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Top eight finish is still possible

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: March 29, 2012

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STAFFORD Rangers’ first season under manager Greg Clowes continues to be one of inconsistency, writes Dave McLean.

After back-to-back home victories over play-off hopefuls Bradford Park Avenue and strugglers Chasetown, it looked as though Rangers were getting things right on home territory.

Boro, who have picked up more points on their travels this term appeared to be suggesting a top eight finish was possible (it still is), but Rangers have now lost four successive league games on the road.

With six games remaining, five against teams in the Evo-Stik premier relegation battle, Clowes will now be looking to finish his first campaign on a high note, one they can build on next season.

Next up is Saturday’s visit of basement outfit Burscough, who find themselves well adrift of the safety zone, having won only four games all season. If Burscough lose at Marston Road, they will be relegated.

And Clowes, who missed the trip to North Ferriby due to illness, but took training on Tuesday night, will insist on nothing but a victory at the weekend.

Rangers conceded two first half goals at North Ferriby, but coach Mick Hathaway said: “We still felt we’d got a chance at half time.

“We had three gilt-edged chances at the start of the second half and took one.

“But then we dropped our levels and in the end it was a disappointing performance after the last couple of games.” New signing Matt Jukes, made his debut in the game, coming on as a 71st minute substitute for Chris Morris and the striker is included in the squad for this weekend.

Experienced midfielder Kevin Street and winger Dan Skelton have both resumed training after injury and should also be included on the squad.

Rangers’ end of season awards are to take place at the social club on Sunday, May 6 (1pm).

The event is during the final day of the club’s real ale festival taking place that weekend. All supporters are welcome.

Awards up for grabs are, manager’s player, players’ player, directors’ player and supporters’ player of the year.

Several cup finals are planned at Marston Road over the final few weeks of the season.

They start with the Staffs FA Vase, between Norton United and Redgate Clayton, on Monday, April 16 (7.30pm).

This is followed by the Women’s Midland League Cup final (April 22, 1pm) and the Staffs FA Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup final between Burton Albion and Chasetown Youth on April 23 (7.30pm).

Stafford Sunday and Mid Staffs Junior league finals are also planned.

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