The Pitching In Northern Premier League
Tuesday 12 October 2021
Stafford Rangers had to settle for a point from their trip to Mickleover on Tuesday night.
The Derbyshire side showed more resilience than they had three days earlier when they were beaten 4-0 at home by Morpeth, rarely giving Rangers a look in on goal. The Boro were forced to make one change days earlier with Theo Bailey-Jones replacing Joe Kenton who had injured his knee against Scarborough three days earlier. Also still absent through injury was Jon Moran. Mickleover had the first opening when the ball fell to the veteran Pablo Mills, but he skied his shot high over the bar.
The home side also created the next chance as Lee Holmes shot wide after cutting inside Ben Woods before Rangers slowly began to find their feet and Luca Navarro tried an ambitious first-time effort but could only find Mickleover keeper Callum Hawkins.
Bailey-Jones broke into the area after a Jake Charles lay off but was closed down quickly by Liam Ravenhill while Stewart shot wide following a corner. Half chances came and went for Tom Tonks, Charles and Navarro but the best chance of the half fell to the home side on 33 minutes when Andrew Wright picked out Jake Bennett with a great cross field ball, but Luke Pilling made an excellent stop.
It was a similar story in the second half. Tonks fired over and Navarro tamely at Hawkins in the early exchanges while Rangers had a minor scare when Pilling crashed into a post as he caught a looping header from Andy Dales. Pilling was involved in the key moment of the half when Dales broke clear, but the Rangers’ keeper once again proved unbeatable with another fine save and then scrambled across to smother the ball as it came off Andy Burns.
A night of plenty of effort from both sides but also lacking the touch of class needed to secure all three points but the Rangers camp are content with the progress made so far.
Mickleover: 1 Callum Hawkins, 2 Jake Bennett, 3 Jordan Gooch, 4 Joe Bateman, 5 James Butler, 20 Pablo Mills, 7 Liam Ravenhill, 8 Andrew Wright (6 Declan Bacon 86m), 9 Andy Dales, 15 Kemy Agustien, 11 Lee Holmes (14 Bobby Battison 27m). Unused Subs: 12 Josh Satchwell, 13 Roger Lee, 16 Mason Warren
Stafford Rangers: 13 Luke Pilling, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Ben Woods, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Jake Charles (12 Omotolani Omotola 70), 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Luca Navarro (14 Max McCarthy 59m). Unused Subs: 15 Josh Endall, 16 Tom Carr, 17 Michael Lennon
Cautions: Wright (Mickleover)
Referee: Luke Lazenby
Report: Chris Elsley