Blyth Spartans 6
Stafford Rangers 2
STAFFORD Rangers made the long journey to Northumberland and returned a chastened side after a heavy defeat at the hands of Blyth Spartans.
Rangers were forced into two changes with Darren Bullock suspended and Tom Morris returning to Port Vale.
In came Alex Melbourne, on loan from Hednesford Town, and new boss Graham Heathcote's first signing, along with Matty Burke.
It took the home side just seven minutes to open their account. Ian Watson skipped past two challenges before threading the ball into the path of Danny Maguire who controlled the ball and chipped delicately over Jon Brain and into the Rangers net.
Only a fine last ditch challenge from Melbourne thwarted Maguire in the ninth minute after the diminutive striker had rounded Brain.
Maguire was not to be denied and he got his and Blyth's second a minute later when he finished at the near post. Blyth continued to press and grabbed a third on 17 minutes. A long ball from deep inside his own half from Nathan Buddle saw Maguire outpace Darren Chadwick and finish superbly.
Shell shocked Rangers conceded number four in the 22nd minute. An excellent run by Watson saw his shot deflected but the clearing header from the Rangers defence was headed in by Watson himself, standing on the goal line.
Rangers were close to a goal in the 33rd minute when Oliver Davies won the ball on the left, found Andy Griffiths on the edge of the area and his 18-yard shot rattled the crossbar. Griffiths shot narrowly wide following good work by Jack Lees.
The second half started slowly with Blyth sitting on their four-goal lead. An excellent footballing move by Blyth involving Lewis Horner, Maguire and Hooks ended with Robbie Dale curling home number five in the 62nd minute.
Rangers responded and were on the score sheet when Nathan Buddle turned the ball into his own net. Thoughts of a remarkable comeback surfaced in the 73rd minute when Griffiths hammered the ball into the roof of the net following a piece of tenacity by Dan Cope.
The game continued to flow with Cope testing Michal Misiewicz and Maguire firing over, before Blyth scored a sixth, two minutes from time with a goal of quality from Mathew Wade. The striker controlled the ball at his feet and hit an unstoppable shot on the turn.
Stafford Rangers - Jon Brain, Alex Melbourne, Oliver Davies, Darren Chadwick, Jermaine Johnson, Andy Griffiths, Matty Burke, Louis Harris, Karl Ashton (Sean Kinsella 74), James McCarthy, Jack Lees (Dan Cope 47). Subs not used: Jake Healy, Alex Curtis, Adam Alcock. Referee: S Hudson; Att: 315.