THERE was great relief in the Stafford Rangers camp on Tuesday night as the Marston Road men chalked up only their second Evo-Stik premier win of the season.
The 2-1 home victory over newly promoted Stamford ended a nightmare seven days for the Boro, who had slumped to their biggest league defeat and crashed out of the FA Trophy (see inside).
A second home victory was secured with two late goals and it was one that enabled Rangers to climb one place to 22nd in the table and six points off safety.
With Rangers trailing Stamford at the break, boss Andy Mutch told his players they were not quick to the ball, were not aggressive enough and hadn’t shown desire. But after clinching the late win, Mutch said: “I told them (players) they had shown some commitment and desire in the second half.
“And, one player had set it off - Jack Lees when he came on (as a 71st minute sub).
“Forget ability, his determination and effort and a will to go and chase the ball down everywhere typifies what the boys standing behind him need to be doing.
“Things haven’t been as settled as a club as I would like, but hopefully the win will give the lads a bit of a lift.
“Real desire and determination is what has been lacking in the camp, in my opinion, and that’s what I’m going to drill and drill into the players.
“It was a massive game for us and a win. It may not have been pretty, but we’ll get there in the end.”
This Saturday, Rangers go on their league travels, visiting 17th place Witton Albion (3pm), who have lost five out of seven matches at home.
After making a big impression as a late substitite against Stamford, Lees could well get his first start in a Rangers shirt.
Rangers are also in action on Tuesday night when leaders Skelmersdale United visit Marston Road (7.45pm).
United have won no fewer than ten of their 15 matches so far this season and currently head the Evo-Stik premier pack by four points from AFC Fylde and Chorley, both of whom have games in hand. On Tuesday night, United edged a 1-0 over fifth place Matlock Town.