Date Time Competition Season Day Att
16/12/2023 3:00 pm NPL Premier Division 2023/2024 Sat 569


Stafford Rangers suffered their third defeat in 8 days to leave them in deep trouble at the foot of the table. While many might have considered any points picked up at promotion hopefuls Warrington Rylands or Ashton United as a bonus, they would have targeted a home game against mid table Lancaster City as a game to win.

But Rangers were out-muscled by a physical Lancaster side and it was only in the second half that they showed the fight that had been needed from kick off.

There was just one change to the starting XI that had come close to picking something up at Ashton with defender Ian Kamga missing out through injury. Ben Woods came in as his replacement.

Lancaster showed their intent from the off but it took some time before the first shot came on goal – a long range effort from Sam Bailey that was comfortably taken by Cam Belford.

The cracks in Rangers’ defence were exposed as Charlie Bailey played in Jacob Holland-Wilkinson but the angle proved too tight as his shot went across the face of the Stafford goal.

A couple of minutes later, Charlie Bailey beat Woods on the Stafford left. Holland-Wilkinson set up Brad Carroll but Belford pushed the shot away, diving to his left.

The Stafford keeper produced another strong save to keep out a rising shot from Dominic Lawson before Carroll sliced wide after Simon Njaria had blocked the initial shot.

Carroll missed out again before Lancaster finally went ahead on 29 minutes with Kyle Brownhill beating Andy Burns to head in a cross from Sam Bailey.

It was no more than Lancaster deserved and only a good block from Burns denied Holland-Wilkinson as they threatened to extend their lead.

The threat was carried out two minutes into first half stoppage time as Carroll headed in from close range after Belford had saved from Holland-Wilkinson.

Rangers’ manager Dave Cooke made a change at the break with Nathan Blissett on for Sam Bird but it was Lancaster who continued to provide the greater threat and Belford saved from Brownhill low to his left.

It looked game over on 63 minutes when Lawson benefitted from a deflection off Jake Moult to add Lancaster’s third of the afternoon.

Kaiman Anderson finally gave his side a glimmer of hope when he forced a save from Andre Mendes on 70 minutes – it was his side’s first serious effort on goal.

That encouragement produced some reward three minutes later when Ethan Stewart’s defensive header sent AJay Leitch-Smith went clear and he reduced the arrears.

Blissett fired over from 18 yards out but the danger was still there at the other end with Lawson and Carroll missing out on opportunities that fell their way.

Despite over 100 appearances to his name, defender Burns is still looking for his first goal for Stafford although he came close with a rasping 35 yard drive that Mendes tipped over.

Rangers kept pressing and, three minutes in to added time, reduced the deficit further when Lawson diverted Niah Payne’s corner into his own net.

Moult missed a chance to grab an unlikely and somewhat undeserved equaliser when he fired over before Tommy Kilifin put the result beyond doubt in the eighth minute of additional time when he was left unmarked to fire in from Charlie Bailey’s free kick.


Stafford: 1 Cam Belford, 2 Andy Burns, 3 Ben Woods (14 Tyreece Onyeka 87m), 4 Simon Njaria (12 Niah Payne 89m), 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 Jake Moult, 7 Sam Bird (15 Nathan Blissett 46m), 8 Joe Willis, 9 A-Jay Leitch-Smith, 10 Sean Cooke, 11 Kaiman Anderson. Unused Subs: 13 Ethan Endacott, 16 Derek Ubah

Lancaster: 1 Andre Mendes, 2 Sam Bailey, 3 Kyle Brownhill, 4 Christian SLoan, 5 Simon Grand, 6 Charlie Barnes, 7 Bradley Carroll, 8 Jacob Holland-Wilkinson (12 Andrew Teague 84m), 9 Dominic Lawson (15 Robbie Deighan 90+5m), 10 Charlie Bailey, 11 Jake Connelly (16 Tom Kilifin 64m). Unused subs 13 Cole Stephenson, 14 Matty Clarke

Referee: Daniel McDonald

Cautions: S Bailey, Brownhill, Grand (Lancaster)

Att: 569

Report by Chris Elsley



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

Stafford Rangers

1Cameron Belford
2Andrew Burns
3Ben Woods 14
4Simon Njaria 12
5Ethan Stewart
6Jake Moult
7Sam Bird 14
8Joe Willis
9A-Jay Leitch-Smith 73'
10Sean Cooke
11Kaiman Anderson 93'
12Niah Payne 4
13Ethan Endacott
14Tyreece Onyeka 3
14Nathan Blissett 7
16Derek Ubah

Lancaster City

1Andre Da Silva Mendes
2Samuel Bailey 86'
3Kyle Brownhill 29'
4Christian Sloan
5Simon Grand 82'
6Charlie Barnes
7Brad Carroll 45'
8Jacob Holland-Wilkinson 12
9Dom Lawson 15 64'
10Charlie Bailey
11Jake Connelly 16
12Andrew Teague 8
13Cole Stephenson
15Robbie Deighan 9
16Thomas Kilifin 11 95'
Total Shots
Shots on Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards

Stafford Rangers KO Lancaster Badge KO 29 45 45 53 64 64 73 82 84 86 87 89 90 93 95 FT

Past Meetings

Lancaster CityStafford Rangers
Stafford RangersLancaster City
Lancaster CityStafford Rangers
Stafford RangersLancaster City
Lancaster CityStafford Rangers