Rangers return to league action this Saturday and host a Marine FC side who like ourselves are struggling for consistancy.
Marine are in fact 8 points behind the Boro’ having played one game more. However both teams have a similar recent records with just 4 points from the previous 4 games.
Rangers have not been getting the results but have been playing good football at times without the corresponding rewards.
A close game appears in prospect and hopefully Rangers will start to convert the chances they have been making
Stafford Rangers 1 Alvechurch 1
(Rangers win 4-2 on penalties)
Integro League Cup 2nd Round
Tuesday 28 November 2017
Rangers made it through to the 3rd round of the Integro League Cup with a penalty shoot out win over Alvechurch on Tuesday night.
Both sides made a number of changes to the line ups that had begun Saturday’s matches. Included in the returning players for Rangers was Levi Reid and it was the local midfielder who netted the Boro’s goal on 10 mins when he fired home at the back post after good work from Osebi Abadaki on the left hand side.
The goal was Rangers’ first in almost 5 hours of football but despite dominating much of the first half play, Rangers were unable to add to their tally.
Alvechurch saw plenty of the ball but rarely threatened Brad Caswell’s goal. Corey Virgo-Brown got himself into a promising position for the visitors but fired over from around 20 yards before Alex Fletcher did likewise for the Boro.
Midway through the half, Richard Batchelor dispossessed Virgo-Brown to set up Richard Gregory but the striker’s touch let him down and he was unable to get a clean shot in. A couple of minutes later, Batchelor headed wide from a Jack Sherratt corner then, in a solo effort, he was kept out by keeper Charlie Price after winning possession on the right touchline.
Luke Yates went wide for Alvechurch after some good approach play involving Nathan Waite and Virgo-Brown before Rangers ended the half with a hat trick of missed opportunities with Price turning Abadaki’s shot for a corner, Sherratt having a shot blocked and Batchelor shooting inches wide.
The pattern of play seemed set to continue after the interval as Kieren Westwood had a shot blocked but Rangers’ failure to add to their score boosted Alvechurch’s hopes and they should have levelled on 50 minutes when Ben Tilbury fired across the face of the Rangers goal, the ball flashing past one visiting attacker then being put into the side netting by Andy Parsons at the back post.
Rangers spurned another chance through Gregory who wasn’t quick enough to pull the trigger after being set up by Abadaki and the home side found themselves pegged back on 62 mins when Jamie Willetts turned in a Yusifu Cessay corner from close range.
Levi Reid forced a save from Price soon after as Rangers came close to restoring their lead.
Neither side really looked set on going for the kill although both had chances to win it in the final five minutes. Waite missed the ball with the goal at his mercy after another delivery from Tilbury flashed across the face of the Rangers’ goal before Gregory planted his header straight at Price from Louis Briscoe’s centre.
With the cold bighting, everyone was grateful that the tie went straight to penalties without the need for extra time and Caswell gave Rangers an early advantage when keeping out Jamie Ashmore’s kick.
The next five kicks were all successful (Gregory, Batchelor and Briscoe netting for the Boro) but when social media and TV star Daniel Dubidat sent his kick wide, the stage was set for Alex Fletcher to fire Rangers into the last 16.
Rangers: 1 Brad Caswell, 2 Kai Davis, 3 Kieren Westwood, 4 Kieran Morris, 5 Alex Fletcher, 6 Jordaan Brown, 7 Osebi Abadaki (16 Massiah McDonald 83m), 8 Levi Reid (14 Niall Flint 70m), 9 Richard Gregory, 10 Jack Sherratt (15 Louis Briscoe 70m), 11 Richard Batchelor. Unused Subs 12 Dan Westwood, 17 Izak Reid
Alvechurch: 1 Charlie Price, 2 Jamie Ashmore, 3 McKauley Manning, 4 Ryan Winwood, 5 Andy Parsons, 6 Jamie Willetts, 7 Luke Yates (16 Yusifu Cessay 55m), 8 Corey Virgo-Brown (12 Zack Foster 69m), 9 Jordan Nadat, 10 Nathan Waite, 11 Ben Tilbury (15 Danny Dubidat 90+4m). Unused Subs 14 Ethan Hanks, 17 Lewis Gwilliams
Cautions: L Reid (Rangers)
Referee: Jack Shepherd
Gainsborough Trinity 2 Stafford Rangers 0
Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Saturday 25 November 2017
Rangers have only themselves to blame after their FA Trophy exit at Gainsborough Trinity.
Rangers squandered a sackful of first half chances that would have put the home side out of reach. Instead, Gainsborough showed them how to finish with two second half goals.
A lively opening five minutes saw chances at both ends.
Gainsborough attacked from the kick off and it needed a timely intervention from Kieran Morris to prevent Alex Simmons from getting in a shot inside 30 seconds.
At the other end, Louis Briscoe grilled the ball into the danger area but Dan Westwood couldn’t get enough of a touch to divert it in to the Gainsborough net.
Rangers took charge and took the game to their higher ranked opponents.
Briscoe then blazed over the bar and, after Brad Caswell had held on to a glancing header from Simmons round by his ankles, good work from Kieren Westwood created a chance for Massiah McDonald but his shot deflected wide off Nathan Stainfield. Further good work on the left, this time from Richard Batchelor, saw the Rangers’ midfielder force a good save from Henrich Ravas.
Rangers kept coming and a swift counter launched by Briscoe ended with Stainfield making a good block to keep out Dan Westwood from Batchelor’s ball in to the danger area.
The respective captains both missed out within a minute of each other. Gainsborough’s Shane Clarke headed over when unmarked then, at the other end, Mat Bailey saw his header blocked on the line by sub Taron Hare.
Shortly before the interval, McDonald fired wide after getting behind Stainfield and, despite creating most of the openings, Rangers had to settle for a scoreless first half.
Briscoe missed another glorious chance just after the resumption but Gainsborough had come out in a more positive mood and when Bailey misjudged Stainfield’s header forward from midfield, Ashley Worsfold took advantage to give his side a 55th minute lead.
Pressure from Worsfold resulted in Brad Caswell handling outside of his area, the Rangers keeper receiving a yellow card.
The resulting free kick came to nothing but Gainsborough had got their tales up and Caswell had to make saves from Nathan Jarman and Simmons to keep Rangers in touch.
At the other end, Ravas pushed away a goal bound header from McDonald before Caswell was back in action, producing another good save from Worsfold.
Bailey then volleyed wide but Gainsborough handed out another lesson in finishing in the 81st minute when a long clearance sent Nathan Jarman away and he beat Caswell at his near post to wrap up the tie.
Gainsborough: 1 Henrich Ravas, 2 Michael Jacklin, 3 Kern Miller, 4 Jordan Richards, 5 Nathan Stainfield, 6 Liam King, 7 Craig King (14 Taron Hare 15m), 8 Shane Clark (12 Nathan Jarman 46m), 9 Ashley Worsfold, 10 Alex Simmons (16 Matt Taylor 79m), 11 Curtis Bateson. Unused subs: 15 Josh Lacey, 17 Bradley Wells
Rangers: 1 Brad Caswell, 2 Izak Reid, 3 Kieren Westwood, 4 Kieran Westwood, 5 Mat Bailey (15 Kai Davis 84m), 6 Jordaan Brown, 7 Josh Craddock, 8 Louis Briscoe (12 Richard Gregory 82m), 9 Dan Westwood, 10 Massiah McDonald, 11 Richard Batchelor. Unused subs 14 Jack Sherratt, 16 Alex Fletcher, 17 Levi Reid
Cautions: Jacklin, Bateson (Gainsborough) Caswell, K Westwood, Craddock (Rangers)
Rangers were beaten 2-0 at Gainsborough this afternoon. A much improved performance by the Boro’ saw them take the game to their Conference North opponents. Despite having the lions share of possession Rangers were again undone by their failure to put away their chances. A full match report will follow.
Rangers visit Vanarama North side Gainsborough Trinity this Saturday looking to progress to the Buildbase FA Trophy, first round proper. After wins against St Ives of the Evostik South Premier League and FA Vase holders South Shields, in the previous two rounds, hopes are high for an extended run in this competition.
Neil Kitching’s squad head north in the knowledge that they must improve on the last two league outings which saw us concede 6 times without reply. However the performances in those games were arguably better than the scorelines suggest.
Rangers were boosted this week by the news that Massiah McDonald has extended his loan stay with us until 7th January. This is particularly relevant for this match as he has scored 5 times in our 2 FA Trophy games.
Rangers are likely to be without Adam Whitehouse as he continues to recover from a hamstring problem. However Captain Mat Bailey may well be fit to return after missing last Saturdays game.
This is a difficult match against a side from one step above us, but we can draw confidence from both our away form this season and our performances against Tamworth and AFC Telford this season, both of which occupy a higher league position than Gainsborough Trinity.