Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Saturday 26 January 2019
Stafford Rangers produced one of their best performances of the season to pick up a point at play off chasing Gainsborough Trinity.
And they had to do it without captain Luke Jones and Jack Sherratt (both injured) and the suspended duo of Joe Cuff and Andy Haworth.
In came Sam Coulson who was back available after being unavailable for last week’s victory at Grantham and Jed Davies who joined the club on Friday from local rivals Hednesford Town. There was a first start in 10 games for Lewis Banks who played in an unfamiliar attacking left midfield role.
There was also the return of another familiar face as Josh Craddock took a place on the subs bench having also made the move from Hednesford 24 hours earlier.
Gainsborough came close to an opener with their first attack inside three minutes. A long ball from Joe Maguire was knocked down by Ashley Worsfold to Alex Byrne and Stafford keeper Adam Siviter was forced to tip a 25 yarder over for a corner.
Max Watters had a great chance for the home side midway through the half when he found himself clear on goal but Siviter prevented almost certain goal, saving well with his legs.
Jake Charles missed an equally good chance for Stafford a couple of minutes later when he failed to connect with an inch perfect cross from Theo Bailey-Jones.
A slip from Davies saw another chance go begging then Charles missed out again when he hit the post from just inside the area after Bailey-Jones had won the ball from Siviter’s long clearance.
Stafford were made to pay for their missed chances five minutes before half time when a Stafford free kick broke down and Byrne sent a long ball crossfield to Will Longbottom. The Gainsborough wide man picked out Worsfold who headed in from close range.
But Stafford got back level on the stroke of half time thanks to a Josh Green penalty after Neil Austin had tripped Lewis Banks following Tom Thorley’s pass.
There weren’t too many clear chances at either end in the first 30 minutes of the second period – a spell largely dominated by Stafford.
Gainsborough’s best came from Alex Byrne’s free kick that landed on the roof of the Stafford net while, at the other end, Charles was denied by Jon Stewart in the home goal.
But the best chance to win it fell to Worsfold when Simon Russell flicked on Max Watters’ cross but the unmarked forward blazed over.
Gainsborough Trinity: 1 Jon Stewart, 2 Neil Austin, 3 Ben Gordon, 4 Shane Clarke (16 Damian Reeves 68m), 5 Ioan Evans, 6 Joe Maguire, 7 Alex Byrne, 8 Simon Russell, 9 Ashley Worsfold, 10 Max Watters, 11 Will Longbottom. Unused Subs 12 Jaime Ture, 14 Elliot Wilson, 15 Liam King, – only four subs named
Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Josh Green, 3 Matty Hill, 4 Sam Coulson, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Jed Davies (15 Josh Craddock 67m), 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles (16 Ben Mills 90+1m), 10 Peter Williams, 11 Lewis Banks (14 Izak Reid 77m). Unused Subs: 12 James Askey, 17 Max Dixon
Cautions: Maguire (Gainsborough), Davies (Rangers)
Referee: Matthew Sowerby
Report: Chris Elsley