FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
31 October 2020
Manager less Stafford Rangers went out of the FA Trophy at St Ives Town, but it was much improved performance from the NPL’s bottom club and only a last-minute penalty denied them victory. Caretaker manager Matt Hill changed the formation back to 4-4-2 and it was a plan that appeared to work as Rangers deservedly took a 13th minute lead through Joe Cuff.
The club’s leading scorer had already gone close in the first minute before he was picked out by Callum Coyle’s pass and advanced to fire past Martin Conway. The goal woke the home side up and their main outlet, Michael Gyashi, came close to an equaliser with a shot from distance after cutting inside from the left but Lewis King watched it go past the outside of his right hand post.
King then made a good save to deny Ben Seymour-Shove following a quick free kick on the St Ives left. Chances at either end became limited, but Rangers still looked comfortably in control of affairs on a heavy pitch. The home side were more prominent in the second half and the game opened up. Appeals for a penalty when Seymour-Shove went to ground were waved away. Rangers immediately countered and Coyle had half a chance to chip Conway, but the ball didn’t sit kindly, and the opportunity had gone.
Aaron Cole – making his first start for Rangers – headed into the side netting from Cieron Keane’s corner before Gyasi ended a St Ives break by shooting over. King made another good save when Seymour-Shove looked set to level after Brett Solkhon’s header had found him in space.
A speculative overhead kick from Ed Hottor was on target but straight at King who then saved at his near post from Gyasi. At the opposite end Conway had to push Cole’s free kick over the bar but St Ives were posing the greater threat and it needed a timely clearance from Sam Coulson after King had parried Michael Harding’s shot. The home side finally found a way past King in the 90th minute courtesy of a Dylan Williams penalty after Coulson had fouled Seymour-Shove.
And so, to penalties. The two sides successfully converted their first kicks but after Solkhon had put St Ives 2-1 up, Mitch Candlin saw his kick saved. Coulson skied his leaving Ben Toseland to put the home side through 4-1.
St Ives Town: 1 Martin Conway, 2 Liam Bateman, 3 Jacob Ballinger (12 Ben Toseland 83m), 4 Michael Gyasi, 5 Oran Jackon, 6 Brett Solkhon, 7 Ben Seymour-Shove, 8 Luke Howell, 9 Dylan Williams, 10 Ed Hottor (16 Michael Harding 74m), 11 Nathan Hicks. Unused Subs: 14 Kyle Lincoln, 15 Dan Clifton, 17 Mihayl Mitkov
Stafford Rangers: 1 Lewis King, 2 Michael Williams (17 Joe Kenton 41m), 3 Cieron Keane, 4 Sam Coulson, 5 Ben Forrest, 6 John Welsh, 7 Aaron Cole (15 Josh Williams 83m), 8 Alex-Ray Harvey, 9 Mitch Candlin, 10 Callum Coyle (16 Mo Sebbeh-Njie 83m), 11 Joe Cuff. Unused Subs: 12 Dan Burns, 14 Reece Jones
Ref: Alistair Wilson
Cautions: Cuff, Kenton (Rangers)
Goals: St Ives: D Williams 90 pen, Rangers: Cuff 13m
Penalty kicks: St Ives: Hicks, Solkhon, D Williams, Toseland – all scored; Rangers: Cuff scored, Candlin, Coulson both missed
Report by Chris Elsley