STAFFORD Rangers made hard work of seeing off Evo-Stik premier strugglers Eastwood Town, at Marston Road on Saturday, writes Dave McLean.
STAFFORD RANGERS 2 EASTWOOD TOWN 0
For nearly an hour, Rangers toiled in search of an opening goal against a basement side who had conceded exactly 100 league goals going into this latest fixture.
Boro manager Greg Clowes made several changes from the side who had lost at Buxton in their previous league outing and it was the home side who took the initiative with Sean Kinsella testing Richard Stainsby in the visiting goal as early as the seventh minute.
Fabrice Kasiama, one of those returning to the starting line-up, then broke clear but saw his low shot blocked.
Kasiama then set up Jon Sheldon, but he too was thwarted, before Eastwood posed their first threat of the afternoon.
Sam Winch got in a shot on the turn and young Boro keeper Ben Garratt was forced to push the ball wide for a corner.
Eastwood pressed again when Kallum Keane slipped to ball into the path of Mitch Hanson but he fired over.
After the break it was nearly all Rangers, with early second half chances from Sheldon and top scorer Danny Quinn going close.
Just before the hour, Boro finally broke the deadlock. Chris Flynn delivered a free kick deep into the Eastwood area and James Bolton, on his last loan appearance, hooked the ball home.
Carr then went close with a long range drive on 71 minutes as Rangers continued to dictate the play.
With five minutes remaining of normal time, Rangers added a second goal to secure their first league win in seven matches.
This time the delivery from Sheldon found the head of Christian Dacres, who beat Stainsby with a powerful header.
Rangers could well have added to their tally in the closing stages as Sheldon saw his long range effort blocked, as did substitute Peter Heler, while Carr was denied late on by Stainsby.
For the record Teams: Rangers - Ben Garratt, Luke George, Ryan Brown, Chris Flynn, James Bolton, Christian Dacres, Sean Kinsella (Jimmy Turner 80), Michael Carr, Danny Quinn (Peter Heler 77), Fabrice Kasiama, Jon Sheldon (Oliver Davies 88). Subs not used, Christian Smith, Adam Alcock.
Eastwood - Richard Stainsby, Daniel Roberts (Wayne Diuk 76), Josh Raven, Mitch Hanson, Romaine Graham, Scott Rogers (Preston Robinson 81), Vijay Selvam (Nicholas Labbate 67), Kallum Keane, Samuel Winch, Bradley Munn, Paolo Piliero. Subs not used, Travis Munn, Tyler Witton.
Booked: James Bolton, Christian Dacres (Rangerts); Daniel Roberts, Josh Raven (Eastwood).
Referee: Mark Howes (Solihull).
Att: 332 n Rangers have nine league games remaining this season, starting with a home fixture against Whitby Town on Saturday (3pm). They then head to Witton Albion (March 30), before receiving Ashton United on Easter Monday (3pm).