Newcastle Town 1 – 2 Stafford Rangers
Friendly | Saturday 10th August 2019 Report by Alan Gee
Rangers and Newcastle Town drew their pre-season preparations to a close, with a wind affected affair at Lyme Valley, where we were kept until the end to see who took the honours in this Staffordshire derby. The hosts started the brighter of the two teams as they moved the ball around comfortably in the opening minutes until Rangers eventually got into their stride. However, on nine minutes, as Rangers were pressing Newcastle broke and as Serkari Ahmadi evaded the defence he squared to the back post where Jordan Cole tapped home. The rest of the half saw Rangers trying to impose themselves on matters as Newcastle frustrated with some decent closing down and pressure on the ball.
Chances were not aplenty but those of note largely involved Jake Charles as Rangers’ most dangerous threat. A ball down the right channel saw him run through and lob over the bar, while two further chances before half time saw a header and then a shot both deflected for corners. Half time saw Rangers ring just three changes as opposed to the numerous changes seen in previous friendlies. This seemed to lift things as they looked brighter from the off. In the fifty first minute, a long ball from the right found Ged Davies on the left of the box and he controlled and fired a low cross for Charles to equalise. While Rangers failed to run rampant, they dominated the rest of the half while limiting Newcastle to just a couple of threats, with Taylor Attrell testing Lewis King with a long-range effort and Jordan Cole rattling the cross bar with another twenty-five yarder. With Rangers forays into the final third being consistent but baring little fruit, Louis Briscoe tested Raajan Gill with a cross that was cleared from under his bar, While Sam Coulson went close with a header and the home defence were called to block a few neatly worked moves but it took until the closing stages for the decider. Another closely worked move saw the ball cut across to the back post where Theo Bailey-Jones effort went of the line as Gill just failed to keep it out. Two-one may have flattered the hosts, on the balance of play, but it showed you have to keep plugging to get results.
Newcastle Town Gill, Bradbury, Melhado, Attrell, Askey, Dennis, Needham (Thorley), J. Van Der Laan, Cole Ward, Ahmadi (Putnam)
Stafford Rangers King, Bignot (J Burns 66), Hill (Green 83), Jones (Coulson 45), D.Burns, Harvey (Sherratt 45), Bailey-Jones, Thorley (Briscoe 74), Charles, Green (Berks 45), Davies (Dixon 74)