Nantwich Town 4 Stafford Rangers 1
STAFFORD Rangers fell deeper into the Evo Stik Premier relegation mire after crashing 4-1 away to Nantwich on Boxing Day.
It was Rangers' 11th away league defeat in 13 this season and one that now leaves them a massive 14 points off safety.
Unfortunately for Andy Mutch's strugglers, four of the sides just above them all picked up points, with wins for Stamford, Frickley Athletic and Trafford, while Grantham Town drew.
There was one piece of good news for Mutch, however, with striker Karl Ashton making his first appearance of the season after being out since April with a serious ankle injury.
He came off the bench late on, but could not save Rangers from another defeat, on a day when defender Darren Bullock was sent off in the closing stages.
Nantwich took a 14 minute lead through Osebi Abadaki, but Rangers hit back three minutes later when new boy Andy Griffiths headed an equaliser on his first full start for the club.
Three minutes into the second half, Nantwich restored their one-goal advantage through Ben Deegan.
The home side then doubled their tally through Steve Foster and an Aaron Burns penalty, that led to Bullock's late dismissal.
Rangers are on their travels again on Saturday when visiting seventh place Ashton United, who are just three points off the play-off places after defeating FC United on Boxing Day.