 38 mins when Jack Lees flicked on a Louis Harris corner but Milligan cleared off the line.

Rangers showed a little more purpose after the break but continued to struggle to break down the Sutton defence.
A Louis Harris free kick did force a save from Lewis Gwilliams while the Sutton keeper managed to keep out a deflected shot from Lees.

The closing moments saw Darren Bullock’s header skim the top of the Sutton bar but it would have been small consolation and with the final kick of the game, Gary Hay was allowed to go unchallenged to net an embarrassing third for Sutton.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Jason Beardsley (14 Jermaine Johnson 50m), 3 Tom Morris, 4 Darren Chadwick, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Paris Bateman, 7 Jake Healy, 8 Matthew Burke (15 Sean Kinsella 67m), 9 Jack Lees, 10 Nathan Rooney (12 Louis Harris 22m), 11 Oliver Davies.
Unused Subs: 17 Jon Brain. Only 4 subs named.

Sutton Coldfield Town: 1 Lewis Gwilliams, 2 Scott Lycett, 3 Mathew Jackson, 4 Lee Parsons, 5 Joel Kettle, 6 Philip Male, 7 Craig Milligan, 8 Jake Mulrell, 9 Nathan Thompson (14 Lewis Hayden 81m), 10 Charlie Anagho-Ntamark (12 Gary Hay 63m), 11 Luke Chapman.
Unused Subs: 15 Stuart McNaught, 16 Andy Ling, 17 Lee Evans.

Cautions: Davies (Stafford), Lycett, Kettle (Sutton Coldfield)
Referee: Paul Stonier
Att: 104
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 1 BUXTON 1
EVO STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 23rd November 2013


A last minute equaliser from Kaiyne Woolery saw ten man Rangers extend their unbeaten run to four games.

Rangers were without Darren Bullock leaving Jon Brain with the captain’s armband and the Boro keeper put in a captain’s performance to keep Buxton at bay.
The visitors had the better of a disappointing first half and Brain had to make a couple of early saves to keep out Craig King and Matt Thornhill. 

Brain saved again, diving to his right to push away Carlos Logan’s free kick while Rangers’ best effort came from Woolery who forced a save from Andy Warrington moments before the interval.

It was a similar story in the second half as Brain saved well from Logan then denied sub Leon Osborne who had raced clear of the Stafford back line.
Buxton continued to press and Grant Black’s shot was cleared off the line by Nathan Rooney after an initial block by Brain while Tim Ryan’s free kick deflected wide off the Rangers’ wall.

At the other end, Rooney missed a great chance to put Rangers in front when he fired wide from around 12 yards out at the end of the best move of the game.
Rangers did find the back of the net through a well struck volley from Louis Harris but the midfielder was flagged offside and it was Buxton who netted the first legitimate goal of the afternoon on 82 mins when Mark Reed headed in Grant’s centre after Matt Burke had failed to clear his lines.

Rangers received a further blow a minute later when Jermaine Johnson was sent off for a rash challenge on Reed, but they salvaged a point when Woolery took his chance a minute into added time after Warrington could only parry a shot from Jack Lees.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Nathan Rooney (15 Jake Healy 87m), 3 Darren Chadwick, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Oliver Davies, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Matt Burke, 9 Kaiyne Woolery, 10 Sean Kinsella (14 Jack Lees 75m), 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 12 Jason Beardsley, 17 Adam Alcock (only four subs named)

Buxton: 1 Andy Warrington, 2 Grant Black, 3 Jamie Green, 4 Steve Istead (12 Spencer Harris 60m), 5 Ash Palmer, 6 Tim Ryan, 7 Matt Thornhill, 8 Neil Stevens, 9 Lee Morris (15 Leon Osborne 60m), 10 Carlos Logan (14 Mark Reed 55m), 11 Craig King.
Unused Subs: 16 Charlie Johnson, 17 Derek Niven

Cautions: Kinsella, Chadwick, Burke (Stafford), Palmer (Buxton)
Sent Off: Johnson (Stafford)
Referee: Robbie Dadley
Att: 363

Report by Chris Elsley

DROYLSDEN 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 3
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 19th November 2013


They made hard work of it but Rangers finally recorded their first away victory of the season, defeating winless Droylsden at a chilly Butcher’s Arms.

Rangers had the better of the early exchanges but were unconvincing in the final third as shots from Joe Guest and Kaiyne Woolery failed to trouble Sam Andrew in the home goal.

Darren Bullock was a little fortunate to escape with a yellow for pulling back Domaine Rouse as Rangers played themselves into trouble but they looked to have settled their nerves when Sean Kinsella latched onto Guest’s through ball to fire home on 26 mins.

Jamie Tandy and Sam Freakes both went close to an equaliser before Steven Moore’s shot flashed across the face of the Stafford goal.

But Rangers did not heed the warning and a minute into added time, Tandy’s centre from the left glanced in off the head of Bullock to send the sides in all square at the break.
Standards didn’t show much improvement after the turn around although Andrew had to save well after Nathan Rooney’s shot took a deflection.

Darren Chadwick looked to have restored Rangers’ lead with a header from Kinsella’s corner but the assistant ruled that the ball had not crossed the line.

It was Woolery who finally found the back of the net on 67 mins after Rooney’s shot was deflected into his path.

Chadwick and Bullock combined well to block Carlos Edmondson after the Droylsden forward threatened to level the scores soon after while Stafford sub Jack Lees wasted a great opportunity to put some daylight between the two sides when he rushed his shot following an error from the Bloods’ keeper.

It was Matt Burke who gave Rangers some breathing space with a well taken goal on 84 mins, curling the ball beyond the reach of Andrew but the home side set up a nervous finish when Freakes fired into the top corner with a minute remaining.

Rangers held on to pick up a welcome three point haul but they will need to perform better than this if they are to climb out of the bottom four.

Droylsden: 1 Sam Andrew, 2 Jamie Tandy, 3 Ben Shawcross (12 Matt Knowles 73m), 4 Mark Eyres, 5 Alex Mortimer, 6 Gareth Thomas, 7 Sam Freakes, 8 Carlos R Edmondson (16 Ricardo Brando 82m), 9 Steven Moore, 10 Domaine Rouse, 11 Ashley Kelly (15 James Horan 82m).
Unused Subs: 14 Ben McNamara, 17 Dan McLoughlin

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Nathan Rooney, 3 Darren Chadwick, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Darren Bullock 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy (15 Oliver Davies 85m), 8 Matt Burke, 9 Kaiyne Woolery (14 Jack Lees 71m), 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Joe Guest.
Unused Subs: 12 Jason Beardsley, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: Mortimer, Thomas, Kelly (Droylsden) Morris, Bullock, Johnson (Stafford)
Referee: Ian Johnston
Attendance: 115

Report by Chris Elsley

ILKESTON 0 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 16th November 2013


Rangers picked up their first away point of the season with a goalless draw at Ilkeston.

Both sides had chances to win it with Ilkeston coming closest when Lejaun Simmons and Jason Stokes both hit the bar with successive shots but Rangers will also look back on the chance that fell to Kaiyne Woolery at the start of the second half.

The opening half was not a great spectacle. Jon Brain saved with his legs early on to keep out Simmons but that was the only real save either keeper had to make.
Rangers’ best chances fell to Matty Burke whose 20 yard effort was blocked amidst unsuccessful penalty appeals and Tom Morris who was unable to keep his header on target at the end of the half.

The second half made better viewing and James McCarthy sent Woolery clear but keeper Lloyd Allinson won the one on one.
Moments later, Louis Harris had a header blocked on the line and then sent in a 25 yarder that Allinson grabbed at the second attempt.
It was Simmons who looked the most threatening for the home side but he wasted two good chances in sixty seconds as Ilkeston pressed.

Simmons then looked to have opened the scoring with a shot that curled over Brain but the ball came back off the bar. Ilkeston sub Jason Stokes followed up but smashed the rebound against the bar.
Simmons missed out again when Brain saved but it still needed a good clearance from Tom Morris to avert the danger and secure the much welcomed point.

Ilkeston: 1 Lloyd Allinson, 2 Jamie Anton, 3 Ellis Storey, 4 James Reid, 5 Joe Maguire, 6 Matt Baker, 7 Kane Richards (17 Jason Stokes 66m), 8 Danny Gordon (15 Callum Chettle 82m), 9 Aaron Hooton, 10 Lejaun Simmons (16 Antwan Russell 89m), 11 Ryan Williams.
Unused Subs: Akil Wright, 14 Che Adams.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Jason Beardsley (16 Joe Guest 69m), 3 Darren Chadwick, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 Kaiyne Woolery, 8 Matthew Burke, 9 James McCarthy (14 Dan Cope 76m), 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 12 Jack Lees, 15 Scott James, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: None
Referee: Christopher Ward
Att: 553
 
Report by Chris Elsley

ROMULUS 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 2 (Rangers win 4-3 on penalties)
DOODSON Sport Cup 1st Round - Monday 11th November 2013


Rangers had to come through a penalty shoot out to progress to the second round of the Doodson Sports Cup at the expense of Romulus on the 4G artificial pitch at Sutton Coldfield.

Rangers had the best of the early chances and should have gone ahead inside the first minute but Tom Morris couldn’t keep his header on target from Sean Kinsella’s corner.

It was somewhat against the run of play that Romulus took a 15th minute lead but it was a strike worthy of a goal at any level.
Rangers conceded possession on their left flank and Daniel Dubidat wasted no time in pumping the ball forward towards Danico Johnson. The Romulus front man got behind Paris Bateman to send a shot flying past Boro keeper Jon Brain.
But Rangers were soon back on level terms as Sean Kinsella’s in-swinging free kick on 21 mins picked out Darren Bullock at the back post to head home.

Dubidat missed three chances to restore the home side’s lead in an 8 minute spell. Bullock cleared the danger after Brain had fumbled Dubidat’s initial shot before Brain saved with his legs after the Romulus wide man had got behind Ollie Davies. Dubidat then looked certain to score when he got behind Davies once more to latch on to a good ball from Danico Johnson only for his shot to skim the outside of the far post.
At the other end, a through ball from Jermaine Johnson put Kaiyne Woolery in for Rangers but Lewis Exall saved well with his legs.

Rangers took the lead three minutes into added time at the end of the first half. Kinsella’s corner was laid back by Morris and Matt Burke picked his spot to fire past Exall.

Romulus began the second half with right back Robert Evans replacing Exall in goal after the home keeper had struggled his way through the opening 45 mins.
But it was Boro’s Brain who was the first keeper called in to action when he saved from former Rangers forward Luke Keen after James McCarthy had given the ball away.

Woolery showed his skills when beating four men to burst into the Romulus area but the final shot was lacking the same quality.
Stand in keeper Evans made a couple of decent saves to keep out Dan Cope and Morris but wasn’t really tested.

Both sides missed great chances in the final five minutes as Lee sliced wide with just Brain to beat while Cope missed the target from inside the 6 yard box.
But Romulus produced a final twist three minutes into added time when Danico Johnson fired home from 18 yards to send the tie into penalties.

Evans nearly proved to be the Romulus hero when he saved Jack Lees’ penalty but the quartet of Burke, Morris, Guest and Cope made no mistake and, together with two saves from Brain, saw Rangers through 4-3.

Romulus: 1 Lewis Exall (14 Daniel O’Callaghan 46m), 2 Robert Evans, 3 Scott Meer, 4 Cameron Lee, 5 Liam Francis, 6 Gregory Downes, 7 Daniel Dubidat (12 Lee Smith 73m), 8 Blake Thompson, 9 Luke Keen, 10 Danico Johnson, 11 Tyron Amory (16 Marcus Brown 70m).
Unused Subs: 15 Thomas Turton, 17 Craig Marshall

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson (15 James McCarthy 62m), 7 Kaiyne Woolery, 8 Matthew Burke, 9 Dan Cope, 10 Sean Kinsella (16 Joe Guest 65m), 11 Louis Harris (14 Jack Lees 73m).
Unused Subs: 12 Scott James, 18 Jason Beardsley

Cautions: Johnson (Stafford) Meer, Keen (Romulus)
Referee: Dimitru-Ravel Chesiaua
Att: 60
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 1 CHORLEY 3
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 9th November 2013


Struggling Rangers put on another positive but ultimately fruitless display as Chorley moved to the top of the table.

The opening quarter was evenly contested but Rangers were unable to pose a threat to the Chorley goal.
The visitors, on the other hand, found Jon Brain in good form once more as the Rangers keeper kept out Josh Hine and James Dean.
But it was those two Chorley players who combined in the lead up to Chorley’s opening goal on 26 mins when a good pass from Dean sent Hine clear only for the Chorley wide man to be felled by Brain.
Brain was fortunate to only receive a yellow card but Hine was unconcerned as he fired home the penalty.

Chorley should have gone two up when Hine hit the post from 20 yards Adam Roscoe’s rebound was deflected wide while Brain saved again from Hine shortly before the interval.

Rangers were caught napping inside the first few seconds after the resumption as Hine crossed to the back post and Dean fired home Chorley’s second.
Minutes later, Brain saved superbly to deny Darren Stephenson from 10 yards.
Sean Kinsella pulled a goal back on 51 mins with a deflected shot past Sam Ashton after impressive play from Jermaine Johnson at the start of the move, but Chorley looked the most likely to find the next goal as Hine fired a low centre which rolled along the Rangers goal line and Stephenson was unable to convert at the back post.
But Chorley captain Andy Teague was on hand to force the ball home on the hour after Rangers had failed to clear a Kieran Walmsley corner.

Brain made another good save to keep out Dean before Walmsley curled a free kick wide of the mark.
Stafford sub James McCarthy forced a flying save from Ashton after his shot took a deflection off Teague while Brain remained alert to the end, tipping over a well struck shot from Jake Cottrell.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Paris Bateman, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 Kaiyne Woolery, 8 Matthew Burke, 9 Jack Lees (14 Dan Cope 77m), 10 Sean Kinsella (15 James McCarthy 70m), 11 Louis Harris (16 Joe Guest 82m).
Unused Subs: 12 Scott James, 18 Dominic Allen

Chorley: 1 Samuel Ashton, 2 Kieran Walmsley, 3 Adam Mather, 4 Andrew Teague, 5 Keil O’Brien, 6 Adam Roscoe (15 Dale Whitham 66m), 7 Josh Hine, 8 Paul Woolcott, 9 James Dean, 10 Darren Stephenson (16 Paul Jarvis 63m), 11 Jake Cottrell.
Unused Subs: 12 Mark Ross, 14 Aaron Grundy, 18 Simon Wiles

Cautions: Brain, Bateman (Stafford)
Referee: Matt Wilkes
Att: 483
 
Report by Chris Elsley

MARINE 5 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 5th November 2013


Rangers conceded five goals for the third successive away game as they were beaten at Marine.

But, despite the final scoreline, there were some bright points as the Boro played positively and their efforts were rewarded with a couple of goals.
Rangers were blown away with a three goal blast in just four first half minutes.
But the Boro had made a bright start and should have taken the lead when Sean Kinsella played Jack Lees through but Callum Williams saved with his legs.
A minute later, it was the turn of Rangers’ keeper Jon Brain to use his legs as he kept out a shot from Jamie Rainford.

It was legs again as Brain saved from Will Jones before Marine opened the scoring with a 10th min penalty from Andy Fowler after Scott James had fouled Rainford.
A minute later, Ollie Davies failed to cut out a ball from Fowler, letting in Michael Monaghan to score.

Fowler netted his second of the evening on 15 mins when the ball was given away in midfield and Lee Parle sent Fowler away to fire past Brain.
Kaiyne Woolery looked like creating something every time he had the ball but any hopes Rangers had of a comeback went up in the Bonfire Night smoke when Rainford set up Fowler to complete his hat trick on 31 mins.

Andy Mutch immediately replaced James with Paris Bateman and it was the substitute’s ball to Lees that led to Woolery pulling a goal back, two minutes into first half added time, with a chance that he couldn’t miss.
Rangers remained positive after the break but struggled to find the end product, notably when Woolery’s low drive was blocked and Lees couldn’t convert the loose ball.

It was a similar story for Marine as Rainford placed his shot the wrong side of the post when well placed.
Williams saved from Woolery before Marine added their fifth on 73mins, courtesy of a free kick from Louis Corrigan, although Rangers will feel aggrieved at the kick being awarded.
But Rangers, to their credit kept pushing and Sean Kinsella scored a second on 82 mins after Alex Steadman’s shot was blocked.

Rainford missed a great chance to score a sixth for Marine while Dan Cope forced a save from Williams.
The Rangers sub then completed a miserable night when he was sent off in stoppage time for a challenge on Shaun Dowling.
 
Marine: 1 Callum Williams, 2 Shaun Dowling, 3 Louis Corrigan, 4 Tony Rendell (14 Josh Sumner 76m), 5 John Shaw (17 Sam Barnes 46m), 6 Lee Parle, 7 Andy Fowler (12 Michael Ordish 65m), 8 Michael Monaghan, 9 Will Jones, 10 Jamie Rainford, 11 Ian Latham.
Unused Subs: 15 Matty Devine, 16 Robbie Lawton.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Scott James (18 Paris Bateman 33m), 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 Kaiyne Woolery, 8 Matthew Burke (16 Alex Steadman 71m), 9 Jack Lees (14 Dan Cope 76m), 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Louis Harris.
Unused Subs: 12 Joe Guest, 15 James McCarthy.

Cautions: Rainford (Marine)
Sent Off: Cope (Stafford)
Referee: Mark Astley
Attendance: 258
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 0 SKELMERSDALE UNITED 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 2nd November 2013


Two goals inside the opening 10 minutes were enough to condemn Rangers to their twelfth defeat of the season at a windy Marston Road.

But Rangers, with three new faces in their starting line up, nearly made the ideal start when one of the newcomers, Scott James found Jack Lees in space but Skem keeper Ryan McMahon was equal to his shot.
James McCarthy scooped a shot wide soon after, but Skem took the lead on 4 mins when Shaun Tuck’s shot took a deflection off Darren Bullock and looped over the stranded Jon Brain.
Four minutes later and Tuck netted his, and Skem’s second, with a familiar ease. Peter Wylie and Kevin Leadbetter exchanged passes on the right and the former drilled in a low centre to the unmarked Tuck whose shot squirmed under the body of Brain.

Rangers went close with a Sean Kinsella free kick and another first time shot from the recalled midfielder skewed off wide of the target.
Brain saved well from Leadbetter but both sides struggled to cope with the conditions as the wind strengthened.

But the wind was no factor as Tuck wasted a gilt edged opportunity to complete his hat trick a couple of minutes before the interval when he failed to connect with Adam Morning’s centre with the goal at his mercy.
Tuck missed out again at the start of the second half when Brain saved after Tom Ince had threaded the ball through Darren Bullock.

But Rangers began to show increased character and James McCarthy forced a finger tip save from McMahon.
Again Skem threatened and once more Brain denied Tuck while Leadbetter’s 20 yarder skimmed the bar.

Rangers’ best efforts came from Kinsella who headed wide following McCarthy’s corner and saw McMahon save from a 20 yard drive.
Kinsella tried his luck from further out but again McMahon saved before Stafford sub Louis Harris had a volley blocked on the line.
Tuck looked set to wrap up his hat trick in the final seconds but dragged his shot wide with just Brain to beat but the Skem striker had already done the damage with his two goal strike at the start of the game.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Scott James, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Tom Morris, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 Kaiyne Woolery (16 Dan Cope 61m), 8 Matthew Burke (15 Louis Harris 64m), 9 Jack Lees, 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 James McCarthy (12 Alex Steadman 80m).
Unused Subs: 14 Michael Carr, 18 Paris Bateman

Skelmersdale United: 1 Ryan McMahon, 2 Peter Wylie, 3 Shaun Holden, 4 Tom Hardwick, 5 Alan Burton, 6 Ashley Dunn, 7 Adam Morning, 8 Martyn Jackson, 9 Shaun Tuck, 10 Kevin Leadbetter, 11 Tom Ince (12 Porya Ahmadi 85m).
Unused Subs: 14 Joe Holt, 15 Daniel Flood, 16 Jordan Slater, 17 Zac Hibbert

Cautions: Johnson (Stafford)
Referee: Nicholas Hopson
Att: 366

Report by Chris Elsley

WITTON ALBION 5 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 26th October 2013


Rangers put on another poor showing to slump to a heavy defeat at Witton Albion.

The writing was on the wall inside three minutes as Dave Walker fed Dan Andrews who cleverly waited for his moment before clipping the ball past Jon Brain.
A quickly taken free kick from Andrews was tipped over by Brain but, from the resultant corner, Walker side footed home to double Witton’s lead on 10 mins.
The game was more or less over when Witton helped themselves with a third on 16 mins. A neat back heal from Walker picked out Neville Thompson who beat Brain via the post.

Walker made it 4-0 on 19 mins when he was afforded space to bring down a deflected shot from Michael Powell.
Joe Guest did produce a decent effort on target for Rangers which nearly deceived Witton keeper Matthew Cooper but in the scramble that followed, Jon Sheldon blazed over the bar.

But Rangers were still vulnerable and stood watching as Andrews struck a low drive against the post. Brain then saved from Thompson before a 25 yarder from Andrews just cleared the bar.

Dan Cope sent a rising left footer over in the first effort after the interval while Joshua Hancock’s drive at the other end had a similar end result.
Witton extended their lead on 67 mins when Ollie Davies misjudged a long kick from Cooper, allowing Andrews in to square gift Thompson his second of the afternoon.

Half time sub Sean Kinsella tried his luck with a couple of long range efforts for Rangers but it was Brain who was kept busiest of the two keepers and his late finger tip save denied Thompson his hat trick in the final few minutes.

Witton Albion: 1 Matthew Cooper, 2 Michael Powell (15 Rob Bodie 75m), 3 Alistair Brown, 4 Ben Harrison, 5 Marc Joseph, 6 Jon Breeze, 7 Joshua Hancock (16 Mike Moseley 68m), 8 Anthony Sheehan, 9 Dave Walker (12 Jon Dawson 53m), 10 Neville Thompson, 11 Daniel Andrews.
Unused Subs: 14 Matthew Purcell, 17 Harry Ashworth

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Jermaine Johnson, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Matthew Burke (18 Sean Kinsella 46m), 7 Alex Steadman (14 Jack Lees 46m), 8 Joe Guest, 9 Dan Cope, 10 Paris Bateman, 11 Jon Sheldon (16 James McCarthy 64m).
Unused Subs: 12 Edward Toner, 15 Sam Bell

Cautions: Cope, Johnson (Rangers) Walker, Powell (Witton)
Referee: Joe Simpson
Attendance: 379
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 STAMFORD 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 22nd October 2013


Substitute Jack Lees inspired Rangers to a crucial victory over fellow strugglers Stamford.

Rangers had looked to be slipping to their fifth consecutive defeat when Lees came off the bench with 19 mins remaining but, ten minutes later, Rangers were in front and on their way to victory.

Overall the game lacked quality and energy and was befitting of two sides at the wrong end of the table. Play was littered with mistakes the biggest of which told the story of the first half.
Just before the half hour, Rangers should have gone ahead but Danny Quinn blazed his shot out of the ground when a goal seemed certain.
Then an under hit back pass from Ollie Davies, five minutes before the break, let in Stamford’s Jordan Smith to put the visitors ahead.

Stamford had gone close to the lead inside the first minute but Davies then Jon Brain kept out two efforts from Richard Wesley.
Rangers’ best effort came from Dan Cope whose 20 yard curler was heading for the top corner until Alex Lynch tipped it away.

Stamford looked the most threatening after the break and Brain was again the saviour, keeping out Wesley following a neat Stamford approach.
Rangers were firing blanks up front and it needed a slice of luck to bring them back into the game.
On 76 mins, Lees hit an in-swinging cross from the left and Richard Jones’ attempt to intercept saw him divert the ball past his own keeper.
Ashley Robinson wasted a great chance to restore Stamford’s lead a minute later but with Lees closing down Stamford at every opportunity, it was Rangers who suddenly had the spark to their game.

It was fitting that Lees struck the winner on 81 mins but credit should go to Jon Sheldon whose mazy run created the opportunity for Lees to fire home from the edge of the area.
Cope went close with a couple of late efforts while Brain had to make a late save from Smith to preserve Rangers’ lead and see the Boro record only their second league victory of the season.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Paris Bateman, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy (16 Alex Steadman 68m), 8 Jon Sheldon, 9 Danny Quinn (14 Jack Lees 71m), 10 Edward Toner (15 Joe Guest 68m), 11 Dan Cope.
Unused Subs: 12 Sam Bell, 18 Sean Kinsella

Stamford:
1 Alex Lynch, 2 Luke Blakely (15 David Staff 89m), 3 Nathan Haines, 4 Alvin Jarvis, 5 Richard Jones, 6 Ashley Robinson, 7 Daniel Lawlor (12 Andrew Burgess 87m), 8 Jon Challinor, 9 Jordan Smith, 10 David Moyo, 11 Richard Wesley (14 Liam Richardson 68m).
Unused Sub: 16 Ben Barton (only four subs named)

Cautions: Cope (Rangers), Jones, Challinor (Stamford)
Ref: Nigel Smith
Att: 246
 
Report by Chris Elsley

COALVILLE TOWN 3 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round - Saturday 19th October 2013


A break from League action failed to bring a change of fortunes for Rangers as they went out of the FA Trophy at Coalville Town at the 1st Qualifying Round stage.

Andy Mutch made three changes to the side thumped at Worksop in midweek with Sam Bell and Jack Langston coming in while Michael Carr made a return from injury.
It was Rangers who were first to show as Dan Cope fired just wide inside the first minute and Alex Steadman dragged his shot across the face of goal after being put through by Bell.
But Coalville were soon in the action and Jon Brain was forced into a double save to keep out Jack McGovern and Anthony Carney.

The home side took the lead on 25 mins through Alex Dean who got on the end of a near post corner from Callum Woodward to divert the ball past Brain.
Rangers were level on 34 mins when Alex Steadman was hauled down by Lee Miveld and Langston fired home from the spot.
An error from Darren Bullock let in Ben Saunders but Brain saved with his legs. It was Bullock’s last action as he staggered off still feeling the effects of the head injury he received at Worksop.

Rangers enjoyed a bright spell but couldn’t find a way through, the best chance falling to Steadman but Danny Jenno cleared off the line.
But it was Coalville who went in with a half time lead when Dean fired in his second a minute before the break after Carney had opened up the Rangers defence.

Brain kept Rangers interested with a good save from Dean and Jenno missed a good chance when he failed to connect with Reece Lester’s corner.
Carney wasted another opportunity, choosing to pass when the shot looked the better option but it was the Coalville captain who was on hand to make it 3-1 on 68 mins after Jordan Hempenstall had skipped past Ollie Davies on the Coalville left.

Hempenstall saw red on 77 mins for an elbow on Carr but Rangers were unable to make the man advantage count until a minute into stoppage time when Jermaine Johnson beat Sean Bowles to a Joe Guest free kick to make it 3-2.
The Boro were unable to snatch an equaliser and now must concentrate on their battle to climb the league table.

Coalville Town: 1 Sean Bowles, 2 Alex Dean, 3 Reece Lester, 4 Danny Jenno, 5 Jamie McAteer, 6 Liam Kay, 7 Callum Woodward (12 Jordan Hempenstall 65m), 8 Jack McGovern, 9 Ben Saunders (15 Kyle Fowkes 90m), 10 Anthony Carney, 11 Lee Miveld.
Unused Subs: 14 Mitch Woodbine, 16 Jonathan Kegoum, 17 Sam Deacon.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Jon Sheldon, 5 Darren Bullock (15 Edward Toner 38m), 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 Joe Guest, 8 Sam Bell (14 James McCarthy 60m), 9 Dan Cope, 10 Jack Langston (12 Jack Lees 74m), 11 Alex Steadman.
Unused Subs: 16 Sean Kinsella, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: Guest (Stafford), Jenno, Miveld (Coalville)
Sent Off: Hempenstall (Coalville)
Referee: Ian Smedley
Att: 182
 
Report by Chris Elsley

WORKSOP TOWN 5 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Wednesday 16th October 2013


Rangers woes at the foot of the table deepened as they were thrashed 5-0 by Worksop Town while fellow strugglers Stamford and Trafford both won.

Worksop went on the attack from the off and Jack Muldoon fired wide inside 15 seconds.
The home side remained on top without creating too much of a threat, Jon Brain keeping out their best chance when he saved from Leon Mettam with his feet.

Rangers did get a look in on 27 mins when Joe Guest’s deflected shot fell to Jermaine Johnson but neither he nor Danny Quinn managed to get a shot in and Worksop cleared the danger.
Quinn then stabbed past the advancing Ben Gathercole but wide of the far post before the home side broke the deadlock on 33 mins when Tom Denton fired home from around 12 yards out after Conor Higginson was afforded too much time and space inside the area.

Worksop made it 2-0 on 42 mins when a fine crossfield ball from Phil Roe was chested down by Mettam into the path of Higginson who rounded Jon Brain to score.

Darren Bullock missed the second half due to a head injury received just before the interval to be replaced by Lucan Spittle.

The flow of goals continued on 58 mins as Mettam received a pass from Roe and rolled a first time shot past Brain.

James McCarthy looked set to reduce the areas when he ran on to a flick from Quinn but he fired straight at Gathercole and Quinn’s follow up was blocked by Higginson.
Stafford subs Dan Cope and Jack Lees sparked some life into the Boro front line and the former nearly pulled one back with a shot that grazed the outside of the post after he cut out a misplaced free kick from Jordan Lemon.
But any lingering doubts about the destiny of the points was laid to rest when the unmarked Mettam fired past Brain on 69 mins.

Cope continued to provide Rangers’ best hope as his speculative effort forced a save from Gathercole while Denton went close to a fifth for Worksop when he headed against the outside of the post.

Quinn’s late header was cleared off the line by Lemon but Rangers’ miserable night was completed on 88 mins when Roe’s long range free kick caught the Boro defence napping.

Worksop Town: 1 Ben Gathercole, 2 Jordan Lemon, 3 Phil Roe, 4 Josh Davies, 5 Chris Salt, 6 Lawrence Gaughan, 7 Jack Muldoon, 8 Shane Clarke (14 Ellis Wall 86m), 9 Tom Denton (17 Shaq McKenzie 81m), 10 Leon Mettam, 11 Conor Higginson (16 Jack Adams 75m).
Unused Subs: 12 Alex Pursehouse, 15 James Cottingham

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Christian Dacres, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Alex Steadman, 5 Darren Bullock (15 Lucan Spittle 46m), 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy (18 Jack Lees 62m), 8 Joe Guest, 9 Danny Quinn, 10 Edward Toner, 11 Jon Sheldon (12 Dan Cope 56 m).
Unused Subs: 14 Sam Bell, 16 Jack Langston

Cautions: Johnson, Guest, Quinn (Rangers) Clarke, Higginson (Worksop)
Ref: A Hall
Att: 196

Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 1 MATLOCK TOWN 3
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 12th October 2013


Rangers slumped to their second successive defeat with a disappointing show against Matlock Town.

It had all started so well for Rangers as they found themselves in front after just 13 seconds.
Sam Bell and Danny Quinn combined to dispossess Matlock defender Lee Featherstone and Quinn's pass sent Jermaine Johnson away to score from just inside the area.
Quinn then headed wide before Featherstone's afternoon was ended early with a cut above his right eye.

Matlock were nearly gifted an equaliser when Jon Brain allowed Danny Holland's lob to bounce and the Rangers keeper was rushed into pushing the ball against the bar. Lavelle White followed up but Brain was more alert at the second time of asking.

Rangers still looked comfortable as Quinn forced a save from Jon Kennedy but Matlock were back on level terms on 23 mins when referee Gary Hilton awarded a penalty after Lucan Spittle and Ollie Davies had combined to tackle Martin Foster
Darryl Thomas showed no sympathy as he beat Brain from the spot.

Matlock then took control and Rangers were further hit when Michael Carr was stretchered off following a foul challenge on White.
However, the best chances of the half then fell to Rangers just before the break with Darren Bullock heading wide and Kennedy pushing away a shot from Edward Toner.

Brain saved from Ashmore early in the second half while Jack Langston saw his shot deflected for a corner at the other end.

But it was a howler from the usually reliable Davies that allowed Matlock to move ahead on 56 mins. Davies failed to cut out a long ball from Kennedy allowing White clear. He clipped the ball over the advancing Brain and collected his own pass before firing past a retreating Davies.

Rangers' defensive frailties were further evident a couple of minutes later when White was allowed to ease his way into the area before beating Brain with a well struck drive into the far corner of the net.

White nearly grabbed his hat trick soon after but fired wide after Holland's through ball.
Rangers did have their chances but they looked tame in front of goal. Kennedy saved comfortably from James McCarthy while Quinn headed wide when well placed.

Jon Sheldon looked more threatening with his 20 yard drive that forced a fingertip save from Kennedy but Jack Lees should have done better from the resultant corner.
Matlock were content to run the clock down for the final minutes while Rangers lacked ideas of how to overcome them.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr (15 Jack Langston 34m), 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Joe Guest, 9 Danny Quinn (16 Jon Sheldon 73m), 10 Edward Toner (18 Jack Lees 61m), 11 Sam Bell.
Unused Subs: 12 Christian Dacres, 14 Alex Steadman.

Matlock Town: 1 Jon Kennedy, 2 Micky Harcourt, 3 Lee Featherstone (12 Oscar Radford 10m), 4 Martin Foster, 5 David Haggerty, 6 Adam Yates, 7 Liam Needham, 8 James Ashmore, 9 Danny Holland, 10 Darryl Thomas (14 Corey Gregory 75m), 11 Lavelle White.
Unused Subs: 15 Will Dennis, 16 Liam Gaughan

Cautions: Ashmore, Holland (Matlock)
Referee: Gary Hilton
Attendance: 412

Report by Chris Elsley

FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 5th October 2013


Stafford Rangers recent revival under Andy Mutch came to an abrupt halt at Frickley Athletic.

Frickley took the lead in the 5th minute when Korey Dyer-Stewart outpaced Michael Carr down the left and passed to the unmarked Luke Hinsley who slotted past Jon Brain.
Rangers first opportunity fell to Danny Quinn but he fired over from a James McCarthy long throw. Frickley wasted a glorious chance to double the lead in the 23rd minute.
Matt Bloor picked out Jay McFadzean with an excellent cross field ball. The midfielder controlled on his left, teed up on his right but blasted over. Rangers best chance in the first half saw Darren Bullock head over from a McCarthy corner

Rangers improved after the break with McCarthy forcing a save from Tom Woodhead.  they were indebted to Brain again who saved well from Dyer-Stewart in the 58th minute. Brain was again forced into action turning a free-kick from Luke Jeffs past the post.
Rangers failed to test Tom Woodhead in the Frickley goal and the game was settled in the 87th minute with a second for the home side. Hinsley played the ball inside to Dyer-Stewart who had an awful lot to do but the big striker beat Bullock before clipping the ball home.
In stoppage time Jermaine Johnson went close for Rangers before Brain again excelled to thwart Ollie Fearon.

Frickley Athletic: Tom Woodhead, Steve Gardner, Andy Villerman, Jake Picton, Luke Jeffs, Joe Wilcox, Joe Fox, Matt Bloor, Luke Hinsley (Ollie Fearon 88), Korey Dyer-Stewart, Jay McFadzean (Jimmy Ghaichem).
Subs not used: Joe Kenny, Lee Stratford, Jon Hood

Rangers: Jon Brain, Michael Carr, Oliver Davies, Lucan Spittle, Darren Bullock, Christian Dacres (Jack Lees 59), James McCarthy, Jon Sheldon (Edward Toner 64), Danny Quinn (Joe Guest 77), Jermaine Johnson, Alex Steadman.
Subs not used: Sam Bell, Jack Langston

Booked: Bloor, Hinsley(Frickley), Spittle, Quinn(Rangers)
Referee: Rob Atkins
Att: 221

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

STAFFORD RANGERS 1 STOKE CITY 1 aet
(Rangers win 2-1 on penalties)

Staffs Senior Cup 1st Round - Tuesday 1st October 2013


Jon Brain was the hero as Rangers overcame Stoke City in a penalty shoot out to progress to the 2nd Round of the Staffs Senior Cup.

Newly appointed boss Andy Mutch made a few changes to the line up that lost to Boston three days earlier, notably giving Sam Bell his debut on the right of midfield.
The game made slow progress. A good penalty shout for the visitors went unanswered after Michael Carr had challenged Kevin Gomez in the area although the Stoke full back did little to try to stay on his feet.

Jack Langston went close to giving Rangers the lead following James McCarthy’s long throw to the back post but Dan Bachman blocked while the trio of Jon Sheldon, Alex Steadman and Langston all missed out in a matter of seconds.

A well struck shot from Jordan Keane nearly deceived Brain who just managed to parry the ball and though Mason Watkins followed up, he was flagged offside.

There was a chance at each end in a matter of seconds.  Jermaine Johnson believed his shot was blocked by hands before Stoke broke and Brain saved well at the feet of James Alabi.

In the second half, Brain made further saves to keep out Adam Thomas and Alabi. Rangers responded with Bell and Lucan Spittle unsuccessful in front of goal.
Brain saved well from Karim Rossi as the game picked up some momentum and Ryan O’Reilly made a goal line clearance to keep out Johnson.

It was Jack Lees who finally broke the deadlock. On as a sub for Bell, Lees made his mark in the 76 min when he glanced home Steadman’s left wing cross.

Brain saved from Charlie Ward a minute later and again from Rossi on 82 mins but this time he could only push the ball into the path of Yusuf Coban who levelled the scores.

Stoke finished the 90 minutes on top but were unable to carve any real openings and the game entered extra time.
Stoke continued to have the better of the next 30 mins with Coban heading wide and then being denied by Brain who also made a good stop to keep out Alabi.

Rangers’ best chance fell to Dan Cope with five minutes remaining but Bachman made the save.

And so to penalties. Stoke’s Thomas stepped up first. Brain went left and saved. But Sheldon hit the bar for Rangers. Still 0-0. Rossi went to Brain’s right and the Rangers keeper pulled off the save of the night. A limping Langston scored to put Rangers 1-0 ahead.
Brain completed the keeper’s hat trick saving with his feet to deny Eddie Lecyene but Sean Kinsella’s reply was a shocker and bobbled wide. Still 1-0 Rangers.

Remarkably, Brain saved his fourth consecutive penalty of the shoot out, going left to keep out Coban. Johnson stepped up to win it for Rangers but went wide.

Finally, Alabi scored for Stoke but Carr kept a cool head and went straight down the middle to put Rangers through 2-1 on penalties.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock (15 Sean Kinsella 28m), 6 Jermaine Johnson, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Jon Sheldon, 9 Alex Steadman (16 Dan Cope 81m), 10 Jack Langston, 11 Sam Bell (14 Jack Lees 66m).
Unused Subs: 12 Christian Dacres 17 Adam Alcock

Stoke City: 1 Dan Bachman, 2 Jordan Keane, 3 Kevin Gomez, 4 Charlie Ward, 5 Ryan O’Reilly (12 Ben Heneghan 74m), 6 Mason Watkins, 7 Adam Thomaas, 8 Lucas Dawson (17 Yusuf Coban 74m), 9 James Alabi, 10 Karim Rossi, 11 Jordan Richardson (16 Eddie Lecyene 66m).
Unused Subs: 14 Dale Eve, 15 Sam Westley

Cautions: O’Reillly (Stoke)
Ref: Steve Rushton
Att: 186

Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 0 BOSTON UNITED 4
FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round - Saturday 28th September 2013


Rangers' hopes of a lucrative run in the FA Cup were ended with a sound defeat at the hands of Boston United.

Rangers never looked likely to cause an upset against a Skrill North side who always looked capable of stepping up a gear if needed.

However, it was Rangers who had the first real chance on goal in the 11th minute when Darren Bullock picked out Danny Quinn in the inside left channel but last season's leading scorer pulled his shot wide across the face of the Boston goal.

Jon Brain was called into action to make a comfortable save to keep out Ben Milnes after Ricky Miller's initial shot had been blocked.

The same two players were in the action on 18 mins when Milnes sent Miller away and the Bosotn forward gave Brain no chance as he put the Pilgrims ahead.

A tough task for Rangers became harder on 29 mins when Spencer Weir-Daley added a second from the spot after Michael Carr had tripped Miller.

James McCarthy's long throws looked the best hope for Rangers and Boston keeper Ashley Timms had to tip over a header from Bullock from once such launch.

But Boston remained the most threatening and Miller could have helped himself to a hat trick before half time as he twice fired over while Brain saved well from Ben Fairclough.

The second half was a similar story as Boston did most of the pressing.

Fairclough headed wide, Brain saved from Netan Sansara and Carl Piergianni headed over before Weir-Daley made it 3-0 on 66 mins as he eased past the challenges of Jermaine Johnson and Lucan Spittle.

Quinn headed over from a McCarthy throw but Miller grabbed his second of the afternoon ten minutes from time following Sansara's set up.

Brain – and a goal line clearance from Bullock - prevented Miller from adding further to the score but Rangers were a well beaten side.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Christian Dacres, 7 James McCarthy (16 Dan Cope 84m), 8 Chris Flynn, 9 Danny Quinn (15 Jon Sheldon 73m), 10 Sean Kinsella (14 Jermaine Johnson 46m), 11 Alex Steadman.
Unused Subs: 12 Jack Langston 17 Adam Alcock

Boston United: 1 Ashley Timms (13 Sam Vince 81m), 2 Peter Bore (14 James Reed 49m), 3 Netan Sansara, 4 Conor Marshall (12 Inderjet Aujla 46m), 5 Stefhan Garliski, 6 Carl Piergianni, 7 Ian Ross, 8 Ben Milnes, 9 Ricky Miller, 10 Ben Fairclough, 11 Spencer Weir-Daley.
Unused Subs: 15 Ngoni Dongo, 16 Oliver Price

Cautions: Kinsella, McCarthy (SRFC), Reed (BUFC)
Referee: Anthony Tankard
Att: 519

Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 GRANTHAM TOWN 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 24th September 2013


Rangers let a two goal interval lead slip as Grantham came back to snatch a point in a dramatic finale.

Late goals seem to be the order of the day for Rangers with three being scored in the three league games played under the guidance of caretaker manager Andy Mutch.

If Alex Steadman’s 96th minute winner against FC United wasn’t late enough, this match saw Rangers suffer a 98th minute equaliser from visitors Grantham.

It had all seemed so comfortable at half time as the home side went in 2-0 ahead thanks to an early goal from Darren Bullock and Alex Steadman’s smart drive just before the break.
Bullock’s first goal for the club came on 7 mins as he ghosted in to head home a well placed cross from Sean Kinsella.
Rangers remained in command as James McCarthy scuffed a shot wide after working his way into a good position and Martyn Jackson fired over.
But the warning signs were there as Grantham’s Kallum Smith planted a free header at Jon Brain from a right wing corner.

Rangers went close to extending their lead as Danny Haystead denied McCarthy and Adie Hawes cleared off the line from Bullock.
Set plays seemed to provide Grantham’s greatest threat as Michael Towey headed across the face of goal from Ashley Burbeary’s free kick.
But after holding off some prolonged Grantham pressure, Rangers doubled their lead on 43 mins when Steadman got away down the left and cut in to fire confidently past Haystead.

It looked like Steadman had scored again moments later but Sam Purcicoe made a crucial goal line clearance.
Steadman continued to taunt the Grantham defence after the break and pulled a shot across the face of goal and running on to a superb cross field ball from McCarthy.
But Grantham responded once more. Jon Brain kept out Kallum Smith and Massiah McDonald with a double save in an attack that really should have seen Grantham reduce the deficit then Ollie Davies tackled well to halt Rhys Lewis’ threatening run.

Grantham piled on the pressure and Hawes came close three times in a minute, Brain making two saves then Davies blocking on the line in a frenetic scramble.
Brain made another save, this time from Deon Meikle, before Lewis failed to snap up the loose ball while sub Jamie McGhee headed wide.

Eventually, Rangers’ resistance gave way with eleven minutes of normal time remaining. Brain failed to deal with Burbeary’s corner and Hawes headed home at the back post.
Brain made amends with a brave save at the feet of Romaine Graham as the game moved deep into added time but the drama was not yet done.

Tempers frayed as Grantham became frustrated at Rangers’ delaying tactics and it was too much for Burbeary as he barged Chris Flynn into the advertising hoardings and received a red card.
But the midfielder was barely off the pitch as Hawes launched a long throw into the Rangers’ area and Greg Smith nodded in the equaliser at the back post to snatch a point.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Ollie Davies, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Christian Dacres (12 Jack Langston 76m), 7 James McCarthy, 8 Martyn Jackson (16 Dan Cope 57m), 9 Chris Flynn, 10 Sean Kinsella (15 Ryan Brown 59m), 11 Alex Steadman.
Unused Subs: 14 Jon Sheldon, 17 Jack Lees

Grantham Town: 1 Danny Haystead, 2 Sam Purcicoe (16 Gary King 73m), 3 Lee Ridley, 4 Deon Meikle, 5 Adie Hawes, 6 Michael Towey, 7 Ashley Burbeary, 8 Rhys Lewis, 9 Greg Smith, 10 Massiah McDonald (17 Jamie McGhee 56m), 11 Kallum Smith(15 Romaine Graham 78m).
Unused Subs: 12 Paul Lister, 14 Paolo Pilerio

Cautions: Flynn (SRFC) G Smith (GTFC)
Sent Off: Burbeary (GTFC)
Referee: David Plowright
Attendance: 340

Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 21st September 2013


Rangers moved off the bottom of the table with a thoroughly deserved win against the much fancied FC United of Manchester.

With Martyn Jackson returning in place of the suspended Chris Flynn, Rangers were looking to follow up Tuesday night’s FA Cup victory over Chasetown with a first league win of the season.
The first 45 minutes was evenly contested but failed to provide much in terms of goal action. The best chances fell to the visitors and Thomas Greaves was left to rue a missed opportunity inside two minutes when he failed to hit the target with just Jon Brain to beat.
When Greaves had a similar chance on 26 mins, he found Brain in good form as the Rangers stopper beat his shot away.

Rangers’ best chance of the half came on 39 mins when James McCarthy’s long throw fell to Danny Quinn inside the six yard box but he failed to connect. Instead, United broke away but Brain was again Rangers’ saviour as he kept out Matthew Walwyn’s shot with his leg.
Brain saved again from Walwyn in first half stoppage time and Dave Birch’s follow up header flew over the bar.

Chances remained sparse in the second half until Quinn went wide with a free header on 61 mins. But United made a mess of the goal kick, Quinn dispossessed Dean Stott and fired Rangers ahead.
But it was a short lived lead. Lucan Spittle brought down Liam Brownhill in the area and Stott stepped up to level the scores from the spot on 66 mins.
Brain saved well from Greg Daniels who then blazed over from 8 yards as United went for a second but Rangers refused to be overawed and pressed forward, Darren Bullock forcing a save from James Spencer.

Neither side was prepared to settle for the draw. Jack Langston, on for an injured Jackson, put Alex Steadman clear but his lob over the advancing Spencer cleared the bar while Brain kept out a header from Greaves.

United nearly won it when Daniels fired inches wide then Brain felled Mike Norton after racing out of his area but Rhodri Giggs put his free kick over.
Then in a dramatic climax, six minutes into added time, Langston put Steadman through again and this time he made no mistake, rolling the ball past Spencer to give Rangers all the points.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Christian Dacres, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Martyn Jackson (12 Jack Langston 82m), 9 Danny Quinn (16 Dan Cope 72m), 10 Sean Kinsella (15 Ryan Brown 75m), 11 Alex Steadman.
Unused Subs: 14 Andy Mason, 17 Adam Alcock

FC United: 1 John Spencer, 2 Liam Brownhill, 3 Dave Birch (12 Mike Norton 80m), 4 Dean Stott, 5 Andrew Pearson, 6 Tom Davies, 7 Matthew Wolfenden (15 Rhodri Giggs 42m), 8 Callum Byrne (17 Greg Daniels 66m), 9 Thomas Greaves, 10 Jerome Wright, 11 Matthew Walwyn.
Unused Subs: 14 Lee Neville, 16 Astley Mullholland

Cautions: Brain (SRFC), Stott (FCUM)
Referee: Nigel Smith
Att: 1,032
 
Report by Chris Elsley

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 CHASETOWN 0
FA Cup 1ST Qualifying Round Replay - Tuesday 17th September 2013


Rangers recorded their first victory of the season at the tenth time of asking, and booked themselves a home tie against old rivals Boston United along with a £3,000 prize.

Alex Steadman replaced Jermaine Johnson from the side that drew 0-0 at Chasetown three days earlier and the Boro got off to an ideal start when James McCarthy rose to head home a Sean Kinsella corner on 4 minutes.
Rangers continued to look the stronger side early on but the visitors gradually got a foothold on the game and saw Danny Bragoli fire over from just outside the area while Lee Butler headed wide when well placed.

A clever ball from McCarthy gave Danny Quinn a golden opportunity to double Rangers lead but he volleyed over from just six yards out.
Chasetown responded but Ramone Stephens and Bragoli wasted good chances before Butler hit the outside of the back post.

Rangers had further chances of their own before the interval, the best falling to Darren Bullock who saw his close range header saved by Ryan Price.
The visitors were gifted a chance to get back into the game when Lucan Spittle brought down Stephens five minutes after the restart but Louis Keenan’s spot kick flew over via the crossbar.

Floodlight issues threatened to have the final say as a number of bulbs went out prompting the referee to call the two captains together but thankfully play continued and it was Rangers who began to assert their authority on the game.
Kinsella was denied by Price and Quinn’s run was halted by Chris Slater before the same player fired tamely at Price.

Chastetown sub Danny Smith, scorer of the goal that famously knocked Port Vale out of the cup in 2007, nearly found a way through but took the ball too wide and Brain was able to save.

The final ten minutes saw Rangers create a number of chances as gaps appeared in the Chasetown defence and it was Dan Cope – on for Quinn -  who finally found a way through on 88 mins. Despite a suspicion of offside, Cope was allowed to continue his run, and he held off Slater to fire past Price from the edge of the area.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Christian Dacres, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Chris Flynn, 9 Danny Quinn (16 Dan Cope 75m), 10 Sean Kinsella, 11 Alex Steadman.
Unused Subs: 12 Jack Langston, 14 Jermaine Johnson, 15 Ryan Brown, 17 Adam Alcock, 18 Andy Mason

Chasetown: 1 Ryan Price, 2 Jack Farmer, 3 Louis Keenan (16 Danny Smith75m), 4 Chris Slater, 5 Tesfa Robinson, 6 Avun Jephcott, 7 Lee Butler, 8 Danny Bragoli (12 Jon Haynes 46m (17 Marco Adaggio 71m)), 9 Nick Wellecomme, 10 Ramone Stephens, 11 Grant Beckett.
Unused Subs: 14 Richard Teesdale, 15 Leigh Downing, 18 Andrew Westwood, 19 Mariusz Kisiel

Cautions: Carr, Spittle, Flynn (SRFC)
Referee: Tom Harty
Att: 311

Report by Chris Elsley

Chasetown 0 Stafford Rangers 0
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round - 14th September 2013


Rangers and Chasetown must do it it all again on Tuesday as the FA Cup 1st Qualifying tie ended in stalemate at The Scholars.

Rangers made two changes from the side that picked up their first point of the season against Marine. Chris Flynn replacing the cup-tied Martyn Jackson and Jermaine Johnson in for the injured Fabrice Kasiama.

It took fifteen minutes for the game to awaken when James McCarthy controlled Michael Carr’s through ball and forced a save out of Danny Watson.
Sean Kinsella was off target with two efforts before the home side began making inroads.
Former Rangers striker Nick Wellecomme missed a decent chance shooting into the feet of Jon Brain. From the corner taken by Simon Brown, Tesfa Robinson headed wide.

Rangers were thankful to skipper Darren Bullock heading an Avun Jephcott header off the line. Danny Smith was wide with an audacious overhead as Chasetown continued to threaten but it was Rangers who almost broke the deadlock in first half stoppage time. McCarthy jinked one way and another before unleashing a left-footed drive which cannoned off the crossbar.

Chasetown had chances just after the break but both Jephcott and Smith failed to test Brain.
Oliver Davies was finding more space in the second half and an inch perfect cross was headed over by McCarthy. McCarthy got on the end of another cross, this time from Carr, but it was directed straight at Watson.
Rangers were a far more potent outfit after the break and a surging run from Davies ended with McCarthy’s cross being punched clear by Watson. Davies was again the provider with 15 minutes left but Danny Quinn couldn’t hit the target with the header.

Rangers went close to winning the tie three minutes from time when Alex Steadman hit the inside of the post from 25 yards.
Deep into time added on, Marco Adaggio volleyed over however the game was destined to go to a replay.

Chasetown: Danny Watson, Jack Farmer, Louis Keenan, Chris Slater, Tesfa Robinson, Avun Jephcott, Simon Brown, Danny Bragoli (Lee Butler 63), Nick Wellecomme (Marco Adaggio 84), Danny Smith (Ramone Stephens 70), Grant Beckett.
Subs not used: Jonathan Haynes, Richard Teesdale, Leigh Downing, Tim Beech

Stafford Rangers: Jon Brain, Michael Carr, Oliver Davies, Lucan Spittle, Darren Bullock, Christian Dacres (Jack Langston 75), James McCarthy, Chris Flynn, Danny Quinn (Dan Cope 84), Sean Kinsella (Alex Steadman 64), Jermaine Johnson. 
Subs not used: Ryan brown, Adam Alcock

Booked: None
Referee: Anthony Moore
Attendance: 359

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 MARINE 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 10th September 2013


There were mixed emotions as Rangers picked up their first point of the season.

Twice Rangers lead, but each time Marine came back to level – their second equaliser coming three minutes into stoppage time.
If that wasn’t a cruel enough blow, popular winger Fabrice Kasiama was taken to hospital with a severe knee injury that threatens to keep him out for some time.
Caretaker boss Andy Mutch recalled Michael Carr, Sean Kinsella and Danny Quinn for his first game in charge and Rangers responded by dominating the opening 45 mins.

Marine keeper Callum Williams blocked a Kinsella free kick and saved a close range header from Martyn Jackson as the Boro belied their league record.
Quinn went clear but was denied by an excellent challenge from Sam Barnes, though the Rangers striker believed he should have been awarded a penalty.
Williams saved another Kinsella free kick but Rangers got a rare stroke of luck on 32 mins when John Shaw was penalised for blocking Christian Dacres’ flick with his arm. Quinn struck home the resultant penalty to put Rangers in front for the first time this season.

Quinn put in an unsuccessful penalty claim when he went to ground after taking down a super ball from James McCarthy then headed over from a McCarthy corner but Rangers went in at the break with just the one goal advantage.

Marine responded well at the start of the second half but the game was in the 63rd min before Jon Brain was forced into his first real save of the night, keeping out a shot from Andy Fowler.
Marine continued to send out warnings as Jon Shaw’s free kick glanced off the outside of the far post.

The miss seemed to wake Rangers up once more and Quinn missed a great chance to double the lead when he rolled the balled against the post with just Williams to beat.
But Marine levelled on 73 mins with a terrific strike from Jonathan Goulding after Michael Monaghan’s initial ball looked to have brought the attack to an end.

Moments later came Kasiama’s injury, picked up in a challenge on Goulding, but Lennon restored the Boro’s lead on 81 mins when he fired home after Williams had failed to deal with Ollie Davies’ high ball into the area.
Jon Sheldon and Quinn both wasted chances to finish Marine off and they were made to pay when Lee Parle turned to snap up the late equaliser.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Michael Carr, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Christian Dacres, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Martyn Jackson (16 Andy Mason 46m), 9 Danny Quinn, 10 Sean Kinsella (15 Michael Lennon 71m), 11 Fabrice Kasiama (12 Jon Sheldon 77m).
Unused Subs: 14 Alex Steadman, 17 Adam Alcock

Marine: 1 Callum Williams, 2 Joe McMahon, 3 Jon Shaw, 4 Sam Barnes, 5 Shaun Dowling, 6 Robbie Lawton (14 Michael Monaghan 59m), 7 Paul Woolcott, 8 Lee Parle, 9 Andy Fowler (12 Matty Devine 77m), 10 Will Jones, 11 Jonathan Goulding.
Unused Subs: 15 Ian Latham, 16 Peter Cuminskey, 17 Ryan McMahon

Cautions: Carr, Dacres, Quinn, Spittle, Davies (SRFC) Dowling, Goulding(MFC)
Referee: Steven Mycock
Att: 280

Report by Chris Elsley

Chorley 3 Stafford Rangers 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 7th September 2013


Rangers slipped to their seventh successive defeat at Chorley despite a positive first half performance.

Rangers made two changes with Alex Steadman and Christian Dacres replacing Andy Mason and Danny Quinn. Rangers went close inside the first minute when Michael Lennon sent James McCarthy clear  but his shot was off target. Fabrice Kasiama then caused problems for the Magpies defence but the finish from Martyn Jackson was well wide. Adam Mather shot straight at Jon Brain with Chorley's first attempt.

Chorley missed a decent chance when Josh Hine ballooned a shot over the bar. Brain reacted well to scramble a header from Kiel O'Brien away for a corner. Lennon could have done better for Rangers when he fashioned a decent chance for himself but the shot was easily  gathered by Sam Ashton. Tom Baker then tested Brain from distance before the home side took the lead a minute before the break. A dinked ball in from Jake Cottrell was volleyed home,with placement not power, byDale  Whitham. Whitham turned provider in stoppage time but Paul Jarvis effort was saved by Brain.

Chorley started the second half at a canter and doubled their lead in the 56th minute. James Dean beat Darren Bullock and his cross was missed by Cottrell but finished by Jarvis at the far post. The third goal soon followed when Brain missed his clearance leaving Dean to roll the ball in the net. It was now all Chorley and they continued to waste chances with Jarvis guilty of missing two guilt edged opportunities. Little was seen from Rangers in the second half with Alex Steadman having the best of the limited opportunities.

In stoppage time, former Premier League star Matt Jansen was guilty of the miss of the afternoon as he tried to walk the ball into the net but failed to do so.

Chorley: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Adam Mather, Andy Teague, Keil O'Brien, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine (Simon Wiles 70), Tom Baker, Paul Jarvis, James Dean (Matt Jansen 88), Dale Whitham.
Subs not used: Paul O'Neill, Jamie Vermiglio, Alex Meaney

Rangers: Jon Brain, Chris Flynn, Oliver Davies, Lucan Spittle, Darren Bullock (Peter Heler 60), Christian Dacres, Alex Steadman, Martyn Jackson (Jack Langston 67), James McCarthy, Michael Lennon (Jon Sheldon 60), Fabrice Kasiama.
Subs not used: Danny Quinn, Adam Alcock

Attendance: 896
Referee: A Cawtherley
Booked: Flynn (Rangers)

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

SKELMERSDALE UNITED 3 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 3rd September 2013


Rangers were denied a share of the spoils by a controversial last minute penalty that condemned the Boro to defeat.

With the same eleven that nearly broke the duck on Saturday, Rangers went close on 15 mins when Danny Quinn beat Zac Hibbert to an Andy Mason centre but his header glanced wide while James McCarthy was denied by Shaun Holden.
A poor clearance from Jon Brain, coupled with a slip from Darren Bullock gave Skem a couple of openings but Brain redeemed himself with a couple of good saves to deny Joe Holt and the follow up from Ashley Dunn.

Rangers immediately pressed and Fabrice Kasiama was unlucky not to convert McCarthy’s centre.
But hesitancy in the Rangers defence proved costly as Skem took the lead on 30 mins, Adam Morning taking advantage to fire past Brain.
Four minutes later it was 2-0 as the home side broke and the pacey Kevin Leadbetter delivered from the right for Nick Rogan to head home.

Skem could have had a third before the interval as they broke again but Leadbetter rolled the ball wide of the far post with just Brain to beat.

Rangers began well after the break and reduced the arrears on 49 mins when Michael Lennon ran on to Martyn Jackson’s through ball to fire past Hibbert.
Kasiama was the victim of some poor decisions by the referee and let his frustrations get the better of him, earning himself a caution but the popular front man was celebrating on 70 mins when he rode two challenges to fire Rangers level.
Moments earlier, Brain had kept Rangers interests alive with a fine stop to deny Leadbetter then kept Rangers level with another good save at the feet of Dunn.

Rangers nearly went ahead when good work by Kasiama put McCarthy in but his shot went just the wrong side of the far post.
Skem were pressing as the game entered the final minute and Brain saved well from both Lloyd Dean and Dunn but as the scramble continued, the Rangers keeper was penalised for an apparent foul on Dunn that even the home contingent thought was harsh.
Leadbetter made no mistake from the spot and Rangers were sent to a cruel and undeserved defeat.

Skelmersdale United: 1 Zac Hibbert, 2 Kenny Strickland, 3 Shaun Holden, 4 Alan Burton, 5 Peter Wylie, 6 Dale Wright ( 14 Robert McIntosh 64m), 7 Joe Holt, 8 Ashley Dunn, 9 Nicholas Rogan (16 Lloyd Dean 80m), 10 Kevin Leadbetter, 11 Adam Morning (15 Gary Burnett 80m).
Unused Subs: 12 Tom Hardwick, 17 Andy Paxton

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Andy Mason, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Lucan Spittle, 5 Darren Bullock, 6 Chris Flynn, 7 James McCarthy, 8 Martyn Jackson, 9 Danny Quinn (15 Alex Steadman 46m), 10 Michael Lennon, 11 Fabrice Kasiama.
Unused Subs: 12 Jon Sheldon, 14 Jack Langston, 16 Peter Heler, 17 Adam Alcock

Cautions: Mason, Kasiama (SRFC)
Referee: Paul Hodskinson
Att: 235
 
Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 2 Ilkeston 4
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Saturday 31st August 2013


A game of 6 goals, two sendings off but still no points for Stafford Rangers following another home defeat.

Rangers brought in two new faces with James McCarthy signing from AFC Fylde and Martyn Jackson coming in on loan from AFC Telford.  Jackson made an early positive impression and from a surging run from midfield, Michael Lennon forced a comfortable save from Rob Peet.

Rangers had started with more purpose than in previous games and Darren Bullock was on target with a header from a Fabrice Kasiama cross.  The visitors went close in the 13th minute when James Reid hammered a volley that skimmed the crossbar. The opening goal came a minute later. Reid’s near post corner was powered home by former Burton defender Aaron Webster despite the despairing effort of Jon Brain.
Webster should have made it two when he failed to get a good connection on another free-kick from Reid.
Against the run of play, Rangers were back on terms after 27 minutes. A shocking backpass from Rob Kozluk was straight into the path of Lennon. His shot was saved by Peet but rebounded to Danny Quinn who headed home. Lennon and Quinn combined again but Quinn missed the target with a volley.

Things turned against Rangers in the 31st minute when Antwan Russell burst through the middle of Lucan Spittle and Andy Mason. Mason checked the progress of the striker and was red-carded as the last man. Webster hammered the free-kick which took a deflection off a Rangers defender and nestled in the bottom corner.

Ilkeston were convinced they should have had a penalty three minutes after the break when Oliver Davies appeared to trip Russell. Ilkeston continued to threaten and Laurie Wilson hammered a shot just over the Rangers crossbar. Rangers were indebted to Spittle who thwarted Gary Rickets with a fine clearance after the veteran striker had rounded Brain.

After Jackson had fired over the bar, Ilkeston were reduced to 10 men when centre-back Joe Maguire received a second yellow card.  Kane Richards had a cross deflected onto the top of the Rangers bar while substitute Aaron Hooton wasted another decent chance after turning inside Davies. To everyone’s amazement, Rangers drew level with 2 minutes remaining. Alex Steadman got the better of Reid and crossed low to Jon Sheldon who finished with his right foot. Parity lasted barely two minutes as Ilkeston regained the lead with a controversial goal. A corner from Chris Palmer was finished by Ricketts with Rangers convinced the striker had used his hand to score.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Ilkeston secured all three points with a goal that was a disaster for Brain. Davies passed the ball across the box to the Rangers keeper, who took too long and was easily robbed by Kane Richards and the winger tapped the ball home.

Stafford Rangers: Jon Brain, Andy Mason, Oliver Davies, Lucan Spittle, Darren Bullock, Chris Flynn, James McCarthy, Martyn Jackson (Jack Langston 67), Danny Quinn (Alex Steadman 78), Michael Lennon (Jon Sheldon 65), Fabrice Kasiama.
Subs not used: Peter Heler, Adam Alcock

Ilkeston: Rob Peet, Rob Kozluk (Matt Richards 60), Ryan Wilson (Matt Baker 73), Laurie Wilson, Joe Maguire, Aaron Webster, Kane Richards, James Reid, Gary Ricketts, Antwan Russell (Aaron Hooton 67), Chris Palmer.
Subs not used: Danny Gordon, Callum Chettle

Booked: Flynn (Stafford); Kozluk (Ilkeston)
Sent Off: Mason (Stafford); Maguire (Ilkeston)
Att: 431

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

RUSHALL OLYMPIC 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 0
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Monday 26th August 2013


Rangers early season woes continued as they slipped to their fourth consecutive defeat.

Rushall had no less than five former Rangers’ players in their starting line up, another two were named as substitutes, and one – Luke Bottomer – supplied the cross that allowed Dele Adebola to head the home side into a fifth minute lead.
The Pics continued to press and Peter Heler had to clear the lines after Jon Brain spilled a shot from Adebola.

Former Stafford captain Lee Downes fired wide following a Kyle Haynes corner before Jack Langston produced what was to be Rangers’ only serious effort on goal throughout the afternoon when he struck a 35 yarder that forced a good reaction save from Lewis Solley.

Downes and full back Matty Wood both fired across the face of the Rangers goal after being set up by Adebola while Ahmed Obeng’s back post header failed to test Brain as Rushall went in at the break with just a one goal advantage.

Brain saved from Bottomer and Tom Eckersley early in the second half then saved Chris Flynn’s blushes after an error by the Rangers’ captain let in Haynes.
Flynn made a clearance of his own after Obeng had burst past Andy Mason and Rhys Swetnam but Rushall wrapped up the points in the 73rd minute when Wood picked out the unmarked Obeng and the lively forward made no mistake.

Rushall Olympic: 1 Lewis Solley, 2 Kyle Haynes, 3 Matty Wood, 4 Tom Eckersley, 5 Mitchell Tolley, 6 Jimmy Turner (12 Gavin Caines 50m), 7 Carl Palmer, 8 Lee Downes, 9 Dele Adebola (16 Dave Walker 75m), 10 Ahmed Obeng, 11 Luke Bottomer (15 Josh Craddock 71m).
Unused Subs: 14 Liam Spink, 17 Stan Mugisha

Stafford Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Rhys Swetnam, 3 Oliver Davies, 4 Chris Flynn, 5 Lucan Spittle (14 Alex Steadman 63m), 6 Michael Carr, 7 Andy Mason, 8 Peter Heler, 9 Michael Lennon (15 Jack Lees 68m), 10 Fabrice Kasiama, 11 Jack Langston (12 Jon Sheldon 75m).
Unused Subs: 16 Christian Dacres, 17 Sean Kinsella

Cautions: Turner (Rushall), Davies, Carr, Flynn (Stafford)
Ref: R Dadley
Att: 297
 
Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1 Trafford 4
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - 24th August 2013


Rangers slumped to their third consecutive defeat with a below-par performance against new boys Trafford.

Following the defeat at home to Barwell, Greg Clowes range the changes bringing in Oliver Davies, Darren Bullock, Sean Kinsella and Jack Langston. It was newly promoted Trafford that showed first when Rory Fallon raced through on goal forcing Rangers keeper, Jon Brain, to save with his legs. Brain was again forced into action saving low at his near post from a Shelton Payne effort.

Trafford deservedly took the lead in the 22nd minute. Michael Oates challenged Brain, the ball looping up from the keeper to Andy Smart who hit a first time volley through Chris Flynn and into the net.
Rangers were level inside 3 minutes. After Langston had shot wide, a poor clearance from Tom Read was straight to Fabrice Kasiama.
Kasiama’s though ball went past Danny Quinn but into the path of Michael Lennon and the Hednesford loanee made no mistake.

Back came Trafford and Langston had to clear a header from Nia Bayuna off the line. Rangers were guilty of giving the ball away and when Kinsella gifted a pass to Cedric Krou, the tall striker fired just over the bar.  Brain was keeping the Rangers in it and a triple save to stop Payne and Oates (twice) was the highlight.
With half-time approaching, Payne hit the bar with an excellent shot from the D.

Rangers started the second half brighter and Lennon forced a save from Read at his near post, Quinn then fired wide as Rangers began to create chances.
It wasn’t long before Trafford started to test the Rangers’ backline again with substitute Ali Nsangou forcing a save from Brian. Payne missed another decent chance firing straight at Brain before the inevitable second goal came. Good approach play from Trafford saw the ball rolled into the path of Smart and he hit a 25 yard left footed effort into the roof of the net. Mason should have hit the target with another effort but Rangers were still in the match.

Kasiama, now in the middle, forced Smart to clear off the line. Just as Rangers seemed to be getting back into the game, they were dealt a sucker punch as Trafford grabbed their third. Krou burst into the box, the loose ball fell to Nsangou who had a lot to do, but beat Brain at his near post.
Bradley Anderson was the next player from Trafford to be foiled one-on-one by Brain.

Rangers continued to search for a second and Read saved well from Kasiama. Lennon then saw a shot saved and Jermaine Johnson headed over but this wasn’t to be Rangers day.

In the final minute, Johnson gave the ball away and Payne picked his spot and left Brain a beaten man for the fourth time in the afternoon.

Stafford Rangers: Jon Brain, Rhys Swetnam, Oliver Davies, Chris Flynn, Darren Bullock (Jermaine Johnson 57), Michael Carr, Sean Kinsella , Jack Langston, Danny Quinn (Jon Sheldon 52), Michael Lennon, Fabrice Kasiama. 
Subs not used: Andy Mason, Alex Steadman, Peter Heler

Trafford: Tom Read, Ally Brown, Andy Smart, Steve Mason, Nia Bayunu, Rory Fallon, Shelton Payne, Martyn Andrews, Michael Oates (Ali Nsangou 60), Cedric Krou (Simon Gallanders 85), Paul Ashton (Bradley Anderson 81).
Subs not used: Kamahl Whight, Sam Halligan

Booked: Flynn, Carr (Stafford); Bayunu, Payne (Trafford)
Referee: Nick Hopton (Derby)
Attendance: 390

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

STAFFORD RANGERS 2 BARWELL 3
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - Tuesday 20th August 2013


Rangers were left still searching for their first point of the new campaign after allowing Barwell to leave Marston Road with all three points.

The game got off to a slow start although Barwell striker Luke Barlone wasted a good chance inside the opening 10 mins.
Loan signing Michael Lennon set a chance up for Peter Heler but it was on the midfielder’s weaker foot and the ball skewed well wide.
A couple of minutes later, Rangers survived a scare when keeper Jon Brain’s attempted clearance struck Barwell’s Daniel Spencer and ran goalwards but Brain won the race back to avert the danger.

The best chances continued to fall for the visitors and Daniel Newton was just unable to convert at the back post before Newton took advantage to nip in a head of a leaden footed Ryan Brown but headed wide.
The Rangers defence was again hesitant on 43 mins and this time Barwell made them pay as Newton pounced to smash the ball past Brain from close range.
Two minutes later, Rhys Swetnam conceded a needless penalty when he tripped Connor Gudger and Newton drilled home his second to give Barwell a two goal lead at the interval.

Rangers responded well at the start of the second half and pulled a goal back on 48 mins when Jermaine Johnson turned in a powerful drive from Danny Quinn.
Johnson had two chances in a minute to level the scores but it was the defender’s error on 55 mins that let in Newton for his hat trick, skipping easily past a helpless Brain.

Rangers still had chances to get back into the game as Liam Castle saved from Lennon and Quinn missed an open goal when his back post header went wide.
Newton was inches away from adding to Barwell’s lead before Rangers reduced the arrears again on 81 mins when Fabrice Kasiama rolled the ball past Castle following an excellent pass from sub Sean Kinsella.

Barwell came again and Newton missed out on two more chances that fell his way.
Rangers nearly grabbed a late equaliser when Kinsella’s deflected shot had Castle wrong footed but the ball span wide and took Rangers’ hopes with it.

Rangers: 1 Jon Brain, 2 Rhys Swetnam, 3 Ryan Brown, 4 Chris Flynn, 5 Jermaine Johnson, 6 Michael Carr (15 Kieran O’Connell 84m), 7 Alex Steadman (12 Sean Kinsella 60m), 8 Peter Heler, 9 Danny Quinn (14 Oliver Davies 72m), 10 Michael Lennon, 11 Fabrice Kasiama.
Unused Subs: 16 Darren Bullock, 17 Adam Whitehouse

Barwell: 1 Liam Castle, 2 Scott Lower, 3 Daniel Spencer (14 Callum Earls 71m), 4 Guy Hadland, 5 Jamie Hood, 6 Richard Lavery, 7 Thomas Weale, 8 Daniel Gaunt (17 Kieron Brehon 78m), 9 Luke Barlone, 10 Connor Gudger, 11 Daniel Newton.
Unused Subs: 12 Luke Blakely, 15 Elliot Puthan, 16 Leighton Simmonds

Cautions: Flynn (SRFC), Hadland, Barlone (BFC)
Ref: Nigel Smith
Att: 441

Report by Chris Elsley

AFC Fylde 2 Stafford Rangers 1
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League - 17/08/2013


Rangers slipped to an opening day defeat at pre season favourites AFC Fylde in torrential rain.
The Coasters had most of the early play without troubling Jon Brain. Rangers’ first attack came courtesy of Alex Steadman on the right who got to the by-line but the cross was cleared by Matt Hughes. Danny Lloyd was a thorn in Rangers side but the final ball left a lot to be desired.
On 34 minutes Lloyd beat Rhys Swetman and fed Jamie Rainford. Rainford' s shot was well saved by Brain and Lloyd hit the post with the rebound. Michael Barnes created an opening which ended with Rainford hitting the side netting.  In stoppage time, Brain tipped a shot from Joe Booth over the bar.

The home side took the lead in the 59th minute when Lloyd's cross was misjudged by Swetman and Harry Winter hammered home the loose ball. Rangers were level within two minutes. A good run from Steadman picked out Sean Kinsella and despite a block from Dave Hankin, Danny Quinn was on hand to finish.
Rangers had claims for a penalty waved away by the referee before Rainford missed the target without effort. Fylde took the lead with 8 minutes left. An excellent run from Hankin allowed Barnes to get the wrong side of Lucan Spittle and his cross was turned in by Lloyd. It could have been worse for Rangers when Ainford skipped clear but there was no finish at the far post.

AFC Fylde: Ben Hinchliffe, Dave Hankin, Adam Sumner, Matt Hughes, Andy Russell, Caspar Hughes, Joe Booth (Matt Blinkhorn 76), Harry Winter, Jamie Rainford, Michael Barnes, Danny Lloyd.
Subs not used: Calvin Hare, James Dean, Luke Denson, Jimmy McCarthy

Rangers: Jon Brain, Rhys Swetman (Lucan Spittle 76), Ryan Brown, Chris Flynn, Jermaine Johnson, Michael Carr (Kieran O'Connell 86), Peter Heler, Danny Quinn, Sean Kinsella (Jack Langston 80), Fabrice Kasiama.
Subs not used: Oliver Davies, Adam Alcock

Referee: S. Mulhall
Attendance: 361
Booked: Swetman (Rangers)

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 0 Stoke City 2
Friendly - Tuesday 6th August 2013

 
Stafford Rangers failed to score for the first time in pre-season as they went down to a youthful Stoke City side.
 
The early signs were good for the visitors whose passing and movement were causing problems for Rangers. Adam Alcock was forced into turning a deep cross from James Campbell over the bar. From the corner, Alex Grant headed over. Rangers went close in the 14th minute when first Jack Langston and then Sam Bell robbed defenders with Bell's shot tipped round the post by Dan Bachmann. The corner was partially cleared to Jon Lynch who stung the hands of Bachmann from 35 yards. Lynch again tried his luck from similar distance with the same result, 10 minutes later. Rangers continued to press and following a trip on Kieron O'Connell, Fabrice Kasiama fired a free-kick wide.

A cross field ball from Kasiama picked out Bell on the right. He cushioned a pass into the path of Jack Langston but the shot was blocked. Against the run of play, Stoke opened the scoring with four minutes left in the first half. A low cross from Jake Cook bobbled about in the area and despite Alcock's best efforts, Derice Richards was on hand to turn the ball home.
 
Richards almost doubled the lead after the break but his shot from Marcel Barrington's cross skimmed the bar. Eight substitutions at half-time upset the Rangers rhythm and Stoke capitalised by doubling the lead in the 69th minute. A poor pass from Sean Kinsella failed to find Rhys Swetman who reacted slowly. This let in Adam Thomas whose first shot was well saved by Adam Whitehouse but the young keeper could do nothing to stop the follow up.

Kinsella forced a save from Bachmann and then Kasiama set up Michael Carr whose spectacular overhead kick was just wide. Stoke almost grabbed a third when George Waring showed wonderful footwork but his shot was brilliantly saved by Whitehouse.
 
Rangers: Adam Alcock (Adam Whitehouse 45), Andy Mason (Rhys Swetman 45), Jon Lynch (Oliver Davies 45), Lucan Spittle (James Askey 45), Jermaine Johnson (Ryan Brown 75), Peter Heler (Christian Dacres 45), Sam Bell (Nick Porter 45), Jack Langston (Sean Kinsella 45), Jack Lees (Michael Carr 45), Kieron O'Connell (Jon Sheldon 75), Fabrice Kasiama (Chris Flynn 75)
 
Stoke City: Dan Bachmann, Sam Westley (Ben Glasgow 69), James Campbell, Elliot Wheeler (Kevin Gomez 61), Ben Heneghan, Alex Grant (Jordan Keane 45), Jake Cook (Chris Scott 61), Eddie Lecygne (Karim Rossi 61), Marcel Barrington (James Alibi 65), Derice Richards (George Waring 61), Jack Nardiello (Adam Thomas 45)
 
Attendance: 827

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Sutton Coldfield Town 0 Stafford Rangers 2
Friendly - Saturday 3rd August 2013

 
Rangers picked up their 8th win in 9 pre-season matches with a hard earned victory at Coles Lane.
 
The Royals started well hitting the Rangers post through Craig Marshall in the 1st minute. Marshall beat the Rangers offside trap but former Rangers midfielder Luke Chapman failed to turn it home. Craig Milligan missed another decent chance for the home side after a mistake from Adam Whitehouse. Rangers first attempt came from Jack Langston who fired over and then the same player forced a save from Lee Evans.

In the 40th minute, Milligan should have scored for Sutton but ballooned his shot over the bar. Sean Kinsella forced a fine save from Evans before Rangers opened the scoring pretty much against the run of play. Nick Porter's shot was deflected but Jermaine Johnson reacted quickly to rush through and dink the ball past Evans.
 
A plethora of substitutions at the break saw Rangers immediately on the front foot. Four minutes after the break, Kieron O'Connell's goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Scott Lycett. Rangers grabbed their second in the 53rd minute. Sam Bell did exceptionally well to rob the defender and then crossed low to the near post where O'Connell got in front of the defender and headed home.

It should have been three on 67 minutes when Jack Lees, one-on-one with Evans was thwarted by the former Rangers stopper. The rebound was hammered goalwards by Langston and Evans again saved well. Rangers again missed a good chance when O'Connell was sent clear but his shot was saved by Lewis Gwilliams. 11 minutes from time, Lucan Spittle conceded a needless penalty but Whitehouse flung himself to his left to save Stuart McNaught's spot-kick. In the dying minutes, O'Connell again saw a shot saved.
 
 
Rangers: Adam Whitehouse, Rhys Swetman (Andy Mason 45), Oliver Davies (Jon Lynch 45), Lucan Spittle, Jermaine Johnson, Peter Heler (Michael Carr 45), Nick Porter (Sam Bell 45), Jack Langston (Christian Dacres 80), Danny Quinn (Kieron O'Connell 45), Sean Kinsella (Jack Lees 60), Fabrice Kasiama

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 2 Port Vale 0
Friendly - Tuesday 30th July 2013

 
Rangers continued their fine pre-season with a well deserved victory over Port Vale at Marston Road. The home side started much the brighter with Danny Quinn having an early opportunity saved by former Rangers loanee Sam Johnson. Vale first attempt came via a Dom Dell volley which was comfortable for Jon Brain.

Rangers opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Sean Kinsella picked up the ball off Quinn, saw his first shot blocked by Johnson but the midfielder was alert to the situation and dispatched the rebound with the outside off his left foot. Kinsella was certainly up for this game and tested Johnson again from 20 yards.
Great control and a neat pass from Oliver Davies on the left again gave Kinsella a shooting opportunity but this time his effort from 25 yards was just over the bar.
 
Fabrice Kasiama showed the Vale defence what he was capable of, turning his defender inside out before seeing his cross cleared for a corner. The game threatened to boil over following a poor challenge by Peter Heler on Gary O'Neill, Heler being booked in the process. Kinsella again forced a save from Johnson, his free-kick always a little too close to the keeper.

A surging run from Sam Bell down the right was stopped by a crude challenge on the edge of the box but referee Taylor deemed that Rangers had the advantage and played on! Vale's best chance of the game fell to Tom Morris but he headed wide from a corner.

Rangers sealed victory with an excellent goal 3 minutes from time. Quinn played a lovely ball inside to Kasiama, and with the Vale defence expecting him to tee it up on his left foot, he hammered home with his right foot to put a fair reflection on the scoreline.

Rangers: Jon Brain (Adam Alcock 45), Rhys Swetman (Will Whieldon 53), Oliver Davies, Lucan Spittle (James Askey 63), Jermaine Johnson, Michael Carr (Peter Heler 45), Nick Porter (Sam Bell 45), Sean Kinsella, Danny Quinn, Kieron O'Connell (Jack Langston 58), Fabrice Kasiama
 
Port Vale: Sam Johnson, Dougie Price, Ben Jefford, Tom Morris, Liam Chilvers, Louis Tambini, Wilson Carvalho, Gary O'Neill (Luke Wright 62), Jordan Hugill, Dom Dell, Ryan Lloyd.
Subs not used: Ryan Boot, Nathan Smith, Elliot Osbourne
 
Booked: Heler (Stafford)
Attendance: 525

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Heath Hayes 0 Stafford Rangers 1
Friendly - Thursday 25th July 2013

 
Stafford Rangers picked up their 6th win in seven pre-season outings with a single goal victory against Midland Alliance Heath Hayes.
 
Rangers started the game on the front foot. Alex Steadman was thwarted by the woodwork in the 6th minute with Will Whieldon shaving the post with his follow up. The only goal of the game was scored in the 8th minute. An excellent cross from Steadman was met first time by Danny Quinn. The home keeper made a fine stop but Kieron O'Connell was on hand to turn in the rebound. Heath Hayes bounced back and hit the post before Steadman could count himself doubly unlucky when his shot hit the inside of both posts before being gathered by the keeper. A couple of minutes later, Steadman was thwarted again this time by the keeper following a deep cross by Rhys Swetman.
Rangers again hit the woodwork on 31 minutes with Jermaine Johnson the victim, his near post shot cannoning off the post after a low cross from Nick Porter. Heath Hayes should have equalised when given a free-header in the 6 yard box but the attempt was off target.
 
Heath Hayes had the better of the second half but failed to find the finish some of their approach play deserved. The nearest Rangers came to scoring after the break was when Sean Kinsella's shot on the turn was saved by the keeper. All in all a performance which raises more questions than answers for Ranger with the Northern Premier League season just over three weeks away.
 
Rangers: Jon Brain (Adam Alcock 45), Rhys Swetman, Oliver Davies, Lucan Spittle (James Askey 55), Jermaine Johnson (Darren Bullock 55), Will Whieldon (Sean Kinsella 59), Nick Porter, Michael Carr, Danny Quinn (Fabrice Kasiama 59), Kieron O'Connell, Alex Steadman

Attendance: 82

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Rangers 1 Crewe Alexandra 2
Friendly - Monday 22nd July 2013

 
Stafford Rangers slipped to their first defeat of pre-season losing narrowly to a strong Crewe Alexandra outfit at Marston Road.
 
Rangers had a penalty appeal rejected in the 10th minute when former Rangers loanee, Kelvin Mellor bundled over Fabrice Kasiama. Crewe opened the scoring with their first opportunity. Oliver Turton's through ball found Max Clayton and the striker slid the ball past Jon Brain with ease. A poor clearance from Crewe keeper Alan Martin reached Michael Carr who returned the ball with interest but saw his 35 yard dipping effort tipped over by the relieved keeper. Kieran O'Connell had an opportunity but chose to pass to Danny Quinn instead but the shot was weak and easily gathered.
 
Crewe controlled things more after the break and Clayton almost grabbed a second only to be thwarted by a fine save from Brain. Crewe skipper Adam Dugdale should have done better from a free-header before the visitors doubled their lead in the 69th minute. That man Clayton was again on the scoresheet with a similar goal to the opener sliding home from a through ball from Fraser Murdoch. In the final minute, Rangers grabbed the goal their endeavors deserved and it owed everything to the skill of Rangers standout performer on the evening, Oliver Davies. The youngster controlled the ball and beat his marker in one movement before playing the ball into the inside left channel for Jack Lees to run onto. the Rangers sub hit the ball first time and beat former Rangers keeper Ben Garratt with an excellent finish.
 
Rangers: Jon Brain, Rhys Swetman (Nick Porter 65), Oliver Davies, Chris Flynn (Jermaine Johnsosn 39), Darren Bullock (Lucan Spittle 71), Michael Carr (Levi Reid 57), Alex Steadman (Peter Heler 57), Sean Kinsella, Danny Quinn (Jack Lees 76), Kieron O'Connell (Will Whieldon 57), Fabrice Kasiama
 
Crewe: Alan Martin (Ben Garratt 67), Kelvin Mellor, John Guthrie (Fraser Murdoch 67), Liam Nolan (James Jones 81), George Ray, Adam Dugdale, Max Clayton, Michael West, Nathan Ellington (Luke Giverin 45), Ajay Leitch-Smith (Gregor Robertson 67), Oliver Turton

Attendance: 339

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stone Old Alleynians 0 Stafford Rangers 2
Friendly - Wednesday 17th July 2013


Rangers grabbed their fifth win in five pre-season outings with a hard fought victory over a Stone side who belied the four league gap between the sides.

Rangers opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Sean Kinsella converted a low ball in from Kieran O'Connell. A mixture of poor finishing and a poor final ball kept the scoreline down to just the single goal at half-time.

Rangers second goal came 21 minutes from time When Alex Steadman converted a Jack Lees cross. Three minutes later, Jack Langston hit the cross bar while Lees somehow managed to hit the post with the rebound when it was easier to score.
Rangers continued to miss chances while at the other end, Jon Brain remained untroubled. For Rangers, big centre-back Darren Bullock again stood out in the centre of defence.

Rangers: Jon Brain, Rhys Swetman (Nick Porter 72), Ryan Brown, Chris Flynn,
Peter Heler (Jack Langston 61), Darren Bullock, Alex Steadman, Michael
Carr (Will Whieldon 83), Jack Lees, Kieran O'Connell, Sean Kinsella
(Oliver Davies 63)

Attendance: 105 approx

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Stafford Town 0 Stafford Rangers 5
Friendly - Saturday 13th July 2013


In sweltering conditions, Rangers superior fitness finally overcame a determined performance from The Reds at Evans Park.

Town missed three really good chances as they dominated the first half with the best chance falling to Steve Hopkinson. Against the run of play, Rangers opened the scoring 5 minutes before the break when Sean Kinsella controlled, took aim and fired home.

Kinsella hit the post with a free-kick in the 64th minute before Rangers grabbed two in two. Kinsella's corner was headed goalwards by Chris Flynn and when the keeper fumbled, Jack Langston turned in the rebound. Rangers 3rd came courtesy of a good run and low cross from Sam Bell. Kinsella picked up the ball at the far post and hit the ball into the roof of the net. Jack Lees almost grabbed a fourth but his shot was tipped over the bar. The fourth came quarter of an our before the end when Kinsella grabbed his hat trick with a 30 yard screamer. The final a t of an entertaining second half came with the last kick of the game as Kinsella grabbed his fourth and Rangers fifth with another excellent finish this time from 20 yards.

Rangers: Jon Brain, Rhys Swetman, Ryan Brown, Nick Porter, Will Whieldon (Jack Langston55), Chris Flynn, Sean Kinsella, Michael Carr, Danny Quinn (Jack Lees 21 (Lucan Spittle 75)), Fabrice Kasiama (Oliver Davies 71), Alex Steadman (Sam Bell 62)

Attendance: 200 approx

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Congleton Town 2 Stafford Rangers 6
Friendly - Tuesday 9th July 2013

 
Rangers continued their goal scoring pre-season form bagging another 6 at Booth Street against the NWCL Bears.
Rangers opened the scoring inside two minutes when Fabrice Kasiama's delightful pass set up the returning Danny Quinn who lifted the ball over the Congleton keeper.
Rangers second came in the 10th minute with a wonderful solo run and finish from Chris Flynn. Jack Langston grabbed the third in the 21st minute with a screamer from 30 yards.
The Bears pulled a goal back when Koral outpaced Flynn and finished well. Rangers 4th goal of the first half was the pick of the bunch. A quick throw from Jon Brain out to Jon Sheldon on the right. Sheldon hit a wonderful crossfield pass into the path of Oliver Davies. His first time ball inside the defender was clinically put away by Langston.
 
Rangers made a number of changes at half time and, as in previous games, the changes disrupted the play. Rangers fifth goal came courtesy of Sean Kinsella with a fine finish in the 73rd minute.
Congleton deservedly got the goal their second half efforts warranted when Appleton fired home after a free-kick had been awarded against Brain for handling a back pass.
Langston finished the scoring notching his third and Rangers 6th from the penalty spot after Jack Lees had been tripped.
 
Rangers: Jon Brain, Rhys Swetman,Ryan Brown, Chris Flynn, Darren Bullock, Michael Carr, Jon Sheldon, Jack Langston, DannyQuinn, Fabrice Kasiama, Oliver Davies.
Subs all used: Jermaine Johnson, Sean Kinsella, Jack Lees, Will Whieldon, Neville Thompson

Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Kidsgrove Athletic 3 Stafford Rangers 5
Friendly - Thursday 4th July 2013

 
Rangers continued their pre-season build up going nap against Evo Stik South Kidsgrove at Shamblers FC.

Rangers opened the scoring in the 3rd minute with an excellent volley from Jon Sheldon.
The lead was doubled in the 16th minute when Fabrice Kasiama netted from close range. Kidsgrove pulled a goal back from the penalty spot three minutes later when Matt Haddrell fired home and they were level in the 28th minute with a fine shot from the edge of the area.

Kasiama grabbed his sixth goal in a week from the penalty spot to regain the lead for the Boro. Kasiama was the provider on 35 minutes turning the Kidsgrove defence inside out before teeing up Jack Lees.

Rangers fifth came 14 minutes after the break from Jack Langston but former Rangers star Kevin Street had the final word, scoring with a direct free-kick in the final minute.
 
Rangers: Adam Alcock, A. Trialist, Ryan Brown, Rhys Swetman, Darren Bullock, Michael Carr, Alex Steadman, Sean Kinsella, Jack Lees, Fabrice Kasiama, Jon Sheldon,
Subs Used: Adam Whitehouse, Bernardo Peso, Sam Westray, Jermaine Johnson, Will Whleldon, Sam Bell, Jack Langston, Neville Thompson, Dereece Gardner, Peter Heler
 
Report by Gary Hazlehurst

Rocester 2 Stafford Rangers 11 (ELEVEN)
Friendly - Monday 1st July 2013


Rangers began their pre season fixtures with a double figure victory at Rocester. Fielding 6 new faces in the first half, Rangers took an eight goal lead into the break. With Jon Sheldon and Alex Steadman providing the width, and Fabrice Kasiama and Kieran O'Connell down the middle, the Romans had no answer to Rangers firepower.
O'Connell opened the scoring in the14th minute and he went on to complete a hat trick with further goals in the 30th and 45th minutes. Kasiama bagged four with goals in the 18th, 20th, 37th and 42nd. Sheldon completed the first half rout with a 35th minute effort.

A raft of changes in the second half saw Rangers lose a little of the fluency but further goals came from Sean Kinsella, Jack Langston and Dereece Gardner while the home side grabbed a couple of their own.

Rangers:
Adam Alcock, Nick Porter, Oliver Davies, Rhys Swetnam, Darren Bullock,
Michael Carr, Alex Steadman, Jack Langston, Kieran O'Connell, Fabrice
Kasiama, Jon Sheldon. Subs all used: Adam Whitehouse, Sam Westray,
Jermaine Johnson, Bernardo Peso, Sam Bell, Will Whieldon, Sean Kinsella,
Jack Lees, Dereece gardner

Report by Gary Hazlehurst