Stafford Rangers 1 – 1 Oldham Athletic Academy
Friendly | Tuesday 23 July 2019 Report by Chris Elsley
Attendance | 247
For the first time, Rangers failed to win in pre-season as they faced their most challenging friendly to date against a youthful Oldham Athletic side. It looked like victory number 4 was on the cards when Jake Charles converted from close range following Andy Haworth’s scuffed shot with just four minutes on the clock. Charles went close again when he glanced a header across the face of the Oldham goal from Jed Davies’ cross then Luke Jones saw his header skim off the top of the cross bar before Haworth’s free kick went just over – landing on the roof of the net.
After a day that had seen temperatures into the 90s, the wise decision was taken to have a drink break every 15 minutes and the first session had gone entirely Rangers’ way. Oldham, for their part, had played plenty of football deep in their own half but failed to pose a threat when trying to push forward. Their main threat looked to be the appropriately named Callum Speed on the left-hand side and it was a foul on the Oldham man that gave his side their first real look in on goal but Kyle Wych’s free kick thundered into the Stafford wall. Rangers remained the stronger side as Josh Green’s left footed strike from a free kick was just off target. The half closed with more chances going begging with Charles, Green and Dan Burns all failing to convert. Rangers made four personnel changes at half time with Evan Garnett, Jack Sherratt, Louis Briscoe and A Triallist entering the action and it was the combination of Briscoe and Garnett that almost produced Stafford’s second goal soon after the resumption, but the latter was denied by Oldham keeper Mackenzie Chapman. With Stafford’s change of formation still settling in, the home side were caught out on 52 mins when Oldham equalised. Vani da Silva gained space on the right and pick out Ben Hough who struck a great shot from in excess of 20 yards that gave Lewis King no chance. Buoyed by their goal, Oldham nearly grabbed the lead a couple of minutes later when Speed laid off to Ryan Pickford and king had to make a good save. The same two players combined again as Pickford went over, but Rangers were now settling back down, and Charles headed against the bar. Jack Sherratt will want to forget his follow up effort. Further substitutions from both sides once again upset the pattern of play and a dipping shot from Oldham’s Izaac Moody was as close as either team came to getting a winner. An otherwise well-tempered game was marred shortly before the end when Dan Burns crudely blocked a promising run from Jack Williams who took exception to Burns’ intervention. The two clashed and were removed from the field of play to avoid further incident. 10 v 10 became 10 v 9 when Wych was injured in a challenge with Briscoe but the remaining five minutes were played without further incident.
Rangers: Lewis King (Triallist B 70m), Paul Bignot, Sam Coulson (Louis Briscoe 46m), Luke Jones (Triallist A 46m), Dan Burns, Alex-Ray Harvey, Theo Bailey-Jones (Peter Williams 61), Josh Green (Jack Sherratt 46m), Jake Charles, Jed Davies (Evan Garnett 46m), Andy Haworth (Lucas Burnett 70m)
Oldham: Mackenzie Chapman, Robert Oseh, Sean Higgins, Charley Leach, Taylor Jones, Kyle Wych, Ben Hough, Lewis McKinney (Zak Emmerson 78m), Ryan Pickford (Junior Luamba 69m), Vani da Silva (Jack Williams 53m), Callum Speed (Izaac Modi 70m)