Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Saturday 31 March 2018
Stafford Rangers’ seven match unbeaten run came to an end thanks to a late winner from Grantham sub Jordan Hempenstall.
After an unproductive but keenly contested opening, Rangers got their noses in front on 12 mins through Osebi Abadaki.
The wide man latched on to a long ball from Kieran Morris and outwitted Tom Batchelor before beating former Bpro keeper Kieran Preston at his near post.
The goal put Rangers firmly in command and Abadaki went close again a couple of minutes later, firing over from 20 yards, before Kyle Perry was denied twice in quick succession – his first shot blocked by Tom Potts then his second effort was clawed away by Preston.
Robert Thompson-Brown also fired over but Grantham became more threatening with Danny Meadows side footing a volley wide. Mohammed Hakeem also fired wide but Grantham’s pressure was rewarded 10 mins before the interval. Lee Shaw got behind his man and squared the ball into the goalmouth. The immediate danger seemed to have been averted as the ball by passed Makeem but Kieren Westwood’s attempted clearance merely rebounded off Meadows and over Adam Whitehouse to bring the scores level.
Grantham came out sharper at the start of the second half but a shot and a header from Shaw didn’t really trouble Whitehouse. At the other end, Massiah McDonald fired across the face of the Grantham goal after Dan Vann had intercepted a poor ball from Preston.
Both sides went within a whisker of taking the lead when they struck the crossbar – a tremendous drive from Michael Hollingsworth crashed back off the Stafford bar via the faintest of touches from Whitehouse before Curtis Burrows put the rebound high over. At the other end, Boro skipper Josh Craddock saw his header hit the Grantham bar from Thompson-Brown corner.
The visitors immediately broke away with a solo run from Jack McGovern but his shot went wide.
It was the visitors who looked the most likely winners in the closing stages. Meadows, Shaw and Batchelor all went close before the threat went away thanks to the linesman’s flag.
The pressure finally told and Grantham got their goal in the 89th minute as Hempenstall side footed home from close range after the Rangers’ defence had failed to cut out Andrew Wright’s square ball.
There was still time for some late drama as Grantham’s Batchelor, already cautioned for a foul on Perry, saw a straight red for an elbow on the Stafford striker but it was too late for the home side to take advantage.
Rangers 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Dan Vann, 3 Kieren Westwood, 4 Kieran Morris, 5 Jordaan Brown, 6 Josh Craddock, 7 Massiah McDonald (14 Tyrell Waite 86m), 8 Jack Sherratt, 9 Kyle Perry, 10 Robert Thompson-Brown, 11 Osebi Abadaki. Unused Subs: 12 Sam Griffiths, 15 Levi Reid, 16 Kai Davis, 17 Riley Stephenson
Grantham: 1 Kieran Preston, 2 Tom Potts, 3 Oliver Luto, 4 Michael Hollingsworth (14 Andrew Wright 77m), 5 Stefan Galinski, 6 Tom Batchelor, 7 Danny Meadows, 8 Jack McGovern, 9 Mohammed Hakeem (16 Jordan Hempenstall 77m), 10 Lee Shaw, 11 Curtis Burrows (12 Sam Osborne 86m). Unused subs: 15 Jack McMenemy, 17 Harry Vince
Cautions: Perry (Rangers), Batchelor, McGovern (Grantham)
Sent Off: Batchelor (Grantham)
Ref: Bradley Hall
Report Chris Elsley
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Tuesday 27 March 2018
Referee Simon Brown was the centre of attention as Stafford Rangers came from behind to record a league double over Barwell.
Brown brandished eight yellow cards, two reds and awarded two penalties as he struggled to keep control of this mid table match.
The evening began sedately enough, Barwell just shading the opening ten minutes with Matt Stenson firing wide then Adam Whitehouse had to claw away Jake Whitmore’s right wing cross as it threatened to squeeze in at the far corner.
Barwell took the lead in the 22nd minute. Kieran Morris picked up the game’s first caution when he fouled Whitmore on the Barwell left wing and Craig Stanley’s resulting free kick skimmed off the head of Stafford’s Kieren Westwood to beat Whitehouse at the back post.
Rangers responded well but both Osebi Abadaki and Kyle Perry fired over when well placed. Nigel Julien’s interception saw him almost put one past his own keeper before Rangers got their equaliser in the 34th minute.
Jack Sherratt linked well with Abadaki on the left and when Abadaki was tripped by Elliot Percival, Robert Thompson-Brown levelled from the spot.
Rangers had a strong appeal for a second penalty turned down when Perry was dragged down by Liam Kay, but when Kay held Perry down again, two minutes into added time, the referee pointed to the spot and Thompson-Brown fired Rangers ahead.
There was still time for further incident before the half time whistle as a poor challenge on Izak Reid from Julien saw the Barwell player sent off and Reid’s game ended through injury.
Thompson-Brown went close to a hat trick early in the second half with a free kick that just cleared the bar but a poor ball from Josh Craddock almost presented Barwell with an equaliser, Morris saving his skipper with a timely interception to deny Ryan Nesbitt.
Barwell’s were reduced to nine men on 72 minutes when Lee Hildreth received a straight red for a late challenge on Thompson-Brown in the middle of the park and Rangers went close to wrapping the game up as Messiah McDonald forced a parried save from Liam Castle.
But Rangers found themselves under pressure from the nine men. Whitehouse saved from Whitmore then Matt Stenson missed a great chance to level, getting behind the Boro defence and going round Whitehouse but putting the ball wide of an empty net.
Rangers had chances of their own late on but Perry fired straight at Castle and Abadaki was denied by the Barwell keeper’s fingertips.
Barwell: 1 Liam Castle, 2 Elliot Percival, 3 Eddie Nisevic, 4 Craig Stanley, 5 Liam Kay, 6 Nigel Julian, 7 Lee Hildreth, 8 Ryan Nesbitt (12 Owen Story 71m), 9 Jake Whitmore, 10 Brady Hickey, 11 Matt Stenson. Unused subs: 14 Jake Heath, 15 Craig Reid, 16 Mitchell Piggon, 17 Tom Bates
Rangers 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Dan Vann, 3 Kieren Westwood, 4 Kieran Morris, 5 Jordaan Brown, 6 Josh Craddock, 7 Izak Reid (15 Massiah McDonald 46m), 8 Jack Sherratt, 9 Kyle Perry, 10 Robert Thompson-Brown (16 Levi Reid 78m), 11 Osebi Abadaki (12 Sam Griffiths 90+2m). Unused subs 14 Tyrell Waite, 17 Ben Chilcott
Cautions: Kay, Whitmore, Stenson (Barwell), Morris, Sherratt, Perry, Thompson-Brown, McDonald (Rangers)
Sent Off: Julien, Hildreth (Barwell)
Referee: Simon Brown
Report: Chris Elsley
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Saturday 24 March 2018
A last minute penalty saw Rangers extend their unbeaten league run to six games in this mid table clash at Lancaster City.
The opening 45 mins was a poor affair with neither side able to muster up a shot on target, the best effort coming from Stafford on the stroke of half time when Messiah McDonald worked himself an opening but, with a tight angle, the ball was diverted away to Kieren Westwood who fired wide through a crowded area.
If anyone, Lancaster had just shaded the opening exchanges with Rangers looking stronger as the half progressed, but neither was able to produce enough quality to overcome their opposing defence.
One of the few talking points came when a quick throw put Connor Simpson in behind the defence but he was inexplicably flagged offside.
In contrast, the opening 10 minutes of the second half provided plenty of incident.
Lancaster came out sharper and Craig Carney forced Adam Whitehouse into his first save of the day, tipping over a rising shot. The Stafford keeper did even better from the resulting corner with an excellent save to deny Ricky Mercer.
Lancaster had issued the warning and delivered the message on 52 minutes when Carney fired home after a counter attack n the right through Sam Bailey, though Rangers could argue that the absence of Westwood, off the field following treatment, was a key factor.
Lancaster looked to press home their advantage with Josh Gregory and Charlie Bailey both going wide while Connor Simpson missed an open goal, though he would probably have been given offside. Rangers went close to an equaliser when Izak Reid volleyed over when at full stretch then Josh Craddock’s header bounced up against the bar from Jack Sherratt’s free kick.
Just as it looked as though it wasn’t going to be Rangers’ day, in the final minute, Simon Wills tripped Osebi Abadaki and Robert Thompson-Brown netted from the spot.
Lancaster: 1 Elliot Wynne, 2 Ben Hudson, 3 Paul Dugdale, 4 Simon Wills, 5 Glenn Steel, 6 Ricky Mercer, 7 Sam Bailey, 8 Josh Gregory (12 Billy Akrigg 69m), 9 Connor Simpson (15 Hannu Tam 90+1m), 10 Craig Carney, 11 Charlie Bailey (17 Ryan Winder 77m). Unused subs 14 Adam Anson, 16 Steve Williams
Rangers: 1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Sam Griffiths, 3 Kieren Westwood, 4 Kieran Morris, 5 Jordaan Brown, 6 Josh Craddock, 7 Levi Reid (16 Jack Sherratt 70m), 8 Massiah McDonald (15 Osebi Abadaki 58m), 9 Kyle Perry (14 Tyrell Waite 58m), 10 Robert Thompson-Brown, 11 Izak Reid. Unused subs 12 Dan Vann, 17 Ben Chilcott
Cautions: Gregory (Lancaster), Westwood, McDonald, Craddock (Rangers)
Referee: Chris Ellis
Report: Chris Elsley