Stafford Rangers 2 – 0 AFC Newtown
Friendly | Sat 27th July 2019
Attendance | 191
Rangers’ pre-season build up continued with a more realistic test, as Welsh Premier League side Newtown AFC visited Marston Road. The opening proved that the sides looked evenly matched as defences were on top and chances were very rare, as things were kept tight and play was constantly closed down, by both sides. In fact, first half incidents worth of note were also restricted. In the eleventh minute, Jake Charles fired a shot a few yards wide of the visitor’s goal, before Luis Briscoe limped off a minute later to be replaced by Andy Haworth. The battle continued in the middle of the park as the sides sought superiority as Newtown took half an hour to force their first two corners. Just before half time Even Garnett had a neat pass fed to him on the left side of the box but his tame shot was comfortably blocked by Dave Jones.
The second half was a different proposition as Rangers came out with four changes and looked more effective from the restart. Just a minute into the half, and half-time sub Theo Bailey-Jones was the beneficiary of some slack defending as he found himself on the right corner of the six-yard box and hammered into the roof of the net for a one-nil lead. Newtown rallied briefly after this, as Lewis King pulled off a fine save from close range, Nick Rushton fired over after a neat pull back, then Sam Phillips shot over from a near post corner. This was probably as good as it got for the visitors, as Rangers appeared to get stronger as the game wore on. This being testament to their fitness as Newtown were several weeks ahead of their hosts, fitness-wise. Not long after young Max Dixon had been introduced, Bailey-Jones fed him down the right channel and as he ran on, he shot past the far post. Haworth then had a free kick saved before the second goal arrived. Dixon again down the right channel lofted a pass to the back post where the unfortunate Craig Williams turned the ball past Jones for a two-nil lead that reflected, more realistically, the second half play. Another effort from Haworth was saved before the last action of the game saw Dixon take the ball round Jones but a defender getting back for a last-ditch tackle prevented further embarrassment.
Rangers King, J. Burns (Connor Taylor 61), Hill (Bignot 45), Jones (Capt.) (D.Burns 45), Coulson, Sherratt (Harvey 45), Garnett, Green, Charles(Bailey-Jones 45), Briscoe(Haworth 12), Davies (Dixon 66)
Newtown Jones, Williams, Kelly, Kelly, Mills-Evans, Barnes, Denny, Phillips (replaced by 17 – 17 then replaced by 10), Rushton, Harry, Trialist A, Fletcher Newtown numbered 1-11 on sheet then came out with squad numbers! Some un-named trialists.