Date Time Competition Season Day Att
16/03/2024 3:00 pm NPL Premier Division 2023/2024 Sat 592


The threat of relegation took a step closer to reality for Stafford Rangers as they were outclassed by a Radcliffe side who enhanced their own credentials as favourites to lift the NPL title.

Rangers were without central defender Isaac Lee who is on loan from Radcliffe and unable to play against his own club, meaning a re-shuffle at the back with Andy Burns moving inside to partner Ethan Stewart while George Burroughs came in at right back.

But what was a tough task before kick off, became even harder when the visitors took the lead after just 8 minutes. Josh Hancock picked out Jude Oyibo on the left and his deep cross was met by the head Anthony Dudley at the back post. Despite his best efforts, Cam Belford was unable to stop the ball creeping inside his left hand post.

With Rangers struggling to find the net this season – they are the lowest scorers in the league – it was more or less game over on 12 minutes when Radcliffe eased into a 2-0 lead. Jordan Hulme created the opening when he turned to get away from Burns and Stewart. The ball ran to Matt Sargent who was given all the time he needed to pick his spot.

Sensing a rout, Dudley tried his luck with a casual shot from 35 yards but he failed to find the target.

A poor touch from A-Jay Leitch-Smith cost him a chance to reduce the arrears as he was forced to poke at the ball and the Radcliffe defence was able to block.

A third Radcliffe goal looked on the cards just past the half hour mark but Belford made an excellent stop to keep out Hulme before the follow up from Rick Smith was blocked – possibly by Stewart – and Olly Thornley saw his shot deflected wide for a corner.

The let off was brief and the inevitable came on the 42 minute. Connor Heath lost possession in midfield, Oyibo centred from the left and although Hancock’s shot was well saved by Belford, Dudley hooked in the rebound.

The half finished with Brad Jackson curling one just wide from distance while Burns deflected a shot from Hancock over the bar with the last kick before the interval.

With the points in the bag, Radcliffe continued to control the game after the break but without the same sense of purpose as they had in the first half.

But the best opportunities still fell to the table toppers and Belford had to save well from Lois Maynard who had a free header from Nicky Adams’ corner.

Oyibo troubled Stafford all afternoon and he nearly set up Hulme with a goal following a break on the left but Jack Stafford was on hand to intercept.

Rangers had a couple of free kicks in the final 20 minutes but Sean Cooke was unable to force keeper Matteusz Hewelt in to action on another disappointing day for the Stafford camp.


Stafford Rangers: 1 Cam Belford, 2 George Burroughs, 3 Jack Stafford, 4 Joe Willis, 5 Ethan Stewart (12 Jimmy O’Neill 88m), 6 Andy Burns, 7 A-Jay Leitch-Smith, 8 Owen German, 9 Kaiman Anderson, 10 Sean Cooke, 11 Connor Heath (15 Tyreece Onyeka 61m). Unused Subs: 13 Jack Sandel, 14 Ben Woods, 16 Lewis Porter

Radcliffe: 1 Mateusz Hewelt, 2 Brad Jackson (17 Jake Thompson 68m), 3 Jude Oyibo, 4 Lois Manyard, 5 Olly Thornley, 6 Rick Smith (15 Sean Tse 49m), 7 Matt Sargent, 8 Nicky Adams, 9 Jordan Hulme (16 Ewan Bange 82m), 10 Anthony Dudley, 11 Josh Hancock. Unused Subs 12 Luca Navarro, 14 Jamie Morgan

Referee: Gareth Davis
Cautions: Stafford, Willis (Stafford), Jackson, Hulme (Radcliffe)
Att: 592

Report by Chris Elsley



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

Stafford Rangers

1Cameron Belford
2George Burroughs
3Jack Stafford 45'
4Joe Willis
5Ethan Stewart 12
6Andrew Burns
7A-Jay Leitch-Smith
8Owen German
9Kaiman Anderson
10Sean Cooke
11Connor Heath 15
12James O’Neill 5
13Jack Sandel
14Ben Woods
15Tyreece Onyeka 11
16Lewis Porter


1Mateusz Hewelt
2Brad Jackson 17 50'
3Jude Oyibo
4Lois Maynard
5Olly Thornley
6Rick Smith 15
7Matt Sargent 12'
8Nicky Adams
9Jordan Hulme 16 77'
10Anthony Dudley 8', 43'
11Josh Hancock
12Luca Navarro
14Jamie Morgan
15Sean Tse 6
16Ewan Bange 9
17Jake Thompson 2
Total Shots
Shots on Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards

Stafford Rangers KO KO 8 12 43 45 49 50 61 68 77 82 88 FT

Past Meetings

RadcliffeStafford Rangers
RadcliffeStafford Rangers
Stafford RangersRadcliffe
RadcliffeStafford Rangers
Stafford RangersRadcliffe