Date Time Competition Season Day Att
06/01/2024 3:00 pm NPL Premier Division 2023/2024 Sat 619


This bottom of the table clash went the way of visitors Basford United as Stafford Rangers failed to build on what was a fruitful Christmas programme.

Six points earned from their previous two games had boosted moral in the Stafford camp but they missed their chance to effectively lift themselves out of the relegation zone against a side who had yet to record an away win.

The resignation of Marske United in midweek had given Rangers a further boost as teams around them are set to lose points gained against the north-east side while the Boro were yet to play them this season.

With Sam Bird having returned to Stockport County at the end of his loan spell, Simon Njaria was recalled to the starting line up after injury but the midfielder looked less than match fit in the opening 45 minutes.

The first half wasn’t a great advert for the NPL. Scrappy play from both sides limited goalscoring opportunities and the ones that did come were followed by poor finishing. That was until 2 minutes into added time at the end of the half when Toby Ritzema produced the first serious shot on target and netted what was to be the winning goal.

The visitors had had the best of the chances up to then but Jack Thomas put his effort high over the bar when well placed while Kieran Fenton headed wide when he should have found the target.

Rangers’ best chance came a minute before Basford’s goal. Jake Moult sent in a deep free kick which was chested down by Ethan Stewart to Sean Cooke but he dragged his shot wide of the post.

Rangers had a brighter opening to the second half with Tyreece Onyeka getting in a shot that was straight at Kieran Preston then the Basford keeper kept out Cooke with his knees before saving from Kaiman Anderson. Another effort from Onyeka was scooped high over the Basford bar.

At the opposite end, Ben Woods was in the right place at the right time to clear off the line from Thomas who later fired wide from the edge of the area.
Stafford’s Connor Heath was another player to miss out when he could only find the side netting then Stewart got in ahead of the Basford defence to meet a Cooke free kick but couldn’t get his header on target.

Stafford kept pressing but couldn’t find the equaliser they wanted.

Onyeka shot across the face of goal then Cooke hit a free kick towards the top corner than Preston easily caught.

A scramble came to nothing when Anderson and Cooke got in each other’s way and when Cooke put another effort over, it just wasn’t to be for Rangers.


Stafford: 1 Cam Belford, 2 Andy Burns (15 Nathan Blissett 90+6m), 3 Ben Woods, 4 Simon Njaria, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 Jake Moult, 7 Tyreece Onyeka, 8 Joe Willis, 9 Kaiman Anderson, 10 Sean Cooke, 11 Connor Heath (12 A-Jay Leitch-Smith 67m). Unused Subs: 14 Niah Payne, 16 Kingston Fligg, 17 Derek Ubah

Basford: 1 Keiran Preston, 2 Dominic Roma, 3 Henri Wilder, 4 Jack Lewis, 5 Mason Frizelle, 6 Kieran Fenton, 7 Toby Ritzema (14 Joshua Barnes 67m), 8 Jack Thomas, 9 Remaye Campbell, 10 Rev James, 11 Nathan Tyson (18 Jonathan Wafula 76m). Unused Subs 12 Owen Betts, 15 Micah Tomlin, 16 Harry Goddard

Referee: Jack Shepherd

Cautions: Njaria, Leitch-Smith (Rangers); Wilder, Lewis, Thomas (Basford)

Att: 619

Report by Chris Elsley



Marston Road
Marston Road, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 3BX

Stafford Rangers

1Cameron Belford
2Andrew Burns 15
3Ben Woods
4Simon Njaria 66'
5Ethan Stewart
6Jake Moult
7Tyreece Onyeka
8Joe Willis
9Kaiman Anderson
10Sean Cooke
11Connor Heath 12
12A-Jay Leitch-Smith 11 79'
14Niah Payne
15Nathan Blissett 2
16Kingston Fligg
17Derek Ubah

Basford United

1Kieran Preston
2Dom Roma
3Henri Wilder 23'
4Jack Lewis 71'
5Mason Frizelle
6Kieran Fenton
7Toby Ritzema 14 45'
8Jack Thomas 35'
9Remaye Campbell
10Rev James
11Nathan Tyson 17
12Owen Betts
14Joshua Barnes 7
15Micah Tomlin
16Harry Goddard
17Jonathan Wafula 11
Total Shots
Shots on Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards

Stafford Rangers KO Basford Badge KO 23 35 45 66 67 67 71 76 79 90 FT

Past Meetings

Basford UnitedStafford Rangers
Stafford RangersBasford United
Basford UnitedStafford Rangers