Pitching In Northern Premier League
Saturday 12 March 2022
Another last gasp goal cost Stafford Rangers two points from their visit to Scarborough Athletic.
It was almost a carbon copy finish to the ending of Stafford’s last outing when Mickleover benefited from a questionable free kick in added time.
On Saturday, Tom Tonks was harshly penalised for a block tackle on Luca Colville. From the free kick, Scarborough won a corner which was bundled in at the back post by Kieran Weledji to spark celebrations among the home fans.
Rangers recalled Jake Charles in place of Kaiman Anderson while Ben Woods came in for Joe Dunne who was ruled out with Covid.
Charles, making his first start for eight weeks after injury, looked back to his best and rewarded Matt Hill on 12 minutes, firing past Ryan Whitley following a sharp turn on the edge of the box after Scarborough had failed to clear Alex Fletcher’s free kick.
Jacob Day had the ball in the Stafford net shortly after but was flagged offside as he connected with Bailey Gooda’s header.
Tonks’ long throws have caused opposition defences trouble throughout the season but the Rangers’ defence had to deal with the Scarborough equivalent from Ashley Jackson who hit the post with one throw before Andy Burns cleared the danger.
Scarborough’s first shot on target came via a free kick on 39 minutes but Mateusz Hewelt made a comfortable save from Ryan Watson.
In the closing stages of the half, James O’Neill missed a golden opportunity to extend Stafford’s lead when he was unable to convert from close range following another Fletcher free kick while, at the other end, Burns headed away a goal bound shot from Gooda.
Scarborough were reduced to 10 men 9 minutes into the second half when Simon Heslop picked up his second yellow card. The dismissal triggered a tactical change from the home side with Weledji replacing Cameron Wilson and Watson moving to a more attacking role.
Brad Plant badly miscued a shot from the edge of the area, Colville blazed high over and Hewelt pulled off a great save to keep out Weledji’s header as Stafford looked set to see out the game but Weledji’s late equaliser spoiled the party.
Despite the disappointment, Rangers have now extended their unbeaten run to 14 league and cup games and have equalled their post war record of 12 games unbeaten away from home in the league.
Scarborough Athletic: 1 Ryan Whitley, 2 Ryan Watson, 3 Ashley Jackson, 4 Simon Heslop, 5 Will Thornton, 6 Bailey Gooda, 7 Brad Plant (14 James Cadman 74m), 8 Luca Colville, 9 Jake Day, 10 Kieran Glynn, 11 Cameron Wilson (12 Kieran Weledji 57m). Unused Subs 13 Mathew Bancroft, 15 Dylan Cogill, 16 Michael Coulson
Stafford Rangers: 1 Mateusz Hewelt, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Ben Woods, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Tre Pemberton (14 Joe Kenton 76m), 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Jake Charles ( 17 Kaiman Anderson 83m), 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Joe Cuff. Unused Subs: 12 Michael Tait-Moran, 15 Josh Endall, 16 Jed Abbey
Cautions: Hewelt, Woods, Kenton (Stafford)
Sent Off: Heslop (Scarborough) – 2 cautions
Referee: Jack Hall
Report: Chris Elsley