Staffs Senior Cup Final | Monday 29 April 2019
Stafford Rangers retained the Staffs Senior Cup with a comfortable victory over Rushall Olympic to strengthen their record as the competition’s most successful non-league club. After a cagey opening ten minutes that Rangers shaded, the cup holders took control of the first half proceedings and never looked like losing. Rangers had posed most of the threat without testing Ben Newey until an Andy Haworth cross was missed by the Rushall keeper forcing Lee Smith to concede a corner. Haworth took the flag kick and, after an exchange with Matt Hill, picked out Theo Bailey-Jones who fired wide of the target.
But the opening goal wasn’t long in coming and it came out of another Haworth corner on 17 minutes. Luke Jones rose high to head the ball back across goal and Dan Burns nodded in at the near post. Jack Sherratt – the only Stafford player who was in last season’s winning side – fired wide and Luke Jones headed over as Rangers looked to take a firm hold but when Hill got caught in possession, Sherratt had to ‘take one for the team’ and picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Simeon Maye. Sherratt remained in the thick of the action, forcing a save from Newey after combining with Jake Charles.
It was Charles who made it 2-0 on 35 mins, sliding in to convert the rebound after Newey could only parry Tom Thorley’s initial strike. Haworth’s free kick was inches away from adding a third while Tyler Lyttle spurned Rushall’s best chance when he delayed his shot and Thorley nipped in to clear the danger. Rushall enjoyed a better start to the second half, keeping the ball better when in possession, but there was no end product when they pushed forward.
Instead, it was Stafford who looked most likely to add to their tally. Haworth fired low at Newey after holding off Lyttle’s challenge and it was little surprise when the lead was extended on 58 mins although there was a double element of good fortune behind it. First came as Joe Hull attempted to let an overhit ball from Burns run for a goal-kick. The Rushall defender misjudged the flight of the ball which struck him on the back and went out for a corner. Hill and Haworth combined once more with the latter sending in a cross from the left and Charles’ header deflected off Rushall captain Orrin Pendley and past a wrong-footed Newey. With the result in the bag, it was a display of exhibition football from Rangers who took advantage of an excellent playing surface to demonstrate their passing game to the delight of their fans – although they rarely looked like adding further to the tally. Haworth whipped in a free kick, which was comfortably taken by Newey, and late shot from Bailey-Jones was as close as they came while Rushall simply didn’t look like scoring and Rangers were able to celebrate their 13th competition success.
Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Sam Coulson (14 Josh Green 80m), 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Andrai Jones, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones (15 Louis Briscoe 90+2m), 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles (16 Ben Mills 82m), 10 Jack Sherratt, 11 Andy Haworth. Unused Subs: 12 Joe Cuff, 17 Declan Arber
Rushall Olympic:1 Ben Newey, 2 Tyler Lyttle, 3 AJ Adelekan, 4 Lee Smith, 5 Joe Hull (14 Massiah McDonald 63m), 6 Orrin Pendley, 7 Danny O’Callaghan, 8 Simeon Maye, 9 Danny Waldron, 10 Ashley Sammons (12 Adam Soleman 83m), 11 Brian Smikle (16 Ben Lund 46m). Unused Subs 15 Kieron Berry – only four subs named
Cautions: Sherratt, A Jones (Stafford)
Referee: Greg Rollason
Report by Chris Elsley
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Saturday 27 April 2019
Stafford Rangers wrapped up their league season with a comfortable win against a Matlock Town side who will be glad to see the end of the current campaign. It’s a different story for Rangers however who are just starting to show their potential and another month would have seen them challenging for a top 10 place rather than 14th which they have to settle for. Having secured their league status last Monday and with the forthcoming Staffs Senior Cup final in mind, Rangers made several changes – including a welcome return to action for Josh Green after three months out through injury – but this re-jigged side was still far too good for Matlock who had leaked 10 goals in their previous two outings.
Four more were to follow at Marston Road but not before the Gladiators had taken the lead just past the half hour mark – triggering a goal rush after a fairly uninspiring opening. In fairness to players from both sides, conditions were far from ideal as wind and rain, combined with a bobbly pitch, were poor ingredients. Until the goals started to flow, the best chance had fallen to Matlock’s Marcus MacDonald on 27 mins when he broke in to the area on the right but found his path to goal blocked by Sim Thandi. Other than that, the main talking point was the yellow card show to Joe Cuff for a seemingly fair 50-50 tackle when two earlier challenges from Matlock players had gone unpunished. Cuff, it seems, has been targeted, and half a step out of line will earn a caution.
It was MacDonald who opened the scoring on 34 minutes when he took down a long ball from Dwayne Wiley and poked it past the advancing Adam Siviter. Two minutes later, Rangers were level. Matlock failed to clear a Jed Davies free kick and captain for the day Ben Mills drove home from around 15 yards after Andy Haworth had done well on the right to keep the attack alive. Three minutes after Mills’ strike, Rangers were ahead, and it was Haworth who got his name on the scoresheet for the first time although he did benefit from a wicked deflection off Matlock’s Adam Yates.
Haworth deserves credit for his part. Receiving a pass from Davies, he burst between two Matlock defenders before driving in a shot which was too strong for Yates’ fruitless attempt to cut out. Three minutes into the second half and Sam Coulson made it 3-1 with a left footer from around 12 yards out following another free kick into the Matlock area that the visiting defence failed to clear. There was a comical moment soon after when Matlock’s Greg Tempest and keeper Jordan Pierrepont both went for the same ball. Tempest got there first but in doing so nearly sliced the ball into his own net, having to hack clear off the line at the second attempt.
Mills wasted another chance when he rushed his shot after more poor defending from Matlock – this time Michael Hollingsworth and Bradley Beatson at fault – but Mills fired high and wide. It was Haworth who was to have the final say on the day. Four minutes from time, Thandi hit a long ball which should have been mopped up by Matlock but both Pierrepont and Beatson left it to each other, Haworth took advantage of the hesitation and nipped in to clip the ball over the stranded keeper. Wanting to go out on a high, Haworth was close to completing his hat trick a couple of minutes later when his 25-yarder hit the foot of the post.
Stafford: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Josh Green (12 Tom Thorley 56m), 3 Sim Thandi, 4 Sam Coulson, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Andrai Jones (15 Jack Sherratt 60m), 7 Andy Haworth, 8 Peter Williams, 9 Ben Mills, 10 Jed Davies, 11 Joe Cuff (17 Louis Briscoe 69m). Unused Subs 14 Theo Bailey-Jones, 16 Luke Jones
Matlock Town: 1 Jordan Pierrepont, 2 Cleveland Taylor (14 Nathan Morley 51m) 3 Bradley Beatson, 4 Michael Hollingsworth, 5 Dwayne Wiley, 6 Adam Yates, 7 Nyle Blake, 8 Nathan Whitehead (12 Callum Chettle 60m), 9 Marcus MacDonald, 10 Jordan Chapell, 11 Greg Tempest. Unused Subs 13 Tony Fleming, 15 Lee Beevers, 16 Craig Westcarr
Cautions: Cuff (Rangers)
Ref: Paul Stonier
Report by Chris Elsley
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Saturday 22 April 2019
Stafford Rangers secured their NPL Premier Division status with an Easter Monday victory away to Nantwich Town. Needing a win to make certain, Rangers got the three points they needed thanks to a Jake Charles goal early in the second half.
Rangers were without the injured duo of Paul Bignot and Theo Bailey-Jones – the latter missing from the squad for the first time this season.
Nantwich Town had nothing to play for having already secured 4th place in the table and, with the Cheshire Senior Cup final due to take place two days later, they made 8 changes to the side that started in Saturday’s win over Lancaster City.
The opening 10 minutes were evenly balanced – the nearest either side coming saw Nantwich’s Nathan Brown float in a centre towards Danny Glover and Stafford skipper Luke Jones was forced to concede a corner. Stafford’s midfield and attack gave the Nantwich defence little time to settle and created a half chance when Louis Briscoe dispossessed Joe Davis but was unable to connect with Joe Cuff’s square ball from the following play. In the 19th minute, Cuff and Jack Sherratt combined to commit a needless foul on James Lawrie. The Dabbers’ captain floated in the free kick towards Callum Saunders who appeared to have done enough to open the scoring only for Adam Siviter to save well.
Stafford started to do more of the pressing and Dan Burns headed across the face of the home goal following Louis Briscoe’s well flighted free kick while Sherratt’s effort from around 20 yards out lacked conviction and floated wide. In between these two efforts, Charles did get the ball in the Nantwich net but was flagged offside and a fairly uninspiring 45 minutes ended goal-less. Nantwich were first to show after the break. In the first minute, Clayton McDonald tried to catch out Siviter with a quick free kick from the half way line then James Lawrie fired wide from around 15 yards out.
Stafford soon found their feet and Sherratt tried to put Charles through, but McDonald used his considerable size to block the Stafford man’s path, earning himself a caution. Toby Mullarkey fired wide for Nantwich after an exchange with Danny Glover before Stafford got their noses in front on 56 minutes. Briscoe did well on the right to get past Troy Bourne and got in a thumping shot that Lloyd Allinson pushed away. Cuff picked up possession on the left and burst past his man to get in a shot which was turned in at the back post by Charles. Burns was cautioned for bringing down Glover after getting caught in possession, but it was Stafford who were doing the pressing and Cuff put two efforts wide a couple of minutes apart. Glover tried a 30 yarder that Siviter was equal to and Rangers were able to celebrate their survival which would have been confirmed whatever their result after Mickleover’s defeat at home to Basford.
Nantwich: 1 Lloyd Allinson, 2 Nathan Brown, 3 Kallam Boyle, 4 Joe Davis, 5 Clayton McDonald (14 Caspar Hughes 66m), 6 Troy Bourne, 7 James Lawrie, 8 Toby Mullarkey, 9 Danny Glover, 10 Callum Saunders (16 Steve Jones 61m), 11 Luke Walsh (15 Joe Malkin 66m). Unused Subs 12 Louis Barnes, 13 James Hawkins (gk)
Stafford: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Sim Thandi, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Andrai Jones, 7 Louis Briscoe (12 Andy Haworth 61m), 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles (16 Ben Mills 85m), 10 Jack Sherratt (17 Peter Williams 79m), 11 Joe Cuff. Unused Subs 14 Jed Davies, 15 Sam Coulson.
Cautions: McDonald (Nantwich), Burns (Stafford)
Referee: Roger Darren
Report: Chris Elsley
Boro Push Leaders All The WayT
hrostle Nest, Tuesday 9/4/19
Report by Alan Gee
A moment of opportunism from probably the leading current player, in the NPL, decided this affair but in reality there was not much between the possible champions and 18th placed Rangers! (more…)