AFTER three successive defeats, Stafford Town recorded a much needed victory with a good performance.
Town put their opponents under early pressure, a 40 yard shot from defender Ben Henderson went just wide of the visitor’s goal after four minutes and George Burslem shot inches wide three minutes later.
However, the home side were knocked out of their stride in the 17th minute when Blackwood were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Toby Checketts curled the ball round the defensive wall and into the net.
Town lost confidence and their quick passing game fell apart and they struggled to get back into the game despite another good performance from Christian Dacres in mid field and the tireless Dan Brown up front. Town’s defence was rarely troubled but an equaliser looked unlikely.
Within three minutes of the restart the referee spotted a push in the penalty area on a Town player and pointed to the spot. Morgan Hurley stepped up and sent Shaun Edwards the wrong way to level the scores.
Stafford began to play with renewed confidence and pinned Blackwood back for long periods. Hurley scored the winner on 61 minutes when he cut inside from the right wing and fired into the net just inside the far post for a superb goal.
Town kept the visitors a bay for the rest of the game with the pace of substitutes Francis Dacres and Darryll Johns causing the visitor’s defence problems for the rest of the game. This Saturday, Town entertain Pilkington XXX in round three of the Les James Challenge Cup, at Evans Park (3pm).
Town ladies provided a squad of just 13 players for Sunday’s match again Burton, mainly due to injuries and the departure of manager Vince McGuire, who has stepped down for personal reasons.
It was never going to be easy for Town Ladies in the circumstances, however, and after a bright start they found themselves 6-0 down at the break.
Town changed their formation for the second half and they were soon creating chances. An incredible improvement from the team was shown with everyone battling hard. And the hard work paid off with a fantastic goal from Lydia Massey who calmly planted the ball in the back of the Burton net.
However, it was Town’s only joy of the afternoon and Burton continued to create chances, leading to them scoring another five goals.
A defeat for Stafford this week, but every player played to the best of their ability, unfortunately Burton were far stronger.
Stafford ladies face further challenges ahead with the loss of their manager last week and they will be looking to support each other strongly through this difficult time.