Walsall Senior Cup 2 Round
Tuesday 2 November 2021
Stafford Rangers exited their second cup competition in four days as they were beaten by Sutton Coldfield Town in the Walsall Senior Cup.
But this was a much-changed side as Rangers made ten changes to the XI that started the FA Trophy tie at Bedford on Saturday with only Ethan Stewart retaining his place. Making his first appearance since August was keeper Adam Whitehouse while four youth players made their debuts.
The home side raced into a two-goal lead thanks to errors from two of Rangers’ more senior players then added a third with just 20 minutes on the clock. In the 7th minute former Rangers man Ryan Nesbitt benefitted when Jon Moran failed to cut out a long ball from Jamie Ashmore and advanced past Whitehouse to open the scoring.
Six minutes later, Ashmore’s long range free kick from the left-hand side of the area beat Whitehouse at the near post to double the lead. The tie was all but over on 20 minutes when Alex Smith headed home another Ashmore free kick to make it 3-0.
But the story could have been a better read for the Boro had they not spurned a golden opportunity to get back on level terms in the 10th minute after Smith had hauled down Tol Omotola. The forward took the spot kick himself, but Royals’ keeper Keiran Hart went to his left to save.
Sutton wasted several chances to add to their first half score. Stewart blocked a goal bound header from Smith then Whitehouse made an excellent save to keep out James Beresford before Nesbitt headed over from close range.
Rangers started the second half brightly with Hart turning Jaden Henry-Dean’s shot into the side netting. But they shot themselves in the foot again when Omotola missed his second penalty of the night on 52 minutes following a handball from John Dodd. In an almost carbon copy of the first spot kick, Hart dived to his left to make the save.
Rangers’ night went from bad to worse from the resultant corner. Moran headed over but, in doing so, he suffered a serious blow to his nose. Rangers, who had already used two of their three named substitutes following first half injuries to Tre Pemberton and Jenson Griffiths, were forced to field youth keeper Eden Johnson as an outfield player.
Johnson almost reduced the arrears in the closing stages after Hart had only parried from Henry-Dean, but he was denied by Aris Christophorou’s last ditch intervention. A long clearance from Stewart from midway inside the Rangers’ half almost provided a bizarre consolation but Hart was on guard to keep his goal intact.
Sutton Coldfield Town: 1 Keiran Hart, 2 Jamie Ashmore, 3 Aris Christophorou, 4 Dalmar Morrison, 5 James Beresford, 6 Alex Smith, 7 John Dodd, 8 Christian Isichei, 9 Ryan Nesbitt (15 Lamin Dampha 77m), 10 Leo Brown (16 Benni Wilson 77m), 11 Ben Guy (18 Angelo Njong 77m). Unused Subs 12 Maxwell Brogan, 14 Callum King-Harmes
Stafford Rangers: 13 Adam Whitehouse, 2 Taylor Draper, 3 Michael Lennon, 4 Lewis Rowley, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 Jon Moran (16 Eden Johnson 57m), 7 Tre Pemberton (14 Jovaan Garrison 33m), 8 Tom Carr, 9 Omotolani Omotola, 10 Jenson Griffiths (12 Jude Hill 39m), 11 Jaden Henry-Dean. Unused Subs – none
Referee: Jamie Conde
Report: Chris Elsley