Boro not a their best, but it's a first win
STAFFORD RANGERS 1 MATLOCK TOWN 0
IT was not the best of performances as boss Greg Clowes freely admitted, but a solitary Simon Everall goal earned Stafford Rangers a much needed opening league success on Saturday, writes Dave McLean.
Rangers and their opponents Matlock had only managed to collect three points each from their opening four games and the game overall was hardly a classic.
Matlock were very much the team forcing the issue early on and Rangers can count themselves somewhat fortunate to be still on level terms after half an hour.
Indeed, the Gladiators, with on-loan Derby County winger Kane Richards posing a few problems for the home rearguard, went close to taking the lead. Lewis McMahon chipped the ball just wide after good approach work by Richards, before James Lukic had a chance with a free header from a corner, but saw his effort drift over.
On 17 minutes, Richards took on Boro defender Ryan Brown and got in a low drive that flew just wide of the far post.
The home fans had to wait until the 29th minute for their first worthwhile attempt when good work between Everall and new on-loan Tamworth youngster Luke Bottomer led to Everall getting in a low drive that was saved by Matlock keeper Jon Kennedy.
Three minutes later, very much against the run of play, Rangers grabbed the lead.
Striker Danny Quinn latched on to a throw down the right flank and his excellent delivery was headed home by Everall, for his first competitive goal in Boro colours.
Matlock were almost back on level terms just before the break and when Ryan Dicker’s attemped clearance struck his own bar, McMahon headed over from the rebound.
In the final moments, Richards should have earned Matlock a point, but sent his close range header wide of the target.
Rangers: Read, George, Brown, Espley, Dicker (Forde 75), Carr, Bottomer (Heler 87), Walshe, Quinn, Everall, Kasiama (Pitt 72). Subs unused, Turner, Alcock.
Matlock: Kennedy, Laight (Leesley 84), Roe, M Foster, L Foster, Lukic, Richards, Yates, Ellington, McMahon (Deakin 63), Joynes (Tuton 75). Subs unused, Featherstone, Buxton.
Bookings: Carr, Quinn (Rangers); Roe, Richards (Matlock).
Referee:Matthew Wilkes (Stourbridge); Att: 435.
Stafford Rangers earn third successive draw on the road
GRANTHAM TOWN 2 STAFFORD RANGERS 2
STAFFORD Rangers secured a third successive away draw in a controversial Evo Stik league encounter at Grantham Town on Tuesday night.
Rangers made three changes following their first win of the season on Saturday.
Lee Downes, Courtney Pitt and Jimmy Turner returned for Ryan Dicker, Danny Quinn and Fabrice Kasiama.
The visitors made the dream start taking the lead after just 90 seconds. Turner played a ball through the Gingerbreads’ defence for Simon Everall who rounded keeper James Lindley and stroked the ball home.
Following the goal, both sides tried hard to establish supremacy. The game sparked to life in the 29th minute.
An excellent ball by Michael Carr picked out Luke Bottomer. The on-loan midfielder played a deft ball inside to Everall who was thwarted this time by Lindley.
Bottomer took the resulting corner and his perfect delivery was glanced home by Everall to double Rangers’ lead.
Within a minute the deficit was halved when Ben Saunders beat Danny Read to the ball to nod home.
In first half stoppage time, Bottomer shot just wide and Everall missed a great chance for a hat-trick when Lindley gathered at his feet.
As the game progressed, the atmosphere on the pitch began to deteriorate as the tackles flew.
Rangers were reduced to ten men in 56 minutes when Karl Demidh outpaced Karl Espley, but the Rangers man bundled him over from behind when through on goal. The referee had no alternative but to show the red card to Espley for a professional foul.
Within two minutes, Grantham were level. A corner from the left was met at the far post by Rhys Lewis but Read pulled off a fine save.
Read was beaten from the corner when Lee Potts planted a ball into the area and big centre-back Grant Brindley looped a header over the Rangers keeper and into the net.
Demidh should have made it three for Grantham but he failed to make any sort of connection to another excellent delivery from Potts.
The referee evened up the numbers in the 73rd minute when Demidh was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on substitute Dicker.
Rangers were then incensed when a bad challenge on Kevin Street by Phil Watt only received a yellow card.
With time almost up, Everall fashioned an opening for himself but his shot took a deflection and drifted passed Lindley’s post.
Grantham Town: James Lindley, Sam Purcicoe, Lee Potts, Grant Brindley, Michael Jacklin, Phil Watt, Rhys Lewis (Emeka Nwadike 86), Martin Ball, Karl Demidh, Ben Saunders (Tony Battersby 90), Damien Magee (Jamie McGhee 80).
Subs not used: Gio Carchedi, Connor Higginson Stafford Rangers: Danny Read, Luke George, Ryan Brown, Liam Walshe, Karl Espley, Michael Carr, Jimmy Turner (Kevin Street 49), Lee Downes, Simon Everall, Luke Bottomer, Courtney Pitt (Ryan Dicker 57). Subs not used: Fabrice Kasiama, Alex Forde, Adam Alcock Booked: Watt, Lewis, Ball (Grantham), George, Brown (Stafford) Sent Off: Demidh (Grantham), Espley (Rangers) Referee: T Bramall