Hyde United 5 – 3 Stafford Rangers

Hyde United 5 – 3 Stafford Rangers

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Saturday 30 March 2019

Stafford Rangers’ unbeaten run came to an end in an 8-goal thriller at Hyde United. Stafford were without Paul Bignot who was still nursing the foot injury picked up in last week’s draw with Warrington Town, which meant a recall for Sam Coulson who slotted in at right back. But Coulson had a tough time against Hyde youngster Paddy Lane and appeared to be struggling with a calf injury from the midway point, but by that time Rangers were already two goals behind.

But it wasn’t Rangers’ worst performance and they had made the brighter start against a Hyde side struggling for form. Rangers had the first chance of the afternoon on 10 minutes after a poorly taken free kick for Hyde. Ross Daly was dispossessed by Tom Thorley who picked out Joe Cuff wide on the left. Cuff cut in and forced Peter Crook into a parried save. The Hyde keeper repeated the block after Jake Charles was first to the rebound.

It was against the run of play that Hyde opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Grant Roberts sent Paddy Lane away on the left and his shot was turned into his own net by Matt Hill. Ten minutes later, it was 2-0. Daly and Lane combined on the left before the former found Roberts some 20 yards out and he fired in to Sivitier’s top left corner. Rangers were still in the match and play was evenly contested but the Boro failed to create any serious openings.

At the other end, Dean Smalley headed over from 6 yards out following Roberts’ right-wing cross. Coulson was replaced by Stoke City loanee Sim Thandi a couple of minutes before the interval but, within the minute, Hyde had added a third when a cross-shot from Tom Pratt on the right drifted unchallenged inside the far post. Stafford did most of the pressing in the early stages of the second half but long-range shots from Andy Haworth and Tom Thorley sailed high over the stand behind the Hyde goal.

Stafford’s efforts were eventually rewarded when Ben Mills – a half time replacement for Cuff – pulled a goal back on 64 mins. Mills benefitted after Theo Bailey-Jones’ shot from the edge of the area had fallen into his path after striking Charles. Nicky Platt restored Hyde’s three goal advantage when he was left unmarked 20 yards out from where he was able to net his side’s fourth via the underside of the cross bar. Stafford refused to give up and Charles made it 4-2 with a 75th minute penalty after Matty Hughes had handled the initial shot from the Stafford man.

A minute later Thandi made it 4-3 with a terrific shot after a good run down the right but Hyde weathered the late Stafford pressure and Adam O’Reilly added a fifth for the home side when he went through on a counter attack.

Hyde United: 1 Peter Crook, 2 Dominic Smalley, 3 Akeem Sands, 4 Ross Daly, 5 Matty Hughes, 6 Jordan Fagbola, 7 Tom Pratt (12 Adam O’Reilly 79m), 8 Janni Lipka, 9 Deane Smalley (14 Chib Chilaka 70m), 10 Grant Roberts (15 Nicky Platt 66m), 11 Paddy Lane. Unused Subs:16 Darren McKnight, 17 Alex O’Connor

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Sam Coulson (12 Sim Thandi 43m), 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Andrai Jones, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles, 10 Andrew Haworth (15 Louis Briscoe 56m), 11 Joe Cuff (16 Ben Mills 46m). Unused Subs: 14 Jack Sherratt, 17 Peter Williams

Cautions: Thandi (Stafford)

Referee: Daniel Issawi

Att: 418

Report by Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 1-1 Warrington Town

Stafford Rangers 1-1 Warrington Town

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Saturday 23 March 2019

Stafford Rangers earned themselves another crucial point in their battle to climb away from the relegation and, for the second year running, put a dent in Warrington’s title chances. Joe Cuff returned to the starting line up in place of Jack Sherratt who was still suffering from an injury picked up at Witton Albion in midweek. It was an entertaining affair with both sides playing positive football from the start although it took some time before either goal came under threat.

The first attempt came from the visitors after Jack Dunn spotted a run from Tony Gray on the left. He crossed for Dylan Vassallo, but his volley went into the ground and bobbled wide. Stafford responded and shortly after Joe Cuff worked an opening after cutting in from the left but skewed his shot high and wide.

Warrington’s Josh Amis proved a constant threat throughout and saw his first shot of the game take a deflection off a Stafford defender on its way wide of the far post. Seconds after falling theatrically in the area in a vain attempt to win a penalty, Amis went close again with a rising shot after a smart turn, but Adam Siviter tipped over. After Matt Hill had been just off target for Stafford with a 35-yard free kick, Amis rolled another effort across the face of the Stafford goal – the angle proving too tight.

Siviter kept out a Dunn free kick and a header from Wires’ skipper Mark Roberts, but it was Stafford who went in at the break with the advantage when Andrai Jones scored from close range in the 45th minute from Andy Haworth’s corner. Tony McMillan saved well from Dan Burns’ initial effort, but the Luke Jones rolled the rebound to his namesake who finished off. Stafford had several chances to add to their lead in the second half but were unable to take any of them. A slip from Roberts let in Haworth but McMillan saved well from Jake Charles. The Stafford man then hooked wide after good work from Haworth on the left.

Another defensive error from the visitors – this time from Mitch Duggan – gave Joe Cuff a run on goal but again McMillan saved. And Rangers were made to pay when Warrington levelled on 61 minutes. They looked to have wasted an opportunity when Tom Thorley cut out a poor free kick but, in turn, also gave away possession. Amis found Gray on the right who crossed to the back post giving Dunn a chance he could not miss.

Following the equaliser, Warrington had their best period of the game and sub Jack Mackreth missed a great chance to put them in front when he shot wide with just Siviter to beat after a good ball over the defence from Gray, then Robbie Evans produced an air shot on the edge of the area. But Stafford kept pushing forward themselves. McMillan tipped over a Theo Bailey-Jones header then gathered an overhead kick from Charles who was then halted by a well-timed tackle from Mark Roberts after linking well with Cuff. Warrington’s Russell Benjamin almost had the final say but Siviter was equal to his long-range effort.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Paul Bignot (12 Sam Coulson 81m), 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Andrai Jones, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones (17 Peter Williams 88m), 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles, 10 Andrew Haworth (15 Louis Briscoe 70m), 11 Joe Cuff. Unused Subs: 14 Jed Davies, 16 Ben Mills,

Warrington Town: 1 Tony McMillan, 2 Mitch Duggan (14 Bohan Dixon 80m), 3 Alex Whittle, 4 Russell Benjamin, 5 Mark Roberts, 6 David Raven, 7 Dylan Vassallo (16 Jack Mackreth 68m), 8 Robbie Evans, 9 Tony Gray (12 Marcus Cusani 87m), 10 Josh Amis, 11 Jack Dunn. Unused Subs: 15 Adam Hughes, 17 Connor McCarthy

Cautions: Thorley (Stafford), Evans (Warrington)

Referee: Scott Tallis

Att: 759

Report by Chris Elsley

Witton Albion 1 – 1 Stafford Rangers

Witton Albion 1 – 1 Stafford Rangers

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Tuesday 19 March 2019

Stafford Rangers are becoming hard to beat and so it proved again at Witton Albion on Tuesday night although it needed a last gasp goal from Paul Bignot to extend their unbeaten run to six games. It wasn’t one of Rangers’ best performances. They were wasteful in possession and too often delivered balls into the area that were meat and drink to Witton’s tall central defensive pairing. The Stafford side showed one change from the starting XI that defeated Warrington on their last league outing 10 days earlier with Andrai Jones coming in for Joe Cuff. Witton, meanwhile, went in to the games as the league’s leading form side having won five of their last six matches.

Injury hit Witton could only name two substitutes and their situation became worse shortly before kick off when Danny McKenna picked up an injury. A quick reshuffle left them with just one in reserve. The home side were first to show with both Billy Smart and James Foley having shots blocked inside the opening three minutes. Rangers soon got into the game and enjoyed decent ten-minute spell, but their attacks were unproductive. Former Rangers man Osebi Abadaki forced Adam Siviter into the first save of the evening on 13 mins and Luke Jones felt the full force of Will Jones’ follow up. A couple of minutes later, Siviter was in action again after Rob Hopley and Tom Owens linked well, the Rangers’ keeper saving well from the Owens.

A Stafford counter attack produced their first shot on goal, but Andy Haworth ended a good move with a shot wide of the near post. Siviter denied Abadaki again with a save at his near post but it was Stafford who were now asking more of the questions. Their best opening came when Tom Thorley put Haworth in, but his first touch gave Matty Devine the opportunity to hack clear. Dan Burns and Matt Hill both went wide for Stafford while Luke Jones had his shot saved by Greg Hall.

Witton were increasingly frustrated at the lack of decisions in their favour but it was from a free kick that they got the breakthrough a couple of minutes before half time. The ball into the area was cleared out to Cesaire Lingouba whose returned it back to the danger zone. Will Jones flicked it out to Josh Wardle who squared for Ben Harrison to slot home. Hopley came close to adding a second a minute later after Hill had lost the ball to Abadaki on the left but Luke Jones cleared the lines. Rangers needed to inject some life into their game and made a double substitution ten minutes into the second half with Cuff and Ben Mills replacing Andrai Jones and Haworth.

Cuff was soon involved as his low centre resulted in Tom Thorley getting in a low drive, but Hall saved low to his left and Cuff himself had a low drive deflected wide. Stafford’s Peter Williams came on for Jack Sherratt who had received a kick in the first half while Witton were forced to use their one substitute on when Devine went off with a dislocated shoulder. Williams had a shot blocked and penalty appeals for hand ball were turned down. Further penalty appeals were rejected after Luke Jones’ shot struck Wardle. Stafford increased the intensity as time pressed on, but Thorley wasted a good chance by sending his free kick high over the stand while Hill was denied by Hall.

Witton sub Owen Wynne had a chance to double his side’s lead when he beat the offside trap, but he was forced to shoot from near the right touchline and Luke Jones was able to get back to clear. Witton then had two of their own penalty appeals turned down. Cuff missed another golden chance for Stafford, but they finally got their goal three minutes into added time when Bignot fired through the crowd from around 15 yards.

Witton: 1 Greg Hall, 2 Cesaire Lingouba, 3 Matty Devine, 4 Josh Wardle, 5 Ben Harrison, 6 Billy Smart, 7 Osebi Abadaki, 8 Tom Owens, 9 Rob Hopley, 10 Will Jones, 11 James Foley. 12 Owen Wynne

Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Paul Bignot, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Jack Sherratt, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles, 10 Andrai Jones, 11 Andy Haworth. Unused Subs 12 Joe Cuff, 15 Sim Thandi, 15 Louis Briscoe, 16 Ben Mills, 17 Peter Williams

Cautions: Smart (Witton)

Referee: Nik Storey

Att: 307

Report by Chris Elsley

Warrington Town 2-3 Stafford Rangers

Warrington Town 2-3 Stafford Rangers

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Saturday 9 March 2019

Stafford Rangers pulled off a shock win away to league leaders Warrington Town to ease their relegation fears. Warrington had to play most of the game with 10 men after Ben Garrity was sent off for collecting two yellow cards inside the opening 14 minutes but, with the wind in their backs, it was the Wire who struck first through Bohan Dixon.

The home side came into the game on the back of an 8-match unbeaten run and they started in confident mood as Connor McCarthy showed a burst of pace to beat Luke Jones on the left, but Tom Thorley was back to cut out the centre.

Garrity picked up the first of his yellow cards for what was deemed to be a dive in the area. Jack Mackreth had threaded a good ball through, but the young midfielder went to ground under Dan Burns’ challenge. Referee Jack Nields was unimpressed. If Garrity felt any injustice from that decision, he knew he was on thin ice and could have few complaints by the second yellow card he received for a late challenge on Andy Haworth just five minutes later although it appeared some time before Nields realised it was the same player before showing the red card.

Nields wasn’t having any nonsense and Joe Cuff saw his name taken for bundling Shaun Beeley to the ground. Dylan Vassallo’s in swinging free kick looked to have been over hit but Mark Roberts managed to pull it back and Dixon nodded past Adam Siviter to give the Wire a 21st minute lead. But Rangers didn’t let their heads drop and, aided by the player advantage, they gradually got to grips with the conditions. Cuff put a shot in on goal, but it deflected wide off team mate Jake Charles.

That was to be more or less it for Cuff who was substituted shortly after for his own good – the young midfielder has already been dismissed twice this season and was risking another. Andrai Jones and Charles both tried their luck on the Warrington goal, but it was skipper Luke Jones who got his side back on level terms on the stroke of half time when he fired past Tony McMillan after Warrington had failed to clear a free kick from Haworth.

There wasn’t too much between the two sides in the opening exchanges of the second half but then Rangers struck twice in quick succession to take command. On 59 mins, Ben Mills won the aerial challenge to knock down Thorley’s long throw and Theo Bailey-Jones was first to react and shot past McMillan. Three minutes later, Rangers won a corner on the right which was taken by Haworth and powerfully headed into the roof of the net by Luke Jones. Bailey-Jones missed a great chance to add a fourth five minutes later when he turned over from close range.

Warrington, with the imposing figures of Josh Amis and Marcus Cusani now leading their attack, were still a threat and Cusani fired over when well-placed after the two substitutes had linked well. It was Cusani who set up a nail-biting finish when he reduced the arrears with 3 minutes remaining following Vassallo’s free kick. And the home side thought they had salvaged a stoppage time point through Amis’ perfectly placed header, but Adam Siviter pulled off a stunning save to earn his side all three points.

Warrington Town: 1 Tony McMillan, 2 Shaun Beeley, 3 Alex Whittle, 4 Ben Garrity, 5 Mark Roberts, 6 David Raven, 7 Jack Mackreth (12 Josh Amis 46m), 8 Robbie Evans, 9 Connor McCarthy (15 Marcus Cusani 63m), 10 Bohan Dixon (14 Russell Benjamin 79m), 11 Dylan Vassallo. Unused Subs:16 Mitch Duggan, 17 Adam Hughes

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Paul Bignot, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Andrai Jones, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles (15 Louis Briscoe 89m), 10 Andy Haworth (12 Jack Sherratt 79m), 11 Joe Cuff (Sub 16 Ben Mills 39m). Unused Subs: 14 Sam Coulson, 17 Peter Williams

Cautions: Whittle, Roberts (Warrington), Cuff, Hill (Rangers)

Sent Off: Garrity – two cautions (Warrington)

Referee: Jack Neilds

Att: 553

Report: Chris Elsley

Stafford Rangers 0-0 Marine

Stafford Rangers 0-0 Marine

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Saturday 2 March 2019

Stafford Rangers and Marine played out a drab goal-less draw that will do little to help Stafford’s fight against relegation. With a tough month ahead – Rangers face leaders Warrington Town twice and also have to travel to second placed Farsley Celtic – the visit of Marine was one which the Boro would have hoped to pick up maximum points but that they rarely threatened to breach the visitors’ goal. In fairness a strong wind and bumpy pitch didn’t help and Marine also lacked potency in their forward line although they did produce the only decent effort of the entire 90 minutes with Craig Carney’s well struck drive early in the second half which was well saved by Adam Siviter.

Rangers brought in Paul Bignot at right back in place of Sim Thandi whose loan period has expired while Andy Haworth and Andrai Jones came in for Joe Cuff and Peter Williams. The game as a spectacle just never got going. Despite having the wind in their faces, it was Marine who produced the first two efforts on target. Both of them came from their captain Danny Mitchley but neither gave Adam Siviter anything to worry about.

Rangers persisted in a hitting target man Jake Charles but too frequently the wind took the ball beyond the hard-working striker. Finally, in the 26th minute, they got an effort on target, but Luke Jones’ header was easily gathered by Joe Hilton. At the other end, another effort from Mitchley looped up off Stafford defender Danny Burns and just wide of the far upright then Chris Doyle headed wide.

Stafford’s best play of the half saw Andy Haworth’s diagonal centre glanced wide off the head of Charles. The game needed to find something special to give it a kick start and it almost came around 10 minutes after the interval from Carney’s terrific 25-yard drive but Siviter was alert to it, diving to his left to push the ball out towards the corner flag. But, sadly for the 683 fans – the second biggest gate of the season – chances remained at a premium and the second half had reached the midway point before Charley Edge went wide for the visitors with a volley.

Both sides made changes. Cuff replaced Jack Sherratt for Rangers, but it was Marine sub who was first in the action when James Murray fired goal wards but Siviter claimed the ball off the head of Mitchley. The Merseysiders just about remained the most likely scorers but Murray wasted a great chance on a Marine counter with a poor touch inside the Stafford area which allowed Bignot in to clear the danger. Soon after, Sam Barnes fired over from the angle. Stafford did look a little more threatening in the final stages after the introduction of Louis Briscoe, but Tom Thorley blazed over after the former’s square ball then Briscoe drilled a 40-yard free kick just wide. Rangers will look at the positives of a clean sheet and that all three teams below them in the table lost but with 5 draws recorded in their last 7 league games, they may be needing to turn a few more into wins to ease their fears of the drop.

Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Paul Bignot, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Jack Sherratt (12 Joe Cuff 65m), 7 Theo Bailey-Jones (16 Ben Mills 90+2m), 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles, 10 Andrai Jones, 11 Andy Haworth (15 Louis Briscoe 77m). Unused Subs: 14 Sam Coulson, 17 Peter Williams

Marine: 1 Joe Hilton, 2 Sam Barnes, 3 James Short, 4 Danny Shaw, 5 Chris Doyle, 6 Kenny Strickland, 7 Sam Tattum (15 James Murray 67m), 8 Liam Hynes, 9 Danny Mitchley (14 John Marsden 79m), 10 Charley Edge, 11 Craig Carney. Unused Subs 12 William Dunne, 13 Germano Mendes (gk) – only four subs named

Cautions: A Jones (Stafford), Barnes, Doyle & Tattum (Marine)Referee: Jonathan Maskrey

Att: 683

Report by Chris Elsley

Basford United 2 – 2 Stafford Rangers

Basford United 2 – 2 Stafford Rangers

A late goal gave Stafford Rangers a deserved share of the spoils on the 3G surface of Basford United ending a run of three consecutive defeats on the artificial surface. It was Basford’s first home draw of the season. Rangers were unchanged from the side that beat Bamber Bridge a week earlier, apart from Andrai Jones replacing Louis Briscoe on the substitutes bench.

When the two sides met at the same venue in an FA Trophy tie three months ago, Rangers were blown away as Basford raced into a three-goal lead inside 20 minutes. The Notts side found a different looking Stafford side this time around and one which was asking some questions of the home defence although it was Basford who came closest to an opener in the first 20 minutes.

A long kick from home keeper Saul Deeley threatened to put Basford’s Shaun Harrad in but Stafford defender Dan Burns did well to hold him off and get the ball back to Adam Siviter. Siviter was in the action again when he failed to take Nathan Watson’s dipping cross, but he recovered in time to dive on to the loose ball.

But it was James Reid’s free kick on 19 minutes that came closest to a goal – the ball striking the Stafford wall before looping over. Rangers’ first serious effort came a couple of minutes later when a good ball down the line from Theo Bailey-Jones found Jake Charles who, in turn, spotted a run from Jack Sherratt but the midfielder’s shot went the wrong side of Deeney’s right hand post. Soon after, Sim Thandi curled one over after an exchange of passes with Charles then Joe Cuff went just wide following Thandi’s lay off.

A good move from the home side saw Fernando Bell-Toxtle put in Zak Goodson but he was denied by an important challenge from Burns. The deadlock was finally broken with a superb strike from Bailey-Jones on 33 minutes. Cuff found his man wide on the right after just winning the battle for a 50-50 ball and Bailey-Jones let fly with a shot across Deeley and inside the far post. Basford went close to an equaliser on the stroke of half time when Watson flicked Reid’s free kick on to Liam Bateman but Siviter saved well with his body.

Bailey-Jones missed a great chance to increase Stafford’s lead early in the second half when he blazed over from close range following Matt Hill’s cross. A minute later, Tom Thorley filed to shoot when the opportunity arose on the edge of the area. They were costly misses as Basford, boosted by sub Liam Hearn, levelled on 65 minutes when Matthew Thornhill’s ball found Jack Thomas and he created himself a yard of space to fire smartly past Siviter. Basford went in front three minutes later; Reid’s free kick was met by a glancing header from Shaun Harrad and Siviter’s best efforts were to no avail.  Stafford should have been awarded a penalty on 74 minutes when Thornhill handled inside the area, but referee Richie Watkins waved play on.
Basford controlled the final 15 minutes to repel almost everything that Stafford had to offer. Rangers should have levelled in the final minute of normal time when Ben Mills skewed wide when well-placed, but the visitor’s persistence paid off and they grabbed a share of the spoils in the first minute of added time when Deeney’s save to deny Bailey-Jones rebounded into the net off Basford defender Dominic Roma.

Basford: 1 Saul Deeney, 2 Jack Thomas, 3 James Reid, 4 Jerry Nash, 5 Liam Bateman, 6 Dominic Roma, 7 Fernando Bell-Toxtle, 8 Matthew Thornhill, 9 Nathan Watson (14 Louis Tomlinson 90m), 10 Shaun Harrad, 11 Zak Goodson (12 Liam Hearn 56m). Unused Subs 15 Max Foster, 16 Gregory Mouloupolous, 17 Dennell Stokes (gk)
Stafford: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Sim Thandi, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Jack Sherratt (16 Ben Mills 78m), 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles, 10 Peter Williams (17 Andrai Jones 69m), 11 Joe Cuff (12 Andy Haworth 59m). Unused Subs, 14 Sam Coulson, 15 Paul Bignot
Cautions: Cuff, Sherratt (Rangers)

Referee: Richie Watkins

Att: 308

Report by Chris Elsley