Barwell 2 Stafford Rangers 0
Stafford Rangers failed to cope with the windy conditions as Barwell completed a league double over Andy Mutch’s relegation threatened outfit.
Rangers’ skipper Darren Bullock returned from injury with Nathan Rooney dropping to the bench.
Barwell threatened early on and Paris Bateman was forced to clear after Jon Brain could only parry a cross from Luke Barlone. A driving run from left back Tom Morris ended with a shot off target.
The home side opened the scoring in the 18th minute. The Rangers defence failed to deal with a Danny Spencer cross from the left. The ball reached Tyrone Kirk unmarked in the six-yard box and he had time and space to pick his spot and curl the ball over Brain. Rangers were given a lifeline after half an hour when Jack Edwards was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. Dan Cope’s penalty had plenty of venom but it was the perfect height for Liam Castle to make a fine save.
Brain came to Rangers rescue five minute later when Kirk played Spencer in, the keeper saving at point blank range. Spencer missed a good chance just before the break, shooting over when well placed.
A wonderful block from Bullock thwarted Spencer just after the break as Barwell now had the wind at their backs. A mad 30 seconds of play saw firstly Cope’s shot blocked by Castle and then a quick break from Barwell finished with Spencer chipping wide of the target.
Barwell’s second came just six minutes into the half. Bullock gave away possession to Barlone in the area. The striker beat Morris before despatching his shot into the corner.
This was game over and both sides struggled with the windy conditions. Rangers’ best chance came four minute into time added on when Oliver Davies’ cross was hit wide by Jack Lees.
A disappointing performance from Rangers who need to show a lot more fight if they are to avoid the drop.
Barwell: Liam Castle, Jack Edwards, Connor Gudger, Guy Hadland, Jamie Hood, Nigel Julien, Kieron Brehon, Tom Weale (Shane Byrne 68), Luke Barlone, Tyrone Kirk (Scott Lower 86), Danny Spencer (Scott Hadland 81). Subs not used: Eliot Putman, Richard Lavery
Stafford Rangers: Jon Brain, Paris Bateman, Tom Morris, Darren Chadwick, Tom Marshall, Darren Bullock, James McCarthy (Oliver Davies 61), Matty Burke (Jack Lees 58), Dan Cope, Sean Kinsella Phil Mooney 73), Louis Harris. Subs not used: Nathan Rooney, Jack West
Referee: Mark Billingham (Stourbridge); Attendance: 182