Date Time Competition Season Day Att
08/04/2023 3:00 pm NPL Premier Division 2022/2023 Sat 627


Stafford Rangers will have breathed a sigh of relief after Saturday’s victory over Whitby Town all but secured their NPL Premier Division.

It was a deserved victory for Rangers but one which came at a price as central defender Jimmy O’Neill hobbled off with injury after just a quarter of an hour while Tom Tonks managed to see the game out despite taking a knock to the knee in the latter stages of the first half.

Joe Willis was first to try his luck with a shot on the turn in the first minute but the attacking midfielder sent his shot high over the bar.

A long ball out of defence from Whitby’s Aaron Braithwaite looked set to pick out visiting striker Bradley Fewster until O’Neill’s outstretched leg cut out the danger. The Stafford defender appeared to be in some discomfort and his afternoon came to an early end soon after.

But not before he had seen Kaiman Anderson head Stafford into a 9th minute lead. Anderson was first to Jack Baxter’s free kick to glance home past Shane Bland.

Anderson had a chance to double the lead when he was on the end of a flick from Willis but Bland was out quickly to block the attempted chip.

O’Neill’s departure gave Derek Ubah the opportunity for some action for the first time since mid November. Ubah rejoined the squad as cover following Ethan Stewart’s recent suspension and he looked like he had never been away with a solid performance at the heart of the Stafford defence.

Nathan Blissett was recalled to the starting line up and gave the forward line the aerial strength that has been lacking for much of the season.

Blissett had a chance with the ball at his feet after his flick on had hit Jamie Bramwell but he scuffed it wide.

Willis – still searching for his first goal in Stafford colours – had a number of chances to get off the mark but failed to hit the target with any of them.His best opportunity came just after the half hour but again it sailed high over the bar as did a well struck drive just before the break.Baxter also missed out when he volleyed over from the edge of the area.

As the half drew to a close, Tonks picked up his injury while defending a long throw from Harrison Beeden. Clearly struggling, he was then on the end of a couple of robust challenges from the opposition but managed to soldier on.

Whitby made a bright start to the second half. A good turn from Fewster took him away from Stewart before his run was ended by a foul challenge from Tonks. Preistley Griffiths’ free kick swung high and away from goal. Stewart then threw himself in to block a shot from Connor Simpson.

Stafford keeper Cam Belford was making his 500th appearance in senior football but it was his opposite number Bland who was the busier of the two custodians as he twice pushed away goal bound headers from Ubah.

Tonks posed less of a threat with two chances that fell his way – the first a tame shot then a looping header over the bar.

Whitby pressed for a late equaliser with Harry Green replacing Griffiths. The sub did well to dispossess Andy Burns but when he went to ground as Stewart came across to cover, all he got was a caution for his dive.

Whitby put in another late penalty claim when Ubah challenged Daniel Rowe but the referee showed no interest and Rangers were left to celebrate a league double over their North Yorkshire opponents and a third successive clean sheet.



Stafford: 1 Cameron Belford, 2 Andy Burns, 3 Joe Dunne, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill (16 Derek Ubah 16m), 7 Kaiman Anderson, 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Nathan Blissett, 10 Joe Willis (17 Ethan Morgan 82m), 11 Jack Baxter. Unused Subs 12 Tyreece Onyeka, 13 Kieran Boucher, 15 Callum Saunders

Whitby Town: 1 Shane Bland, 2 Harrison Beeden, 3 Jamie Bramwell, 4 Adam Gell, 5 Dan Rowe, 6 Priestley Griffiths (15 Harry Green 69m), 7 Aaron Braithwaite, 8 Jos Starr, 9 Bradley Fewster, 10 Connor Simpson, 11 Aaron Haswell. Unused Subs 12 Jonathon Franks, 14 Andre Bennett, 17 Nick Cranston – only four subs named

Referee: Jack Shepherd

Cautions: Blissett (Rangers) Rowe, Green (Whitby)

Att 627

Report by Chris Elsley



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

Stafford Rangers

1Cameron Belford
2Andrew Burns
3Joe Dunne
4Alex-Ray Harvey
5Ethan Stewart
6James O’Neill 16
7Kaiman Anderson 9'
8Thomas Tonks
9Nathan Blissett 23'
10Joe Willis 17
11Jack Baxter
12Tyreece Onyeka
13Kieran Boucher
15Callum Saunders
16Derek Ubah 6
17Ethan Morgan 10

Whitby Town

1Shane Bland
2Harrison Beeden
3Jamie Bramwell
4Adam Gell
5Daniel Rowe 45'
6Priestley Griffiths 15
7Aaron Braithwaite
8Jos Storr
9Bradley Fewster
10Connor Simpson
11Aaron Haswell
12Jonathan Franks
14Andre Bennett
15Harry Green 6 77'
17Nicholas Cranston
Total Shots
Shots on Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards

Stafford Rangers KO Whitby Town Badge KO 9 16 23 45 69 77 82 FT

Past Meetings

Whitby TownStafford Rangers
Stafford RangersWhitby Town
Whitby TownStafford Rangers