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FC Stafford close year with a win and fourth spot

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 26, 2013

By Dave McLean

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FC STAFFORD closed the year with A comfortable 5-1 home victory over Sikh Hunters at Rowley Park on Saturday.

Stafford boss Jake Robinson was fortunate to be able to call upon the same starting eleven that defeated Worcester the previous week, with new signing Liam O'Connor joining a competitive subs bench.

For the second week running, Stafford started playing into the wind and found themselves without possession for long spells.

During the opening exchanges home keeper Steve McCabe made one excellent save to his left, low down.

In a rare attack, Stafford were unlucky not to take the lead when Warren Slater's header was cleared off the line.

However, Stafford broke through on 22 minutes when Dave Wilcock's pass was met by Ben Bloor who rounded the keeper to score.

With this, Stafford grew in confidence and when Chris Hall released Tom Lane his chip evaded the goalkeeper, so doubling the score line.

It was not long before Stafford's growing dominance told again when Bloor was felled 20 yards out. Matt Rhodes made no mistake from the resulting free-kick.

Rhodes struck a second five minutes later when Lane was dragged down for a penalty, Rhodes smashing home the resultant spot kick.

Stafford took the opportunity to make some changes shortly after the break as Matt Bickley and O'Connor replaced the tiring Lane and Andy Willacy.

Sikh Hunters pressed looking to get themselves back in the game though Stafford created the clearer openings as both Will Hollowood and O'Connor were both foiled by the opposition goalkeeper.

The visitors did pull a goal back after 67 minutes with a spectacular strike leaving McCabe stranded.

Stafford closed the game off when good work between Martyn Wheeler and Tom Jolley saw Bloor again round the goalkeeper to make it 5-1.

FC Stafford, who have now moved into the top four in West Midlands Two, take a break until the new year now when they visit local rivals Penkridge Town on January 4.

Stone Old Alleynians, who were without a division one fixture this week, are next in action on Saturday.

The Old Boys, who are eighth in the table, visit Ledbury Town (3pm).

Stone then kick off 2014 with a home fixture against St Martin's, at Yarnfield, also with a 3pm kick off.

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