Evo-Stik Northern Premier League | Saturday 9 March 2019
Stafford Rangers pulled off a shock win away to league leaders Warrington Town to ease their relegation fears. Warrington had to play most of the game with 10 men after Ben Garrity was sent off for collecting two yellow cards inside the opening 14 minutes but, with the wind in their backs, it was the Wire who struck first through Bohan Dixon.
The home side came into the game on the back of an 8-match unbeaten run and they started in confident mood as Connor McCarthy showed a burst of pace to beat Luke Jones on the left, but Tom Thorley was back to cut out the centre.
Garrity picked up the first of his yellow cards for what was deemed to be a dive in the area. Jack Mackreth had threaded a good ball through, but the young midfielder went to ground under Dan Burns’ challenge. Referee Jack Nields was unimpressed. If Garrity felt any injustice from that decision, he knew he was on thin ice and could have few complaints by the second yellow card he received for a late challenge on Andy Haworth just five minutes later although it appeared some time before Nields realised it was the same player before showing the red card.
Nields wasn’t having any nonsense and Joe Cuff saw his name taken for bundling Shaun Beeley to the ground. Dylan Vassallo’s in swinging free kick looked to have been over hit but Mark Roberts managed to pull it back and Dixon nodded past Adam Siviter to give the Wire a 21st minute lead. But Rangers didn’t let their heads drop and, aided by the player advantage, they gradually got to grips with the conditions. Cuff put a shot in on goal, but it deflected wide off team mate Jake Charles.
That was to be more or less it for Cuff who was substituted shortly after for his own good – the young midfielder has already been dismissed twice this season and was risking another. Andrai Jones and Charles both tried their luck on the Warrington goal, but it was skipper Luke Jones who got his side back on level terms on the stroke of half time when he fired past Tony McMillan after Warrington had failed to clear a free kick from Haworth.
There wasn’t too much between the two sides in the opening exchanges of the second half but then Rangers struck twice in quick succession to take command. On 59 mins, Ben Mills won the aerial challenge to knock down Thorley’s long throw and Theo Bailey-Jones was first to react and shot past McMillan. Three minutes later, Rangers won a corner on the right which was taken by Haworth and powerfully headed into the roof of the net by Luke Jones. Bailey-Jones missed a great chance to add a fourth five minutes later when he turned over from close range.
Warrington, with the imposing figures of Josh Amis and Marcus Cusani now leading their attack, were still a threat and Cusani fired over when well-placed after the two substitutes had linked well. It was Cusani who set up a nail-biting finish when he reduced the arrears with 3 minutes remaining following Vassallo’s free kick. And the home side thought they had salvaged a stoppage time point through Amis’ perfectly placed header, but Adam Siviter pulled off a stunning save to earn his side all three points.
Warrington Town: 1 Tony McMillan, 2 Shaun Beeley, 3 Alex Whittle, 4 Ben Garrity, 5 Mark Roberts, 6 David Raven, 7 Jack Mackreth (12 Josh Amis 46m), 8 Robbie Evans, 9 Connor McCarthy (15 Marcus Cusani 63m), 10 Bohan Dixon (14 Russell Benjamin 79m), 11 Dylan Vassallo. Unused Subs:16 Mitch Duggan, 17 Adam Hughes
Stafford Rangers: 1 Adam Siviter, 2 Paul Bignot, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Dan Burns, 6 Andrai Jones, 7 Theo Bailey-Jones, 8 Tom Thorley, 9 Jake Charles (15 Louis Briscoe 89m), 10 Andy Haworth (12 Jack Sherratt 79m), 11 Joe Cuff (Sub 16 Ben Mills 39m). Unused Subs: 14 Sam Coulson, 17 Peter Williams
Cautions: Whittle, Roberts (Warrington), Cuff, Hill (Rangers)
Sent Off: Garrity – two cautions (Warrington)
Referee: Jack Neilds
Report: Chris Elsley