Stafford Rangers 1 – 1 Witton Albion
BetVictor Northern Premier League | Tuesday 8 October 2019 Report by Chris Elsley
Attendance | Attendance: 453
A night of frustration left Stafford Rangers still searching for their first league win of the season after they were held at home by Witton Albion. The result, coupled with Buxton’s 7-0 demolition of Grantham Town, sent Rangers to the bottom of the table. Rangers made three changes to the side knocked out of the FA Cup at Stourbridge. Dan Burns, who suffered a serious facial injury in Saturday’s game, was missing for the first time this season while Josh Green and Joe Berks dropped to the bench. In came Matt Hill and Paul Bignot in defence while Andy Haworth was given a start in midfield.
The Boro were in positive mood from the off and controlled proceedings for the first hour. Witton keeper Chris Renshaw was called into action inside the first minute to tip a long-range drive from Evan Garnett round the post. The corner came to nothing at the Social Club end but Witton countered and it needed a last-ditch challenge from Alex-Ray Harvey to deny Luke Wall a shot on goal. Rangers looked the most threatening with Luke Jones heading on to the roof of the net and James Short having to stretch to clear the ball away from Haworth who was waiting to pounce. Garnett was the next to miss out when he turned the ball wide at the near post following some good work from Jed Davies on the left-hand side. Witton threatened again with another counter attack as Adam Anson’s long ball looked set to put Wall in but Lewis King came racing out of his area to make an important tackle. Both sides came close in the latter stages of the half with a decent effort from Haworth just clearing the Witton crossbar while, at the other end, Liam Goulding had a shot blocked before Josh Wardle hooked the rebound wide. The game needed a goal and it came just four minutes into the second half. After some nice play on the right, Haworth played in Garnett, but his run was halted when Wardle pulled him back. Charles emphatically dispatched the penalty. But Rangers couldn’t capitalise on their advantage and Witton levelled matters on 64 minutes. A deep free kick from James Short was headed down by Connor Heath and Will Jones had enough space to be able to turn the ball past King. Rangers came close to restoring their lead when Garnett’s flick went across the face of goal, but he had no team mate on hand to finish off and Goulding hooked away for a corner. Witton were in search of their first win on the road and they nearly got it in added time when Goulding’s long ball put Wall clear, but his touch let him down and King was able to smother. Referee: Richard Eley Cautions: Goulding (Witton)
Stafford Rangers: 1 Lewis King, 2 Josh Burns, 3 Matt Hill, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Paul Bignot, 6 Alex-Ray Harvey, 7 Andy Haworth, 8 Sam Coulson, 9 Jake Charles (16 Max Dixon 84m), 10 Evan Garnett, 11 Jed Davies. Unused Subs: 12 Josh Green, 14 Jack Sherratt, 15 Joe Berks, 17 Ethan Clifford (gk)
Witton Albion: 1 Chris Renshaw, 2 Jack Byrne, 3 James Short, 4 Josh Wardle, 5 Adam Anson, 6 Liam Goulding, 7 Danny McKenna, 8 Connor Heath, 9 Will Jones, 10 Michael Monaghan, 11 Luke Wall. Unused Subs: 12 Ryan O’Hare, 14 Tom Owens, 15 Cesaire Lingouba, 16 Stefan Sorensen, 17 Ryan Neild