Stone Old Alleynians 1 Stafford Rangers 3

Stone Old Alleynians 1 Stafford Rangers 3

Staffordshire Senior Cup – Final
Wednesday 4 May 2022

Stafford Rangers brought their season to a close with some silverware as they retained the Staffordshire Senior Cup by beating Stone Old Alleynians at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium.

Playing two tiers above their opponents, Rangers went into the tie as firm favourites but Old Alleynians had enjoyed a great run to book a first ever appearance in the final, defeating three higher ranked sides on their way.

For a while, the “minnows” threatened to add the name of Stafford Rangers to the list of Hednesford Town, Kidsgrove Athletic and Leek Town as Luke Askey was given freedom to head Stone in front on 15 minutes from Sam Bradbury’s left wing corner.

In terms of possession, Rangers dominated throughout, but they had to work hard to create a goal scoring opportunity as the final ball lacked the quality needed.

Shortly after Stone’s opener, Tom Tonks thundered in a shot from an angle which was well blocked by Ryan Goodwin’s head while Stone keeper Adam Alcock just beat Tre Pemberton to a threaded pass from Alex-Ray Harvey.

As the half progressed, Old Alleynians were pushed deeper into defence and the equaliser eventually came seven minutes before the break.

A Stafford corner from the left was only half cleared – Alex Fletcher laid off to Tonks and he fired in a low drive beyond the reach of Alcock.

It was the nerve calmer that Rangers needed to take into half time and the result was never really in doubt from then on.

Joe Kenton’s low centre saw Kaiman Anderson make it 2-1 on 56 minutes when he diverted Tonks’ initial shot past Alcock.

Tonks had a couple of chances to extend the lead. Joe Baxter had to intervene when the industrious midfielder broke into the Stone area then hit the post after the OA’s defence parted in front of him.

Stone made a couple of forays into the Rangers area without posing too much of a threat but any lingering hopes of an upset were extinguished on 79 minutes when Anderson got on the end of a cross whipped in by Theo Bailey-Jones to head in Stafford’s third.

Jake Charles replaced Anderson and should have had his name on the scoresheet in the final minute but former Rangers keeper Alcock saved with his legs.

At the other end, Sam Wilson had a chance of pulling one back but Ethan Stewart did enough to force the corner.

Soon after, Rangers were celebrating their 14th Staffs Senior Cup triumph and they now sit clear in third place on the all time list with Aston Villa’s 16 wins next in their sights. Stoke City top the list on 19 wins.

Stone Old Alleynians: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Joe Baxter, 3 Ollie Davies, 4 Sam Bradbury (12 Cameron Sinclair 87m), 5 Luke Askey ( 14 Alexander Cimino 67m), 6 Ryan Goodwin, 7 Jack Bowater, 8 William Bailey, 9 Jack Tomlinson, 10 Matt Thomas, 11 Sam Wilson. Unused Subs: 13 Andrew Walklate, 15 Sam Bowater, 16 David Ablewhite

Stafford Rangers: 1 Tyrell Belford, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Joe Dunne, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Joe Kenton (15 Theo Bailey-Jones 66m), 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Kaiman Anderson (14 Jake Charles 82m, 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Tre Pemberton (17 Ben Woods 90+3m). Unused Subs: 12 Michael Tait-Moran, 16 Josh Endall

Cautions: None

Referee: Steve Martin

Att: 741

Report: Chris Elsley

 

Stafford Rangers 5 Ashton United 0

Stafford Rangers 5 Ashton United 0

Pitching In Northern Premier League
Saturday 23 April 2022

Stafford Rangers ended their Northern Premier League season on a high with a 5-0 thrashing of Ashton United, a result that secured them an eighth place finish.

Rangers dominated from start to finish and after Tom Tonks saw two efforts go wide of the target, they took a deserved lead on 14 mins.

A Tonks throw near the right hand corner flag was flicked on by Ashton’s Ben Hardcastle for Joe Kenton to tap in at the back post.

Two minutes later Kaiman Anderson back healed one over.

Joe Dunne walked through the Ashton defence only to be denied by a parried save by Ashton keeper Luke Taylor.

It was a baptism of fire for the debutant 17 year old but he could do little to stop Anderson making it 2-0 on 24 minutes with a close range finish after Tonks’ centre landed at his feet.

It was more or less game over two minutes later when Anderson put Tre Pemberton through to add the third.

It was nearly four when Kenton charged down Taylor’s attempted clearance but Anderson scuffed his shot.

Rangers’ keeper Tyrell Belford was only required to make one save during the afternoon but it was worth the admission fee alone as he went full stretch to his right to keep out Jordan Simpson’s volley.

James O’Neill hit the Ashton cross bar, Taylor saved from Tonks and Alex-Ray Harvey fired wide as Rangers had to settle for just the three goals by half time.

Shortly after the resumption, Taylor flapped away a Tonks free kick after Sam Baird had pulled back Anderson.

Ashton sub Tom Bentham found himself with a couple of half chances but headed one wide and volleyed the other over while Pababou Jenkins struck the bar with an overhead kick.

But it was Alex Fletcher who provided a fitting end to the afternoon five minutes from time when he fired in a 25 yard free kick for his first goal of the season.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Tyrell Belford, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Joe Dunne, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Joe Kenton, 8 Tom Tonks (12 Jed Abbey 64m), 9 Kaiman Anderson (14 Jake Charles 79m), 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Tre Pemberton (15 Theo Bailey-Jones 73m). Unused Subs:16 Josh Endall, 17 Ben Woods

Ashton United: 1 Luke Taylor, 2 Harry Spratt, 3 Cole Lonsdale, 4 Ekow Coker, 5 Harry Coates (18 Thomas Bentham 41m), 6 Samuel Baird, 7 Jordan Simpson (12 Pababou Jenkins 46m), 8 Samuel Sheridan (14 Jack Donlan 72m), 9 Florian Yonsian, 10 Jack Redshaw, 11 Ben Hardcastle. Unused Subs 15 Nicky Hunt, 16 Nathan Ntalu

Cautions: None

Referee: Daniel Smith

Att: 607

Report: Chris Elsley

 

 

Nantwich Town 2 Stafford Rangers 1

Nantwich Town 2 Stafford Rangers 1

Pitching In Northern Premier League
Monday 18 April 2022

Stafford Rangers’ hopes of a top ten finish in the Northern Premier League took a blow when a much changed side went down 2-1 at Nantwich Town on Monday.

Despite Matt Hill making seven changes to the side that was beaten by Basford 48 hours earlier, this was a game where Rangers created more than enough chances to win it.

Alex Fletcher skewed an early effort well wide before Jake Charles leapt high to get his head to Fletcher’s right wing corner only for Matt Gould to make a fine save.

Theo Bailey-Jones was lively from the off and he forced another good save from Gould with a snap shot.

But after being outplayed in the opening 10 minutes, it was Nantwich who grabbed the game’s opening goal.

Koke Hall found Akiel Raffie in space on the left and he broke in to the area only to be tripped by Ben Woods. Sean Cooke fired in the penalty to give the home side a 12th minute lead.

Matty Hewelt prevented Nantwich from doubling the lead when he parried away Raffie’s shot before Michael Tait levelled matters on 22 minutes when he took advantage of some sloppy defending following a deep ball in from Andy Burns.

Despite Rangers still playing the better football, Nantwich were creating the better chances and Hewelt made another good save to keep out a header from the unmarked Joel Stair before Hall fired across the face of goal and wide of the far post.

With the half time whistle imminent, Matt Bell played a ball for Cooke over the top of the Rangers’ defence. Raffie crossed for Hall to move in unchallenged and score.

Fletcher is without a goal for Stafford this season but he couldn’t be criticised for trying on this afternoon. Shortly after half time Gould turned over a drive that was heading for the top corner then acrobatically dived to his left to hold on to another shot from the Rangers’ midfielder.

Jed Abbey, making his first start for the club, fired over then saw another effort clawed away by Gould with Rangers’ fans claiming that the ball had crossed the line.

At the other end, Hall came within a whisker of putting Nantwich further ahead when he hit the post with a 30 yard lob after being put through by Joe Robbins.

Rangers kept pressing for the equaliser and Tre Pemberton forced another save from Gould while Fletcher dinked one onto the roof of the Nantwich net. Fletcher almost broke his duck with the final kick of the game but his drive from 20 yards out went just the wrong side of the post.

The NPL season reaches its conclusion this Saturday when Rangers take on Ashton United at Marston Road.

Nantwich Town: 1 Matt Gould, 2 Joel Stair, 3 Jamie Morgan, 4 Troy Bourne, 5 Josh Langley, 6 Matt Bell, 7 Akiel Raffie (15 Connor Heath 66m), 8 Joe Robbins, 9 Jake Bickerstaffe, 10 Sean Cooke (16 Luke Nock 80m), 11 Koke Hall (12 Joe Malkin 84m). Unused Subs 14 Matty Devine, 17 Jon Moran

Stafford Rangers: 13 Mateusz Hewelt, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Ben Woods, 4 Jed Abbey, 5 Luis Morrison-Derbyshire, 6 Josh Endall, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Jake Charles (12 Kaiman Anderson 77m), 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Michael Tait-Moran (15 Tre Pemberton 69m). Unused Subs: 14 Joe Kenton, 16 Alex-Ray Harvey, 17 James O’Neill

Cautions: Woods, Abbey(Rangers)

Referee: Liam Corrigan

Att: 1002

Report: Chris Elsley

 

 

Stafford Rangers 0 Basford United 1

Stafford Rangers 0 Basford United 1

Pitching In Northern Premier League
Saturday 16 April 2022

Andy Burns - Open House Man Of The MatchIt was a disappointing afternoon for Stafford Rangers who were beaten at home by relegation threatened Basford United – a result that boosts the Nottingham clubs chances of survival.

Rangers fielded the same starting line up that drew 1-1 with Warrington a week earlier – the only change being Luis Morrison-Derbyshire on the substitutes bench in place of Josh Endall who picked up an injury in training.

On a sunny afternoon, clear chances at either end were few and far between but, in the opening half hour, the best of them fell to the home side.

Kaiman Anderson created some space but saw his shot go through tamely to Kieran Preston in the Basford goal after a visiting defender had intervened then a good ball from Alex Fletcher gave Tom Tonks half a chance but Preston gathered comfortably.

Rangers kept probing and a back header from Ethan Stewart went just over while two more efforts from Tonks went wide of the target.

Tonks’ trademark throw ins made life difficult for Basford all afternoon but Rangers failed to capitalise.

It was towards the latter stages of the half that either keeper was called upon to make a real save when Rangers’ Mateusz Hewelt had to be alert as he blocked a shot from Liam Hearn.

It was Hearn who netted the only goal of the game on the stroke of half time. A short throw from Jordan Helliwell was taken down by Callum Chettle who crossed into the six yard box. Hearn was the only player who reacted and fired home at the second attempt although he appeared to have controlled the initial cross with his hand.

Hearn missed an opportunity to extend the lead early in the second half when his shot was blocked while Rangers saw efforts from James O’Neill, Fletcher and Tonks miss the target before Preston saved with his feet to keep out Tre Pemberton.

At the other end, Hewelt saved twice in a minute, denying Courey Grantham with his feet and tipping over a shot from Lirak Hasani that hadn’t appeared to be a threat when it left his boot.

Rangers’ best effort of the afternoon was a Tonks free kick that was heading for the top corner until it was turned away by Preston.

Basford wasted several opportunities from counter attacks and they should have been made to pay in the dying moments but Pemberton failed to connect at the back post from Jake Charles’ flick while Theo Bailey-Jones saw his shot deflected wide for a corner.

Stafford Rangers: 13 Mateusz Hewelt, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Joe Dunne (17 Jake Charles 70m), 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Joe Kenton (16 Ben Woods 70m), 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Kaiman Anderson, 10 Alex Fletcher (12 Theo Bailey-Jones 83m, 11 Tre Pemberton. Unused Subs: 14 Jediael Abbey, 15 Luis Morrison-Derbyshire

Basford: 1 Kieran Preston, 2 Owen Betts, 3 Jordan Helliwell, 4 Dominic Roma, 5 Brad Gascoigne, 6 Lewi Carr, 7 Lirak Hasani, 8 Declan Dunn, 9 Liam Hearn (12 Matthew Thornhill 90m), 10 Courey Grantham (15 Tyreace Palmer 86m), 11 Callum Chettle. Unused Subs 14 Kane Richard, 16 Callum Frogson, 17 Jordan Pierrepont
Note: Hearn and Grantham listed as 10 & 9 respectively on the team sheet.

Cautions: Burns, Stewart (Rangers) Betts, Helliwell, Gascoigne, Chettle (Basford)

Referee: Ben Cooke

Att: 582

Report: Chris Elsley

 

 

 

Warrington Town 1 Stafford Rangers 1

Warrington Town 1 Stafford Rangers 1

Pitching In Northern Premier League
Saturday 09 April 2022

Stafford Rangers picked up a deserved point from their trip to play off hopefuls Warrington Town but it could easily have been all three.

Rangers played into a strong breeze in the first half but had the better of the first 20 minutes without really creating a clear opening. The best chance came on 5 minutes with an Ethan Stewart header following Alex Fletcher’s corner.

Warrington came more into it and Matty Regan’s flick put Isaac Buckley-Ricketts in but Stewart made an excellent tackle to end the danger.

Warrington’s Bohan Dixon became more influential and showed good skills to set up Josh Amis who was flagged offside.

The home side took the lead on 27 minutes but it was a poor goal to concede from Rangers’ point of view.

The back line and keeper Matty Hewelt both hesitated in dealing with Mitch Duggan’s wind assisted header. Buckley-Ricketts nipped in and fired Warrington in front.

Warrington took control of matters with Jay Harris firing over and Hewelt saving at the back post from Stefan Mols.

Regan fired wide before Evan Gumbs headed over with the final action of the half.

Rangers were very much still in the contest and drew level on 49 minutes following a Tom Tonks throw.

The ball was half cleared but Alex-Ray Harvey saw his chance and rifled home the equaliser from around 30 yards out.

Tre Pemberton hit the side netting as Rangers looked for a second but, at the other end, Warrington still posed a threat and Hewelt had to clear from Amis.

Pemberton sent another effort high and very wide following another Tonks throw before Alex Fletcher fired wide after advancing from midfield to the edge of the area.

Hewelt tipped over from Harris after a scramble in the Stafford area but it was Rangers who finished the stronger of the two sides.

Theo Bailey-Jones somehow failed to convert at the back post from Fletcher’s corner while Kaiman Anderson and Pemberton were both denied in the final minute.

Rangers’ lingering play off hopes are all but over but a top ten finish will be a significant improvement on recent seasons.

Warrington Town: 1 Daniel Atherton, 2 Mitch Duggan, 3 Matty Regan (12 Eddie Clarke 73m), 4 Jay Harris, 5 Mark Roberts, 6 Evan Gumbs, 7 Isaac Buckley-Ricketts, 8 Stefan Mols (14 Sean Williams 73m), 9 Josh Amis, 10 Bohan Dixon, 11 Ben Hough (17 Luke Duffy 63m). Unused Subs 15 Matthew Grivosti, 16 Jack Mackreth.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Mateusz Hewelt, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Joe Dunne, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Joe Kenton (12 Theo Bailey-Jones 71m), 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Kaiman Anderson, 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Tre Pemberton. Unused Subs: 14 Jediael Abbey, 15 Josh Endall, 16 Ben Woods,17 Jake Charles

Cautions: Regan (Warrington) Hewelt (Rangers)

Referee: Declan Brown

Att: 612

Report: Chris Elsley

 

 

Stafford Rangers 4 Grantham Town 1

Stafford Rangers 4 Grantham Town 1

Pitching In Northern Premier League
Saturday 02 April 2022

Joe Cuff - Open House Man Of The MatchStafford Rangers recorded their biggest win of the season to condemn bottom of the table Grantham Town to relegation from the Northern Premier League.

Joe Kenton replaced the injured Jake Charles from the side beaten at South Shields and he was involved in two of Rangers goals, scoring one and providing an assist to Kaiman Anderson.

Rangers began well and could have been a goal up inside the first minute after Tre Pemberton collected a loose pass from Jonathon Wafula but Tom Tonks failed to connect with Pemberton’s cross.

Kenton spurned a great chance to open the scoring when he missed the target when well place while the Stafford defence was caught napping when Ellis Storey played in Ricky Miller – fortunately, Mateusz Hewelt was on guard to make a near post save.

Rangers took a deserved lead on 11 minutes when Alex-Ray Harvey’s persistence forced a foul by Elliott Durrell and Tonks struck a 30 yard free kick beyond the reach of James Pollard.

Anderson went close to adding to the lead when he headed over from Andy Burns’ cross before Grantham levelled matters on 21 minutes.

Hewelt had a rush of blood and was caught in no man’s land as he came out to meet Durrell’s free kick. Wafula won the header and Joe Dunne could only head into his own net in his attempts to clear.

Grantham now enjoyed their best period of the game with Miller twice trying his luck without success and Wafula clipping a half volley just wide.

Another good chance for Grantham went begging early in the second half with Shane Clarke failing to convert before Miller could only strike the follow up against the body of Burns.

But Kenton eased Rangers’ nerves when he restored the lead on 58 mins after a good lay off from Anderson and, from then on, the Boro were in total control.

Kenton returned the favour by sending Anderson clear on 67 minutes and the forward finally got some reward for his efforts with a clinical finish.

Pollard made a smart save to deny Pemberton before Ethan Stewart – guilty of missing the target with four headers during the afternoon – forced the ball home in the 89th minute after a long throw from Tonks cleared the Grantham defence.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Mateusz Hewelt, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Joe Dunne, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Joe Kenton (12 Theo Bailey-Jones 75m), 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Kaiman Anderson, 10 Alex Fletcher (14 Jediael Abbey 81m), 11 Tre Pemberton (16 Ben Woods 90m). Unused Subs: 15 Josh Endall, 17 Luis Morrison-Derbyshire,

Grantham Town: 1 James Pollard, 2 Matthew McBride, 3 Ashton Hall, 4 Shane Clarke (15 Steven Leslie 65m), 5 Keegan Townrow, 6 Thomas Unwin, 7 Elliott Durrell, 8 Jonathon Wafula, 9 Ricky Miller (14 Harry Wood 79m), 10 lee Shaw, 10 Ellis Storey (12 Sisa Tuntulwana 65m). Unused Subs 16 Bradley Munns, 17 Harry Johnson

Cautions: Hall, Miller (Grantham)

Referee: Liam Corbett

Att: 555

Report: Chris Elsley