Pitching In Northern Premier League
Tuesday 22 March 2022
Stafford Rangers bounced back from the disappointment of seeing their unbeaten record ended by Lancaster with a victory at Witton Albion that keeps up their hopes of gaining an end of season play off place and creates a new club record of 13 away games unbeaten.
It was a scrappy game settled by a scrappy goal – scored by substitute Jake Charles just four minutes after he had been introduced to the action.
Charles had been one of two changes from the side that was beaten by Lancaster with Joe Cuff also left out – in came Kaiman Anderson and Michael Tait-Moran.
It was Anderson who had the best chance of the opening quarter – it was a half chance at best – when he was on the end of a near post cross from Tre Pemberton but Witton’s Will Jones did enough to force a corner.
A long range free kick from Alex Fletcher forced Witton keeper Dermot Mee to tip over but it wasn’t until the game had passed the half hour mark before either side produced a meaningful effort on goal as Joe Mwasile forced a safe from Mateusz Hewelt.
In the closing stages of the first half, Josh Endall twice went close for Rangers following long throws from Tom Tonks but it was a largely forgettable 45 minutes.
Early in the second half, Pemberton produced the best individual moment of the game with a run from the half way line but, having done the hard work, he sent his shot high over the bar.
Struggling Witton spurned a couple of chances of their own as Hewelt saved from James Foley while Callum Saunders fired across the face of goal before Ben Woods had to be on hand to deny Saunders a clear run on goal.
Another run from Pemberton had a similar end product to his first but the introduction of Charles proved to be the turning point as he fired in the only goal of the night on 78 minutes..
Witton keeper Mee should have done better with his efforts to take a high cross from Andy Burns and Charles was first to the loose ball. Mee did just enough to keep Charles out but the ball ran out to Tonks. His scuffed shot struck Mfuni who was lying hurt in the goal mouth and Charles snapped up his chance to hook the ball home.
The goal scorer missed a couple of chances to add to his tally but the best opportunity for a further goal fell to the unmarked Mfundi in the final 5 minutes but he sent his back header over the bar.
Witton Albion: 1 Dermot Mee, 2 Ben Pleavin, 3 Danny McKenna (14 Isaac Baldwin 86m), 4 Josh Wardle, 5 Teddy Mfuni, 6 James Lawrie, 7 Joe Mwasile (12 Jawad Jebrin 82m), 8 Nathan Okome, 9 Callum Saunders, 10 Will Jones, 11 James Foley. Unused Subs 15 Harry Bower, 16 Josh Paterson, 17 Raajan Gill
Stafford Rangers: 1 Mateusz Hewelt, 2 Andrew Burns, 3 Ben Woods (15 Joe Dunne 62m), 4 Alex-Ray Harvey, 5 Josh Endall, 6 James O’Neill, 7 Tre Pemberton (14 Joe Kenton 82m), 8 Tom Tonks, 9 Kaiman Anderson, 10 Alex Fletcher, 11 Michael Tait-Moran (12 Jake Charles 74m). Unused Subs: 16 Jed Abbey, 17 Theo Bailey-Jones
Cautions: Wardle (Witton) O’Neill, Tonks (Stafford)
Referee: Richard Abson
Report: Chris Elsley