Staffs Senior Cup 2nd Round
Tuesday 6 November 2018
Stafford Rangers survived a late scare from Rocester to start their defence of the Staffordshire Senior Cup that they won by beating Hednesford Town at the end of last season. Although Steve Burr made a number of changes to the side that drew with Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday, he had learned from the lesson at Lye Town a couple of weeks ago and ensured there was still a healthy amount of experience in the starting XI.
Rangers looked the stronger side from the off but had little to show for it. Andy Haworth tried his luck from the edge of the D inside 5 mins, but fans had to wait until beyond the half hour mark before they saw another decent effort from the home side – this time Josh Green hit the cross bar from a similar distance.
All too often, Rangers tried to walk it in when in good position around the Rocester penalty area and the visiting defence were quick to close down and extinguish the danger. Rocester’s main threat came from midfielder Micah Jebbson. On a number of occasions, he attacked down the left wing taking on and beating defenders James Askey and Sam Coulson.
On 22 mins, he forced Adam Whitehouse to save with his feet then, a minute later, he kept the ball well but couldn’t find the power to beat the Rangers’ keeper. On 34 mins he cut in again from the left but shot across the face of goal.
The threat lessened when he switched to the right for the final few minutes of the half and it was Rangers who were on top at half time thanks to a low 25-yard strike from Jack Sherratt on 43 mins that squeezed between Lewis Bullock’s left hand and post.
Rangers almost went 2-0 up early in the second half when Derry Creighton sliced a clearance against his own bar, but the second Stafford goal wasn’t far away, and it came from a good strike from sub Joe Cuff on 53 mins after Josh Green had rolled him a short free kick.
Captain for the night, Green got on the scoresheet himself three minutes later after a howler in the Rocester area when Luca Sorrentino’s back pass was missed by keeper Bullock leaving Green with the simple task. New signing Liam Collings crashed a shot into the stomach of a Rocester defender as Stafford threatened to add further goals, but the visitors came close to pulling one back when James Askey was forced to clear off the line from Jordan Dodd.
Rocester’s efforts on the night deserved a goal and they got one on 81 mins when Sorrentino stroked the ball home from the edge of the area. It was game on a minute later when Carl Allen headed home from Jordan Godfrey’s free kick, but Jake Charles made sure of Rangers’ progress through to the quarter finals in the third minute of added time when he ended a solo run by hammering the ball home with the last kick of the match.
Stafford: 1 Adam Whitehouse (17 Morgan Bacon 64m), 2 James Askey, 3 Ben Chilcott, 4 Dan Burns, 5 Sam Coulson, 6 Josh Green, 7 Andrew Haworth (16 Joe Cuff 46m), 8 Jack Sherratt, 9 Andrai Jones (14 Jake Charles 64m), 10 Harry Benns, 11 Liam Collings. Unused Subs 12 Theo Bailey-Jones, 15 Lewis Banks.
Rocester:1 Lewis Bullock, 2 Matt Nutt, 3 Derry Creighton, 4 Joshua Sedgley (14 Sam Golden 66m), 5 Luke Tandy, 6 Carl Allen, 7 Luca Sorrentino, 8 Zak Hill (12 Jordan Godfrey 53m), 9 Jordan Dodd, 10 Jack Jeffery, 11 Micah Jebbison. Unused Subs 15 Luke Partridge – only three subs named.
Ref: Steve Martin
Report: Chris Elsley