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Stafford Rangers 1 Stourbridge 0

3 weeks ago By Nigel Gregg

The Glassboys floundering league campaign continued with a narrow 1 - 0 defeat away at Stafford Rangers on Boxing Day.

A goal on 76 minutes by Stafford striker Massiah McDonald settled the contest in favour of the home side and sent Stourbridge to a fourth successive defeat on their travels in the league.

With Kyle Perry and Luke Shearer both ruled out and Luke Benbow serving the last of his three-match ban, Josh Cooke was handed a start up-front, while youth and academy striker Alex Cameron named amongst the substitutes along with youth team keeper Peter Hawk.

Playing down the Marston Road slope in the first period on a pitch that was on the heavy side,Stourbridge started brightly in a lively start to the contest.

In the 4th minute Kaiman Anderson spread the ball out wide to the right where Darryl Westlake and Matt Dodd combined to enable Westlake to provide a low pulled back cross from the close to the by-line towards Aaron Forde who scuffed his effort wide. Shortly afterwards a free-kick from Tom Tonks saw Leon Broadhurst get in a header that lacked the power to trouble Adam Whitehouse unduly.

Stafford, however, might have forged in-front with eight minutes gone. A loose pass by Dodd was compounded by a slip by Westlake, which allowed in McDonald on the left-hand side of the area, however a fortunate bobble caused McDonald to shank his shot well off-target.

Eight minutes later it was the turn of the visitors to go close. Forde recycled the ball back into the box where Stuart Pierpoint nodded the ball down towards Anderson, but he put his low shot the wrong side of the post.

Stafford pushed again on 18 minutes with Pierpoint cautioned for an apparent tug-back on McDonald, handing the hosts a free-kick just outside the area, however the Stourbridge wall blocked the attempt on goal from Robert Thompson-Brown.

Neil Kitching's side now enjoyed a good spell with a measured ball through the right-channel by Richard Batchelor lining up McDonald, however Pierpoint recovered to block his shot.

Play grew scrappier as the half wore on, but Stourbridge had a great chance to take the lead in the 28th minute. A misplaced pass was intercepted by Tonks about thirty yards from goal. He had space in-front of him, but a heavy touch allowed Whitehouse to make a partial block at his feet inside the area before the ball was cleared away.

Stourbridge threatened again in the 42nd minute. A right-wing corner from Forde was directed goal-wards by Pierpoint and a flick with his boot by Cooke was blocked by Whitehouse at his near post.

Five minutes after the re-start Anderson could only lift a volley over the bar after a poor clearance dropped his way before Stafford almost broke the deadlock after 56 minutes. A square ball inside from the left by Thompson-Brown set up McDonald who fizzed a shot inches over from the edge of the box.

Stafford pressed again through McDonald just past the hour mark. His dangerous cross in from the left was glanced on by Westwood and just evaded Izak Reid at the back post.

Forde and ex-Glassboy Josh Craddock were then both cautioned after squaring up to each other momentarily in the middle.

In the 69th minute Leon Broadhurst had the ball in the back of the net, however the flag had already been raised for offside.

It increasingly looked like one goal would settle this keenly fought encounter and it was Stafford who struck with 14 minutes left. Batchelor fed McDonald who took on Westlake on the left-hand edge of the area before driving in a low shot through the defender's legs that Gould was unable to keep out as he dived down low to his right.

Stourbridge looked for an immediate response and soon afterwards Dodd went down under a challenge by Kai Davis inside the area, however much to his chagrin he was cautioned for simulation.

In the 81st minute a long throw-in from the left by Tonks was met by Paul McCone, but his back header was clutched by Whitehouse. Minutes later a right-wing free-kick from Tonks was cleared out back to his feet. He returned the ball back into the middle where the home side struggled to clear the ball before sub Brandon Hague clipped a shot off-target.

In the final minute of the four added on for stoppages, Westlake might have salvaged a point when a free-kick was pulled back into his path just inside the box, but he curled his shot over the bar and with that went any hope of an equaliser.

Stourbridge - Gould, Christophorou, Westlake, McCone, Pierpoint, Forde, Dodd, Broadhurst, Cooke, Anderson, Tonks

Subs: Hague (for Cooke 65 mins), J Green (for Forde 70 mins), Cameron (for Anderson 85 mins), Hall, Hawk (not used)

Bookings - Pierpoint, Forde, Dodd

Att: 944

Winning goal on YOUTUBE -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=36&v=8QA_yEzWk6Y

EXPRESS & STAR - REPORT & PHOTOS

https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/non-league/stafford-rangers/2017/12/26/stafford-rangers-1-stourbridge-0---report-and-pictures/

Stourbridge head to Crosby this Saturday to take on MARINE AFC (3 pm) before returning to Amblecote on New Year's Day for a local derby league encounter with RUSHALL OLYMPIC (3 pm)

Updated 20:58 - 30 Dec 2017 by Nigel Gregg

Where next?

Junior size home replica shirts - Don't miss out! We have a limited number of JUNIOR SIZE HOME REPLICA SHIRTS now remaining in the Club Shop. (READ ON)
Goaldengate Superdraw - week 29 - list of winners The winners in the Goaldengate superdraw for week 29 (18th December) can be viewed below. (READ ON)

Fixtures
Wed 17 Jan
a
N L Alliance Academy Tamworth FC
League 14:00
Sat 20 Jan
h
1st Team Altrincham
League 15:00
Sun 21 Jan
h
Stourbridge FC Ladies Coventry Development Ladies
League 14:00
Mon 22 Jan
h
Stourbridge Youth Team Gloucester City
Cup 19:45
Tue 23 Jan
a
1st Team Ashton United
League 19:45
Sat 27 Jan
a
1st Team Grantham Town
League 15:00

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