FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying
Saturday 24 October 2020
Stafford Rangers missed out on a place in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup after being dumped out by the lowest ranked side left in the competition. Rangers were looking for their first appearance against the League teams since going out to Brighton in 2006 but the visitors have to go back 50 years for the last time that they reached that stage and it was clear from early on that the visitors were going to make this a tough afternoon for the Boro, despite the two leagues difference.
Rangers – unchanged from the side beaten at Basford in midweek – had the early openings with Jamie Sleigh and Joe Cuff both missing out in the opening five minutes but Skem were soon on the attack themselves as Dan Mitchley put Emini Adegbenro through only for a crucial tackle from Michael Williams to halt his progress. But, in the 10th minute, the visitors were ahead. While Cieron Keane and Liam Langford both waited for the other to take control, Lloyd Ellams nipped in. Mitchley picked out Adegbenro in space and he advanced to slot the ball past Lewis King. Sam Coulson missed a great opportunity to level soon after when he failed to make sufficient contact from Keane’s corner. It was the first of several chances to fall to the defender in front of the Skem goal.D espite the early setback, Rangers had most of the first half play but saw shots from Keane and John Welsh fly off target.
Welsh then put Sleigh in, but he lost his footing at the vital stage before Ben Barnes had to tip over a deep centre from Langford that was heading for the top corner. An unmarked Coulson headed over then Welsh hit the side netting before Barnes ensured his side would take the lead into the interval by tipping Coulson’s looping header over the bar. The visitors were the better team at the start of the second half and it needed a great challenge from Langford to halt another threatening run from Adegbenro.
The two sides traded opportunities. Barnes took no chance as he pushed a Williams shot away for a corner even though the shot looked to be heading wide. At the other end Michael Grogan was unconvincing from 18 yards out and his shot ended wide of the target. Defender Grogan was more up to his task with a double block to deny Langford and Cuff before King saved well from Ellams.
But it was Ellams who doubled Skem’s lead on 65 mins with a header beyond the reach of King following an Alex Griffiths free kick. Cuff forced another fingertip save from Barnes before another chance went begging for Rangers as neither Langford nor Coulson could manage to get a shot in. Barnes saved well from a Cuff header before Rangers’ leading scorer gave his side a lifeline with 12 minutes remaining when he hooked home Keane’s cross.
Barnes kept out a similar effort from Cuff before Skem wrapped up the tie with two late goals. The first came from the penalty spot on 88 mins after Richard Brodie made the most of the opportunity as King tried to force him wide and Adegbenro netted. With the tie in the bag, Ellams rubbed salt in Rangers’ wounds two minutes later when he was given time and space to advance to the edge of the area before thumping the ball past King.
Stafford Rangers: 1 Lewis King, 2 Michael Williams, 3 Cieron Keane, 4 Sam Coulson, 5 Liam Langford, 6 John Welsh, 7 Muhammed Sebbeh-Njie (12 Callum Coyle 46m), 8 Alex-Ray Harvey (15 Mitch Candlin 62m), 9 Jamie Sleigh, 10 Joe Cuff, 11 Joe Kenton. Unused Subs: 14 Dan Burns, 16 Reece Jones, 17 Aaron Cole, 18 Joe Morley, 19 Ben Forrest
Skelmersdale United: 1 Ben Barnes, 2 Joe Herbert, 3 Callum Preston, 4 Daniel Murphy, 5 Michael Grogan, 6 Gabriel Ellis (17 Alex Davies 56m), 7 Jack Grimshaw (14 Richard Brodie 86m), 8 Lloyd Ellams, 9 Daniel Mitchley, 10 Alex Griffiths (16 Stephen Wainwright 90+2m), 11 Emini Adegbenro. Unused Subs 12 Jay Webb, 13 Cameron Glennon, 15 Thomas Grimshaw, 18 Alex O’Neill
Ref: Matt Cortlett
Cautions: King, Keane, Langford (Rangers), Adegbenro (Skelmersdale)
Goals: Rangers Cuff 78; Adegbenro 10 & 88 pen, Ellams 65 & 90
Report by Chris Elsley