|04/05/2022||7:45 pm||Staffordshire Senior Cup FINAL||2021/2022||Wed||741|
Stafford Rangers brought their season to a close with some silverware as they retained the Staffordshire Senior Cup by beating Stone Old Alleynians at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium.
Playing two tiers above their opponents, Rangers went into the tie as firm favourites but Old Alleynians had enjoyed a great run to book a first ever appearance in the final, defeating three higher ranked sides on their way.
For a while, the “minnows” threatened to add the name of Stafford Rangers to the list of Hednesford Town, Kidsgrove Athletic and Leek Town as Luke Askey was given freedom to head Stone in front on 15 minutes from Sam Bradbury’s left wing corner.
In terms of possession, Rangers dominated throughout, but they had to work hard to create a goal scoring opportunity as the final ball lacked the quality needed.
Shortly after Stone’s opener, Tom Tonks thundered in a shot from an angle which was well blocked by Ryan Goodwin’s head while Stone keeper Adam Alcock just beat Tre Pemberton to a threaded pass from Alex-Ray Harvey.
As the half progressed, Old Alleynians were pushed deeper into defence and the equaliser eventually came seven minutes before the break.
A Stafford corner from the left was only half cleared – Alex Fletcher laid off to Tonks and he fired in a low drive beyond the reach of Alcock.
It was the nerve calmer that Rangers needed to take into half time and the result was never really in doubt from then on.
Joe Kenton’s low centre saw Kaiman Anderson make it 2-1 on 56 minutes when he diverted Tonks’ initial shot past Alcock.
Tonks had a couple of chances to extend the lead. Joe Baxter had to intervene when the industrious midfielder broke into the Stone area then hit the post after the OA’s defence parted in front of him.
Stone made a couple of forays into the Rangers area without posing too much of a threat but any lingering hopes of an upset were extinguished on 79 minutes when Anderson got on the end of a cross whipped in by Theo Bailey-Jones to head in Stafford’s third.
Jake Charles replaced Anderson and should have had his name on the scoresheet in the final minute but former Rangers keeper Alcock saved with his legs.
At the other end, Sam Wilson had a chance of pulling one back but Ethan Stewart did enough to force the corner.
Soon after, Rangers were celebrating their 14th Staffs Senior Cup triumph and they now sit clear in third place on the all time list with Aston Villa’s 16 wins next in their sights. Stoke City top the list on 19 wins.
Stone Old Alleynians: 1 Adam Alcock, 2 Joe Baxter, 3 Ollie Davies, 4 Sam Bradbury (12 Cameron Sinclair 87m), 5 Luke Askey ( 14 Alexander Cimino 67m), 6 Ryan Goodwin, 7 Jack Bowater, 8 William Bailey, 9 Jack Tomlinson, 10 Matt Thomas, 11 Sam Wilson. Unused Subs: 13 Andrew Walklate, 15 Sam Bowater, 16 David Ablewhite
Stafford Rangers: 1 Tyrell Belford, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Joe Dunne, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Joe Kenton (15 Theo Bailey-Jones 66m), 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Kaiman Anderson (14 Jake Charles 82m, 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Tre Pemberton (17 Ben Woods 90+3m). Unused Subs: 12 Michael Tait-Moran, 16 Josh Endall
Referee: Steve Martin
Report: Chris Elsley
KO KO 15 38 56 65 67 79 82 87 90 FT