STAFFORD Rangers had to settle for a third successive league draw when holding fourth place Marine to a well earned stalemate at Marston Road on Saturday, writes Dave McLean.
League’s undisputed draw specialists take a share of the points yet again
STAFFORD RANGERS 0 MARINE 0
Rangers have now gone five games without a win in the Evo Stik premier, but it could have been a different story had top scorer Danny Quinn not forgotten his shooting boots.
With striker Karl Ashton ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken ankle, Boro boss Greg Clowes moved swiftly to bring in experienced on-loan Hednesford forward Sean O’Connor as a replacement.
There were also debuts for former Rangers man Chris Flynn and newcomer Christian Smith who bolstered the home back line in what was a stop-start opening half hour, mainly due to injuries to Marine’s Shaun Dowling and Rangers midfielder Sean Kinsella.
Home defender Ryan Brown tested visiting keeper Ryan McMahon with an 18th minute snap shot while Christian Dacres tried his luck form 30 yards, the effort being tipped over by Marine’s last line of defence.
In the second period, Rangers pressed from the off and Dacres fired just over, before Quinn had no less than three good opportunities to cement a second home league win of the year.
Each time, Flynn picked out the 20-goal marksman but on 56 minutes Quinn hooked wide from ten yards before pulling another good chance wide after the initial effort from O’Connor had been blocked by McMahon.
Flynn again set up Quinn on 63 minutes but once more the effort was wide of the mark.
Marine then threatened to snatch the game late on and young Boro keeper Ben Garrett twice denied Bohan Dixon with two excellent saves.
Teams: Rangers - Garrett, Flynn, Brown, Walshe, Bolton, Smith, Carr (Downes 86), Dacres, O’Connor, Quinn, Kinsella (Reid 29, Bottomer 54). Subs not used, Davies, Alcock.
Marine - McMahon, Dowling (Ojapah 15), Shaw, Matty Brown, Grannon, Bur- ton, Doherty (Michael Brown 84), Rice, Dixon, Rogan, Devine (Goulding 56). Subs not used, Ordish, Williams.
Bookings: Walshe, Bolton (Boro), Rice (Marine); Referee: Stuart Richardson (Mansfield); Att: 455.