Late goal denies Rangers a derby win
Hednesford Town 2 Stafford Rangers 2
IT may not have reached the heights of 12 months ago, but this week’s Bank Holiday Staffordshire derby again provided late drama at Keys Park, writes Dave McLean.
Whereas the Pitmen had snatched a 5-4 home success, having trailed with ten minutes go in last season’s Evo Stik encounter, this time the Boro had a first league win denied them deep into injury time by unbeaten Town.
As for the first half, there was little to excite the 900 plus crowd, apart from a downward headed from Town’s Neil Harvey that was tipped over by the recalled Danny Read, while Ryan Brown went cloe at the other end with a curling free kick.
All the action and incident was reserved for the second period, two penalties, a red card and a serious injury to Boro defender Jermaine Johnson.
After home keeper Dan Crane pushed away a goalbound drive from former Pitman, Danny Quinn, Hednesford broke to earn a penalty when Brown was adjudged to have brought down Jamey Osborne.
Elliott Durrell made no mistake from the spot on 49 minutes. Four minutes later, Johnson fell awkwardly in a tackle and was stretchered off with what was later confirmed as a broken leg.
It was a double blow for Rangers, but they picked themselves up quickly and on 63 minutes, Quinn headed home a Jimmy Turner left wing corner at the back post to level the scores.
With six minutes to go the Pitmen were reduced to ten men when Osborne was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Luke George.
Three minutes later, Rangers were awarded a penalty when Ben Bailey was adjudged to have tripped Quinn, who picked himself up and fired Boro ahead.
Hednesford had gone into the match with a 100 per cent record from three matches, whereas Rangers were still seeking their first win of the campaign.
Five minutes were added on by the referee and just 60 seconds remained when Hednesford snatched a dramatic equaliser when Nathan Woolfe’s curling effort took a slight deflection and found the far corner of the Rangers net.
Teams Hednesford Town - Crane, Disney O’Connor 87), Campion, Bailey, Francis, MacPherson, Osborne, Durrell, Harvey, Rey (Lennon 69), Woolfe. Subs not used, Clarkle, Melbourne, Watkiss.
Stafford Rangers - Read, George, Brown, Walshe (Espley 77), Johnson (Dicker 57), Carr, Turner, Downes, Quinn, Street (Everall 86), Kasiama. Subs not used, Heler, Wood.
Sent-off: Osborne (Hednesford).
Booked: Bailey (Hednesford), Quinn (Rangers).
Referee: M Amphlett; Att: 920
Big disappointment for Boro as the points are shared at Marston Road
Stafford Rangers 1 Stocksbridge Park Steels 1
THERE was home disappointment for the second time in five days as Stafford Rangers were held to a draw by visiting Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday, writes Dave McLean.
There was a bright start from the Boro as Simon Everall and Courtney Pitt went close with efforts, but Rangers were hit by a sucker punch with just 17 minutes gone.
Pitt lost possession just inside the Stocksbridge half and Nicky Darker picked out visiting striker Michael Fish, who got between two home defenders and beat keeper Adam Alcock with a low drive.
A couple more chances fell Everall’s way, but apart from that, Rangers were very much second best for the remainder of the half and Stocksbridge were unlucky not to increase the lead on 39 minutes when a corner was mey by Gavin Ellerson, whose fine shot on the turn rebounded back off t he bar.
The visitors again went close to adding a second goal within a minute of the restart when Fish rounded Alcock, but saw his shot on goal cleared off the line by Ryan Brown.
Good build up by Stocksbridge led to Lawrence Hunter drilling in a 20-yard shot that forced Alcock to dive to his left and turn away.
Rangers finally began to wake up and a shot from Pitt was blocked and an overhead effort from Danny Quinn was saved by visiting keeper Peter Collinge.
The home side continued to press and were rewarded on 73 minutes. From a Jimmy Turner corner, a goalmouth scramble led to defender Liam Walshe, on his Rangers debut, getting the final touch to earn Boro a point.
Teams: Rangers - Alcock, J Turner, Brown, Walshe, Johnson, Michael Carr, Pitt (George 86), Downes, Morris (Quinn 64), Everall, Kasiama (Street 55). Subs not used, Davies, Wood.
Stocksbridge - Collinge, Bockerie, Whitehouse, Adams (Matt Carr 50), Bowden- Lovell, Callery, Darker, Ellerson, Fish, Sanasy (Darley 83), Hunter (B Turner 75).
Subs not used, Weston, Payne.
Booked: J Turner (Rangers), Ellerson, Fish (Stocksbridge).
Referee: Barry Lamb; Att: 405.
Next up: Rangers v Matlock Town (home), September 1 (ko 3pm).