The Pitching In Northern Premier League
Saturday 23 October 2021
Stafford Rangers ended their mini goal drought by hitting three past Whitby Town on the East Yorkshire coast to record their first win in four games. It was a fine all-round display from the Boro who made just one change to their starting line up as Alex-Ray Harvey replaced Luca Navarro. The club captain repaid the decision with an excellent display.
Whitby began on the front foot with Marcus Giles creating a couple of openings but a looping header from Jonathan Burn which drifted wide of the post was the nearest that they came. Rangers had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Ethan Stewart was hauled to the ground, but it wasn’t long before the Boro got themselves in front.
It was a long throw from Tom Tonks in the 15th minute that created the goal with James O’Neill placing his header past Shane Bland. It was the first goal scored by the club in two minutes short of five hours of play. But the lead lasted just three minutes as Whitby levelled through Jacob Hazel who broke free after combining with Giles.
Both sides missed chances as Theo Bailey-Jones fired over for Stafford and Josh MacDonald saw his shot saved by a diving Luke Pilling. Lady luck has not followed Jake Charles this season and he was unlucky not to score when he saw his shot roll across the goal line.
But his fortunes took a turn for the better on 25 minutes when the referee awarded Rangers a penalty after Jonathan Burn had clattered into the Rangers’ striker. Charles stepped up to restore the Boro lead.
Bailey-Jones went close to adding a third but was unable to connect as he launched himself at Joe Kenton’s cross and Tonks almost worked an opening after dispossessing Burn but was eventually blocked by Jassem Sukar.
At the other end, MacDonald sent a first time shot wide while Pilling had to smother the ball to deny Hazel. Rangers were firmly in command after the break although it took them until the final 10 minutes to secure the points.
Bailey-Jones and Kenton both had shots blocked early in the second half before Alex Fletcher fired wide from 25 yards. Whitby did create half a chance as Hazel broke into the area. He went down under the challenge from O’Neill, but the referee deemed it a dive and cautioned the Whitby forward.
Bailey-Jones missed a couple of close-range chances for Rangers before Tonks secured the win with a trademark free kick on 81 minutes after Charles had been brought down just outside the area.
Whitby Town: 1 Shane Bland, 2 Nathan Dyer, 3 Jassem Sukar, 4 Jake Hackett (12 Adam Gell 69m), 5 Daniel Rowe, 6 Jonathan Burn, 7 Josh MacDonald, 8 Priestley Griffiths, 9 Jacob Hazel, 10 Marcus Giles (18 Bradley Fewster), 11 Liam Cooke (14 Harry Green 64m). Unused Subs: 15 Jameel Ible, 16 Coleby Shepherd
Stafford Rangers: 13 Luke Pilling, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Ben Woods, 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Ethan Stewart, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Joe Kenton, 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Jake Charles (14 Max McCarthy 90+1m), 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Theo Bailey-Jones. Unused Subs: 12 Luca Navarro, 15 Omotolani Omotola, 16 Jon Moran, 17 Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis
Cautions: Hazel (Whitby), Bailey-Jones (Rangers)
Referee: Glen Hart
Report: Chris Elsley