Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Tuesday 11 September 2018
Report by Chris Elsley
Stafford Rangers made it four wins in four in an entertaining match against Witton Albion at Marston Road.
The Boro were without the suspended Jack Sherratt, allowing Josh Green his first start, while Theo Bailey-Jones came in for Louis Briscoe who dropped to the bench.
Bailey-Jones was soon in the action as he burst past two Witton defenders and into the area but his path was eventually blocked as he shaped to shoot.
It was the recalled midfielder that was on hand to fire Rangers ahead on 10 mins after the Witton defence had failed to deal with a long ball. Green almost took advantage only to be denied by a last ditch tackle from Billy Smart. The ball fell nicely for Bailey-Jones and he drilled in a low shot which slipped through the fingers of Greg Hall in the Witton goal.
The Rangers goalscorer then linked with Tom Thorley to get in a cross that Joe Cuff volleyed at Hall but the home side suffered a set back on 21 mins when striker Kyle Perry went off with a groin injury.
Harry Benns went close to adding a second when his shot deflected off Michael Wilson and out for a corner but, gradually, Rangers let Witton back in to the contest.
Adam Whitehouse had to punch clear following Will Jones’ header then did well to force the same Witton man to lose control after he had been put in by the impressive Danny McKenna.
James Foley volleyed over from the edge of the Rangers area following a McKenna free kick while it needed an excellent header off the line from James Askey to prevent Rob Hopley from putting Witton back on level terms.
Rangers had the better of the early exchanges in the second half – Benns firing their best opportunity over the bar when well placed after some good work by Harrison Holgate near the right hand corner flag.
The Boro’s efforts were rewarded on the hour when they went 2-0 up although, once again, there was an element of good fortune as Thorley’s well struck drive came back off the post only to rebound into his own net off the helpless Wilson.
Benns and Cuff combined well to set up Izak Reid but keeper Hall came out to tackle the Rangers’ sub.
Witton were then handed a 66th minute lifeline when Matty Devine’s pull back reached Foley and he found a way past Whitehouse from the edge of the area.
Buoyed by their goal, Witton kept up the pressure and Rangers looked a little shaky for a time although the visitors didn’t really create much for Whitehouse to worry about.
Instead, the best chances were falling to Rangers and Benns was off target with two that came his way while Cuff saw his shot deflected wide off James Yates.
Louis Briscoe fired over after following up his own free kick but Rangers finally put the game to bed in the 86th minute.
Benns did well, holding off the challenge of Foley, before he picked out the run of Lewis Banks who calmly slotted past Hall to make it 3-1.
Whitehouse beat away a 25 yarder from McKenna while Lingouba almost found a way through for Witton in the final stages, but there was no denying Rangers who now move up to 9th.
Stafford Rangers:1 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Harrison Holgate, 3 James Askey, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Josh Green (12 Louis Briscoe 79m), 6 Tom Marshall, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones (15 Lewis Banks 74m), 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Kyle Perry (16 Izak Reid 22m), 10 Harry Benns, 11 Joe Cuff. Unused Subs:14 Sam Coulson, 17 Osebi Abadaki
Witton Albion: 1 Greg Hall, 2 James Yates, 3 Matty Devine, 4 Josh Wardle, 5 Michael Wilson, 6 Billy Smart (14 Delial Brewster 63m), 7 Danny McKenna, 8 Cesair Lingouba, 9 Rob Hopley, 10 Will Jones, 11 James Foley. Unused Subs: 12 Chris Noone, 13 Paul Moore,15 River Humphreys,
Cautions: Thorley, Benns (Rangers) Devine, Lingouba (Witton)
Ref: Richard Cattell
Att : 483