Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Saturday 19 January 2019
Five goals – all headers – saw Stafford Rangers record their biggest away win for more than four years as Grantham Town were put to the sword. The only dampener on the afternoon was the sending off of midfielder Andy Haworth for two acts of indiscipline within a five-minute spell early in the second half. Grantham made a bright start and got the ball in the Stafford net inside two minutes when Chris Salt headed in a free kick from Ross Barrows, but a tight offside call went in Stafford’s favour. But Rangers soon stamped their authority on the game and took the lead on 10 mins. A series of three consecutive corners from Haworth culminated with Luke Jones powering home from around 12 yards – the ball going in via the underside of the bar.
Ten minutes later it was 2-0. The Bailey-Jones beat Oliver Luto with ease down the right and delivered a cross for Tom Thorley. Again, the ball truck the underside of the Grantham bar but the assistant indicated that the ball had crossed the line.
Having lost a 2-0 lead more than once this season, Rangers were desperate for a third and it came on 29 minutes from Bailey-Jones with a back-post header following a left wing cross from Matt Hill. The Grantham defence was unmoved. Grantham did offer a little more in the latter stages of the half but, apart from one half chance that saw the ball bounce goal wards off Charlie Ward, Adam Siviter wasn’t called upon.
Haworth’s moment of madness saw him see red on 55 minutes. Having been cautioned for dribbling the ball away from a Grantham free kick, he needlessly clashed with Barrows off the ball and saw red. Sensing a gateway back into the game, Grantham created their best chance of the afternoon soon after with a good header from Ward following Barrows’ free kick but Siviter made a fine save to his right.
But any Stafford nerves were eased on 65 mins when Lewis Banks – on as a sub for Peter Williams – headed in Josh Green’s free kick. Five minutes later, it was five as Jack Sherratt delivered the ball to the back post from just inside the area and Dan Burns headed home. Hill went close to adding a sixth with a powerful drive from 30 yards that Jordan Wright spilled but the Grantham keeper recovered before any Rangers player could take advantage.
Grantham Town: 1 Jordan Wright, 2 Ross Barrows, 3 Oliver Luto (12 George McCartney 23m), 4 Fernando Bell-Toxtle (14 Kemal Yenibertz 66m), 5 Charlie Ward, 6 Chris Salt, 7 Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson (17 Harry Gibbons 64m), 8 Tom Ward, 9 Danny Durkin, 10 Tom Siddons, 11 Ryley Thompson. Unused subs 15 Antonio Jaquite, 16 Tiago Nassunchlo
Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Josh Green, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones (15 Izak Reid 81m), 5 Dan Burns, 6 Jack Sherratt, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles (16 Ben Mills 74m), 10 Peter Williams (14 Lewis Banks 62m), 11 Andy Haworth. Unused Subs: 12 James Askey, 17 Max Dixon
Cautions: Barrows (Grantham) Haworth – 2 (sent off) (Stafford)
Report Chris Elsley