STAFFORD RANGERS 1 RUSHALL OLYMPIC 2
STAFFORD Rangers’ second half response was a positive factor after they suffered two early blows against local rivals Rushall Olympic on Tuesday night, writes Dave McLean.
But in the end a missed penalty cost Rangers a share of the spoils as they slipped to their first league home defeat of the year.
With defender Luke George starting a four match ban, Boro boss Greg Clowes had Liam Walshe, who missed the Frickley fixture, available again.
However, Rangers were chasing the game in the opening minutes after Rushall front man Ahmed Obeng hit them with a double strike in the first six minutes.
Just four minutes had gone when former Rangers forward Dave Walker picked out Obeng and the pacey striker turned and chipped home keeper Adam Alcock for a delightful opener.
Before Rangers had had time to recover, Obeng struck again. This time Rangers failed to clear their lines and Obeng raced through to fire past a helpless Alcock.
Rangers had a chance to cut the deficit when Christian Dacres ghosted in behind the Rushall defence to meet a Ryan Brown free kick, but slid the ball wide.
After another Rangers slip in defence, Obeng had a chance to complete his hat-trick on 18 minutes but his attempted chip only found the safe arms of Alcock.
Another Rangers free kick presented a chance for the home side but Peter Heler’s effort was blocked by Mitchell Tolley, before Danny Quinn was adjudged to have been brought down in the Pics area by Josh Craddock. Quinn picked himself up but saw his spot kick saved by visiting keeper Chris Gemmell.
Obeng had two further good opportunities to score. Alcock tipped over a shot on 33 minutes, then eight minutes later a post denied the Rushall player.
On the stroke of half-time, Rangers got back in the game when a Turner free kick was not dealt with and Karl Ashton stabbed home.
Rangers were much the better side after the break but try as they may they could not force an equaliser, although sub Sean Kinsella, Lee Downes and Dacres all went close.
Boro team: Alcock, Turner, Brown (Sheldon 88), Walshe, Bolton, Dacres, Heler, Downes, Ashton, Quinn, Davies (Kinsella 45). Subs not used, Carr, Reid, Curtis.
Booked: Smith, Islam (Rushall).
Referee: Joe Johnson (Liverpool); Att: 290.