Stafford Rangers 1 Northwich Victoria 1

Saturday 30th December 2006
Stafford Rangers 1 Northwich Victoria 1

Abandoned after 50 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 980
Weather: -

Stafford Rangers and Northwich Victoria will have to meet again sometime during the next five weeks after referee Jake Collin called a halt early in the second half. Heavy rain fell throughout the first half onto an already wet surface and players from both sides found it difficult to play any decent football. Michael Byrne put Northwich ahead in the 39th minute with a well-stuck shot from 15 yards. The referee carried out an inspection just before the game resumed after the interval and decided to give it a go. Neil Grayson got Stafford back on level terms just 15 seconds after the restart when he got on the end of a right-wing cross and perhaps his equaliser made it easier for Mr Collin to bring a premature halt to the proceedings.

Both managers agreed with the decision to abandon the game early in the second half because of a waterlogged pitch. Phil Robinson said: “The referee had no alternative to call it off. The water was simply not draining away.” Vics boss Steve Burr didn't disagree with the decision, commenting: “Leading 1-0 we wanted to go out and play in the second half but I was amazed the referee kicked off.”

Stafford Rangers (black/white stripes/black/black): Danny Alcock, Richard Sutton, Craig McAughtrie, Wayne Daniel (capt), Nathan Talbott, Robin Gibson, Ged Murphy, Chris Basham, Danny Edwards, Neil Grayson, Dolapo Olaoye. Subs: Guy Madjo (for Olaoye, ht), Alex Gibson, Matty Barlow, David Oldfield, Liam Murray.

Northwich Victoria (yellow/blue/blue): Ben Connett, Jon McCarthy, Michael Carr, Kieran Charnock, Tony Gallimore, Richard Battersby, Stuart Elliott (capt), Terry Barwick, Michael Byrne, Jonny Allan, Mark Sale. Subs: Phil Senior, Paul Brayson, Kevin Townson, Ryan Brown, Carlos Roca.

Referee: Jake Collin (Liverpool).
Attendance: 980.

0-1 Michael Byrne (39)
1-1 Neil Grayson (46)

Stafford Rangers 1 Kidderminster Harriers 2

Tuesday 26th December 2006
Stafford Rangers 1 Kidderminster Harriers 2
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1758
Weather: -

A goal in each half, both scored by on-loan striker James Constable, did the damage at Marston Road on Boxing Day. Craig McAughtrie reduced the deficit in the 82nd minute and Harriers keeper Scott Bevan pulled off a fine fingertip save to deny Robin Gibson an equaliser.

As the interval approached Constable gave Harriers the lead with a low shot from the edge of the area. He doubled the advantage just before the hour mark, slotting home a pass from fellow striker Iyesden Christie. McAughtrie headed home a left-wing cross from an unlikely source in Wayne Daniel to set up an exciting finish.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): Danny Alcock, Richard Sutton, Wayne Daniel (capt), Craig McAughtrie, Nathan Talbott, Robin Gibson, Chris Basham, Ged Murphy, Danny Edwards, Neil Grayson, Guy Madjo. Subs: Dolapo Olaoye (for Edwards, 66), Matty Barlow (for Madjo, 66), Steve Hopkinson, David Oldfield, Liam Murray.

Kidderminster Harriers (blue/blue/red): Scott Bevan, Jeff Kenna, Mark Creighton, Stuart Whitehead (capt), Johnny Harkness, Simon Russell, Gavin Hurren, Russell Penn, Michael Blackwood, Iyesden Christie, James Constable. Subs: Andy White (for Christie, 87), Luke Reynolds (for Constable, 90), Steve Taylor, Brian Smikle, Rob Davies.

Referee: I. Smedley (Derbyshire).

0-1 James Constable (42)
0-2 James Constable (57)
1-2 Craig McAughtrie (82)

Man of the Match: Ged Murphy.

Chinnor 2 Finchampstead 3

Saturday 23rd December 2006
Chinnor 2 Finchampstead 3
Sport Italia Hellenic League Division 1 East
At: Station Road
Kick-off: 2-00 pm
Attendance: 72
Weather: cold, dry , misty
Duration: first:half: 48:25; second-half: 46:23

No Stafford Rangers game today, so a rare opportunity for a new ground in a different league. With us heading south for a pre-Christmas family gathering, this fixture proved handy down the M40 and not too far from a cinema near to junction 4 (for dropping off Diana and Sarah).

Chinnor’s Station Road ground was about three miles from M40 junction 6. From the B4009, it was left at the roundabout next to The Crown with the ground on the right just past the Black Boy. It was a classic roped off pitch with no spectator cover.

Home side Chinnor (26 points from 17 games) went into the game in 6th position in the table, some 15 points behind leaders Kintbury Rangers. Visitors Finchampstead (18 points from 18 games) occupied 13th position in the 18-team division.

There was a flurry of early goals after Finchampstead got the game underway attacking the ‘changing rooms’ end in the first half. Chinnor took a 3rd minute lead. James Ford’s low cross from the left was flicked into the roof of the net at the near post by Gary Marshall. The visitors were back on level terms within three minutes. Ryan Adger fed Anthony Parsons who fired home a low shot into the bottom left corner via the hands of diving keeper Ben Marshall. A foul on Stuart Barr by Russell Carter on the edge of the area led to Chinnor regaining the lead in the 10th minute. Stuart Braun played the resulting free-kick towards goal and Adam Brooks nipped in to head home.

Finchampstead were awarded a penalty in the 41st minute when Ben Marshall brought down Parsons inside the area. Danny Harris stepped up only to see his spot kick saved by Marshall diving to his right. However, referee Chris Wilkins ordered it to be retaken as the keeper had moved but Harris fired his second attempt wide of the left-hand post.

After the break, the visitors pressed for a goal and Marc Boyle had a shot cleared off the line. The deserved equaliser came in the 68th minute. Parsons fed James Wilkinson who lobbed Marshall. A draw looked the likely outcome until Finchamptead scored an injury-time winner. Wilkinson found Parsons and the striker netted his second goal of the game with a low shot under the body of the diving Marshall.

The three points moved Finchampstead up three places to 10th while Chinnor dropped to 7th.

Chinnor (blue/blue/blue): 1. Ben Marshall, 2. Jake Saunders, 3. Richard Avery, 4. Colin Bird, 5. Richard Carr, 6. Adam Brooks, 7. Stuart Barr, 8. Gary Marshall (capt), 9. Stuart Braun, 10. Ryan Davis, 11. James Ford. Subs: 12. Michael Byrne (not used), 14. Paul Beagle (for Ford, 87), 15. Luke Cozens (not used).

Finchampstead (sky blue and white stripes / sky blue / sky blue): 1. Stuart Harris, 2. Adam Reading, 3. Russell Carter, 4. Danny Harris (capt), 5. Gary Gowers, 6. Dean Boultwood, 7. Sam Wyatt, 8. Ryan Adger, 9. Anthony Parsons, 10. James Wilkinson, 11. Marc Boyle. Subs: 12. Nicholas Matthews (not used), 14. Lawrence Stephenson (not used), 15. Scott Bursill (not used).

Referee: Chris Wilkins.

1-0 Gary Marshall (3)
1-1 Anthony Parsons (6)
2-1 Adam Brooks (10)
2-2 James Wilkinson (68)
2-3 Anthony Parsons (90+1)

Chinnor: James Ford (YC, 72)
Finchampstead: Adam Reading (YC, 45)

Kettering Town 1 Stafford Rangers 0

Saturday 16th December 2006
Kettering Town 1 Stafford Rangers 0
FA Carlsberg Trophy First Round
At: Rockingham Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1202

Morecambe 1 Stafford Rangers 0

Saturday 9th December 2006
Morecambe 1 Stafford Rangers 0
Nationwide Conference
At: Christie Park
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1373
Weather: -

In a clash between the two sides with the best records in the Nationwide Conference over the previous six games, it was Morecambe who came out on top with a spectacular winning goal.

Stafford were unlucky not to return with a point after they hit the post, had a goal disallowed and were denied strong penalties appeals.

The winner came five minutes before the interval. Moments after Guy Madjo had struck the Morecambe woodwork, Garry Thompson picked up a pass 15 yards out from Adriano Rigoglioso and set an unstoppable shot past Rangers keeper Danny Alcock who could do nothing to keep the bal lout.

Phil Robinson made two changes to the side that started at Brighton with Dolapo Olaoye and Chris Basham coming in for Danny Edwards and Kevin Street.

The game’s main talking points of a game occurred at either end of the match.

Rangers thought they had taken the lead in the 4th minute. Basham was ruled offside while forcing a loose ball over the line after Steven Drench pulled off a save to keep out a header from Madjo. The on-loan midfielder also had a goal disallowed against St Albans at the end of last month.

Late in the game came the two strong claims for a penalty, both involving Morecambe skipper Jim Bentley. He appeared to handle inside the area and, in injury time, clearly pulled back Madjo. But referee Harwood ignored the pleas.

Stafford made a bright start with an attacking formation with Madjo leading the line supported by Neil Grayson and Dolapo Olaoye on his first Conference start.

Madjo set up Basham who fired wide before the young midfielder had a goal disallowed.

Morecambe enjoyed a good 15-minute spell leading up to the interval. Alcock did well to come off his line to block a shot from Thompson who also hit the post in the 34th minute.

Bentley should have scored from a corner but the defender slotted wide at close range when it was easier to find the net. Alcock then pulled off a fine save to keep out Craig Stanley’s low shot.

During this spell Rangers found it hard to get forward in this spell but almost took the lead in the 39th minute. Madjo got into the home area to fire a shot that beat Drench, only to see the ball rebound off the post.

A minute later, Morecambe scored what proved to be the winner.

Needing a goal, Stafford played well in the second half but their effort went unrewarded.

Basham threaded a pass into the area to Olaoye but Drench dived bravely at the feet of the striker.

Thompson kept the Stafford defence on its toes and curled a shot across the face of goal as well as firing over the bar.

With 20 minutes remaining, Grayson robbed full back Adam Yates and laid the ball back to Craig Lovatt. The midfielder, who played well, forced a good catch out of Drench to keep out a 25-yard drive.

Danny Edwards replaced Grayson and his mistake almost let Morecambe add a second goal. He lost possession in home territory and allowed Thompson to run over 50 yards to the Rangers area. Nathan Talbott got back to made an awesome saving tackle – any mis-timing would have seen a penalty and a red card.

Edwards should have also headed an equaliser in the 84th minute. He rose at the far post to meet a cross from the impressive Basham but directed the ball wide of the target.

Stafford kept pressing for a goal right up to the final whistle and were denied the chance to score in injury time by Mr Harwood’s inexplicable decision not to award a penalty when Madjo was pulled back.

Morecambe: Steven Drench, Adam Yates, Michael Howard, Jim Bentley (capt), Chris Blackburn, Craig Stanley, Fraser McLachlan, David Perkins, Adriano Rigoglioso (Jamie Burns 76), Michael Twiss, Garry Thompson. Subs not used: Jamie Davies, Wayne Curtis, Ged Brannan, David McNiven.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Alcock, Richard Sutton, Wayne Daniel (capt), Liam Murray, Nathan Talbott, Dolapo Olaoye, Chris Basham, Craig Lovatt, Ged Murphy, Neil Grayson (Danny Edwards, 73), Guy Madjo. Subs not used: Kevin Street, Robin Gibson, Brian Quailey, Matthew Barlow.

Referee: C. Harwood (Manchester).

1-0 Garry Thompson (40)

Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Stafford Rangers 0

Saturday 2nd December 2006
Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Stafford Rangers 0
FA Cup sponsored by e.on Second Round
At: Withdean Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 5741

Goals from Dean Hammond, Alex Revell and Jake Robinson earned Brighton a place in the third round of the FA Cup. Hammond broke the deadlock when he fired home from 20 yards and Robinson sent a shot just wide soon after. Revell made it 2-0 midway through the second half when he met a Sam Rents cross with a downward header into the corner of the net. And Robinson sealed victory for the Seagulls near the end when he slotted home after being put through by Dean Cox to end Stafford Rangers’ FA Cup adventure.

Brighton & Hove Albion (blue and white stripes / blue / blue): Wayne Henderson, Kerry Mayo, Adam Hinshelwood, Joel Lynch, Sam Rents, Alex Frutos (Alistair John 67), Dean Hammond (capt), Tommy Fraser (Richard Carpenter 72), Dean Cox, Alex Revell (Joe Gatting, 84), Jake Robinson. Subs not used: Michael Kuipers, George Santos.

Stafford Rangers (red/red/red): Danny Alcock, Richard Sutton, Wayne Daniel (capt), Liam Murray, Nathan Talbott, Kevin Street (Robin Gibson 58), Ged Murphy, Craig Lovatt (Chris Basham, 82), Danny Edwards, Neil Grayson, Guy Madjo (Dolapo Olaoye, 72). Subs not used: Brian Quailey, Matty Barlow.

Referee: Danny McDermid (Hampshire).

1-0 Dean Hammond (18)
2-0 Alex Revell (66)
3-0 Jake Robinson (90)

Stafford Rangers Reserves 1 Kettering Town Reserves 2

Tuesday 28th November 2006
Stafford Rangers Reserves 1 Kettering Town Reserves 2
Central Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 41

Playing towards the Social Club end in the first half, Kettering took an early lead in the second minute. Their first corner was cleared to Moses Olaleye, 30 yards out, who hammered a low shot into the bottom left corner of the net. In a competitive game, Craig McIlwain should have made it two but headed over direct from a corner at close range.

Stafford created a good chance just after the half hour mark. Tom Butorin received a pass from Jemiah Richards and got in a low 25-yard shot which was gathered up by Nick Bussey. The Kettering keeper made a brave save at the feet of Steve Thompson inside the area who looked to get on the end of a pass from Butorin. Bussey then pulled off a superb save on 40 minutes to turn round a rising shot from André Francis.

Both sides made a change at the interval with the Under-21 side player Andreus Campbell replacing the injured Francis. Bussey again needed to be alert to hold Steve Hopkinson’s dipping 30-yard shot at the second attempt as Stafford looked for an equaliser. Chris Brown kept Stafford in contention on 58 minutes with a fine one-handed save to keep out a shot from substitute Simon Perrin following a slip by Ed Booth. Chrstian Dacres sent a shot flashing past the visitors goal before Brown pulled of a near-post save to keep out Dodou Bojang’s low shot.

Richard Haynes and Richard Miller were both thrown on but Kettering added a vital second goal in the 86th minute. Olaleye did well down the right and pulled the ball back for Stephan Morley to slot home. Stafford bounced back to net a consolation goal two minutes later. Several players went for a free kick delivered into the area and Haynes forced the ball home.

Stafford Rangers: Chris Brown, Dan Holgate, Matt Skinner, Alex Gibbons, Jemiah Richards (capt), Ed Booth, André Francis, Steve Hopkinson, Steve Thompson, Tom Butorin, Christian Dacres. Subs: Richard Haynes (for Thompson, 75), Richard Miller (for Butorin, 80), Mike Weston, Andreus Campbell (for Francis, ht).

Kettering Town: Nick Bussey, Nathan Paprah, Paris Okap, Craig McIlwain (capt), Anish Khinder, Stephan Morley, Moses Olaleye, Darren Caskey, Emmanuel Adesco, Nathaniel Waite, Dodou Bojang. Subs: Curtis Taylor Jacobs (for Waite, 70), Ryan Collis (for Bojang, 77), Simon Perrin (for Caskey, ht), Daniel Fragnoli.

Referee: John Hilditch.

Saturday 25th November 2006

Saturday 25th November 2006
Stafford Rangers 2 St Albans City 2
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1030

Dolapo Olaoye equalised in the fifth minute of injury-time to earn Stafford a draw and deny St Albans victory. Elliott Benyon had put the visitors ahead from close range with his third goal in three games. Guy Madjo equalised by heading home Ged Murphy's cross, but Lee Clarke restored St Albans' lead by converting Matthew Hann's cross from six yards. That looked to be enough for the Saints but Olaoye had the final word by firing in from 12 yards after Murphy’s long throw was flicked on.

Stafford Rangers: Danny Alcock, Richie Sutton, Wayne Daniel, Liam Murray, Nathan Talbott, Kevin Street, Chris Basham (Robin Gibson, 59), Ged Murphy, Danny Edwards (Dolapo Olaoye, 75), Matty Barlow (Brian Quailey, 75), Guy Madjo. Subs not used: Christian Dacres, David Oldfield.

St Albans City: Paul Bastock, Chris Seeby, Gary Elphick, David Theobald, Damien Batt, Matt Hann, Tom Davis, Ram Marwa, Ben Walshe (Magnus Okuonghae, 83), Elliot Benyon, Lee Clarke (capt; Lee Flynn, 90). Subs not used: Ricky Perks, Dean Cracknell, Simon Martin.

Referee: Russell Fletcher (Derbyshire).

0-1 Elliot Benyon (24)
1-1 Guy Madjo (64)
1-2 Lee Clarke (68)
2-2 Dolapo Olaoye (90+5)

Sponsors Man of the Match: Kevin Street.

Tuesday 21st November 2006

Maidenhead United 0 Stafford Rangers 2
FA Cup sponsored by e.on First Round Replay
At: York Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 1934

Saturday 18th November 2006

Halifax Town 3 Stafford Rangers 1
Nationwide Conference
At: Shay Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1681

Wednesday 15th November 2006

Stafford Rangers Reserves 1 Worcester City Reserves 1
Central Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 47

Saturday 11th November 2006

Stafford Rangers 1 Maidenhead United 1
FA Cup sponsored by e.on First Round
At: Marston Road
Attendance: 1526

Saturday 4th November 2006

Stafford Rangers 2 Weymouth 0
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Attendance: 1056

Saturday 28th October 2006

Stafford Rangers 3 Scarborough 0
FA Cup sponsored by E.ON fourth qualifying round
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1043
Weather: -

Stafford Rangers can look forward to a favourable home first round tie with Maidenhead United following a comfortable victory over hardworking Scarborough.

Guy Madjo scored a goal in each half and defender Craig McAughtrie found the net in a performance that pleased manager Phil Robinson.

He said: “It was fairly comfortable. Games like this are difficult for the favourites like today. We had Danny Alcock to thank for an early save and it certainly job done. We needed to get through what ever way we could and was nice to have the victory sown up so early.”

Alcock certainly came to his side’s rescue in the 11th minute. Scarborough broke upfield following a Stafford corner and slips by both covering defenders let in Lee Whittington. However, Whittington, who received a pass from Chris Thomspon, was denied by a superb block in a one-on-one inside the area.

Stafford survived that scare and took the lead four minutes later. Madjo stayed onside to latched onto a pass down the left from Nathan Talbott and cut into the area. With Neil Grayson acting as a decoy, Madjo was able to fire low into the opposite corner of the net with visiting goalkeeper Mark Wilberforce getting a hand to the ball.

Wilberforce dropped a hanging ball from Ged Murphy but the visitors scrambled it clear as both Madjo and Grayson looked to take advantage

Alcock pulled off another fine save on the half hour when he leapt to his left to keep out a rising 20-yard drive from Sean Davies that was heading for the top corner.

Stafford, always in control, doubled their lead in the 35th minute. Kevin Street picked up the ball on the left, after his corner was cleared, and sent a low diagonal pass into the 6-yard box. McAughtrie, who stayed up, slotted the ball home at close range for his first goal of the season.

Just before the break, Madjo fired over and Wilberforce collected a deflected shot from Grayson as Stafford looked to further increase their lead.

Scarborough creditably came out on the attack at the start of the second half with nothing to lose. McAughtrie blocked a goalbound shot from Chris Thompson soon after the restart.

Madjo put the result beyond doubt in the 58th minute, heading home Robin Gibson’s left wing cross at the near post.

Scarborough’s task was made harder foul minutes later when midfielder Darren Thornton received a straight red card for a horrendous challenge on Street. The Scarborough midfielder can have no complains about the decision.

Rangers had chances to score again before full time. Gibson volleyed over and Street missed the easiest chance of all. He somehow drove over an open goal from no more than eight yards out.

Despite the defeat, Mark Patterson complemented his side for effort. “I thought the lads were spot on from the first minute to the ninetieth. The difference between the sides was a bit of quality in the final third,” said the Scarborough Head Coach.

After the win, the Stafford squad gathered round a TV and saw the reward – a home first round tie with Maidenhead United. “They are a team below us which is going to be tricky but it gives us a chance of progressing if we do it right,” was Phil Robinson’s initial reaction. “You always want somebody you can go through against and we have avoided other Conference teams. Maidenhead will be wound up for it and that makes it difficult for us as we will be the favourites.”

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes with black sleeves / black / black): Danny Alcock, Richard Sutton, Wayne Daniel (capt), Craig McAughtrie, Nathan Talbott, Kevin Street, Craig Lovatt (Christian Dacres, 89), Ged Murphy (Danny Edwards, 71), Robin Gibson, Neil Grayson (Dolapo Olaoye, 81), Guy Madjo. Subs not used: Brain Quailey, David Oldfield.

Scarborough (blue/blue/blue; 4-4-2): Mark Wilberforce, Jimmy Beadle, Denny Ingram (capt), Mark Hotte, Sean Davies (Ashley Lyth, 60), Lee Whittington (Ryan Blott, 71), Lee Cartwright, Jamie Vermiglio, Darren Thornton, Tony Hackworth, Chris Thompson. Sub not used: Ged Dalton.

Goals: Madjo (16, 58), McAughtrie (35).
Sponsors Man of the Match: Guy Madjo.

Referee: S Cummings (Cheshire).
Attendance: 1,043.

Thursday 26th October 2006

Sutton Coldfield Youth 4 Stafford Rangers Youth 0
FA Youth Cup sponsored by e.on Third Qualifying Round
At: Coles Lane
Attendance: 150 (headcount)

Saturday 21st October 2006

Exeter City 1 Stafford Rangers 2
Nationwide Conference
At: St James Park
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 3977
Weather: -

Neil Grayson scored twice including an injury-time winner as Stafford came from behind to end Exeter’s unbeaten home record.

Rangers could have twice taken the lead inside the opening seven minutes. Street forced a good diving save out of Exeter keeper Rice who also got a hand to Murphy’s close-range shot and turned the ball onto the bar.

Alcock pulled off three good saves as Exeter pressed during the first half. He held shots from Stansfield and Mackie as well as turning round Challinor’s low drive at the expense of a corner. Gibson deflected a long-range effort from Buckle away from goal while Challinor also fired across the face of goal and Mackie missed with an acrobatic near-post scissor kick. Just before the break, Daniel got in the way of Challinor’s shot.

Exeter stayed on the attack at the start of the second half and took the lead in the 55th minute. Taylor’s deep left wing corner hit defender Sutton at the far post and Stansfield forced the ball home at close range.

Madjo almost scored on 64 minutes which a fiercely struck volley that rebounded off the bar with Rice beaten. Rice who pulled of a fine save to hold a swerving long-range drive from Murphy

Stafford deservedly got back on level terms in the 71st minute. Substitute Danny Edwards, on for Gibson, crossed from the left and Grayson powered a header past Rice to score his 50th Rangers goal.

Phil Robinson was ‘sent off’ for timewasting moments before Grayson hit the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Madjo fed Street who crossed into the area for Grayson to volley home with his right foot.

Exeter City (red and white stripes/black/black): Martin Rice; Danny Woodards, Rob Edwards, Jon Richardson, Billy Jones; Andy Taylor, Matthew Gill, Paul Buckle, Jon Challinor; Adam Stansfield, Jamie Mackie. Subs: Danny Clay (for Buckle, 70), Lee Philips (for Stansfield, 75), Dean Moxey (for Taylor, 83), Paul Jones, Patrick Ada.

Stafford Rangers (blue/red/red): Alcock; Sutton, Daniel (capt), McAughtrie, Talbott; Street, Murphy, Lovatt, Gibson; Grayson, Madjo. Subs: Edwards (for Gibson, 62), Oldfield (for Murphy, 90), Quailey, Olaoye, Murray.

Referee: S. Hooper (Swindon).
Attendance: 3,977.

Tuesday 17th October 2006

Tamworth 2 Stafford Rangers 1
Staffs Senior Cup first round
At: The Lamb
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 178
Weather: -

Having reached the semi-finals or better in each of the previous four seasons, Stafford suffered an early exit this time round. The scoreline doesn’t tell the full story as it was Tamworth’s first team that defeated a Stafford team showing 11 changes from the starting line-up against Woking. And the Rangers side that played at the Lamb won plenty of praise from Phil Robinson.

Tamworth took the lead in the 42nd minute. Storer drilled a low shot into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area. A superb 20-yard free kick from Oldfield, curled into the top right corner, brought Stafford back to level terms in the 55th minute. Edwards almost gave Rangers the lead when an angled shot across the face of the home goal rebounded off the inside of the post.

However, Tamworth scored the winner in the 63rd minute. Burton gave Brown no chance of keeping out a deflected drive that flew into the top corner. Hopkinson almost sent the tie into extra time with a late shot that Lambs’ keeper Clarke turned round at the near post.

Tamworth (red/red/red): David Clarke; Simon Weaver (capt), Tom Kemp, Ryan Laight; Bradley Thomas, Adie Smith, Kyle Storer, Gavin McAllum; Steve Burton, Jon Stevenson, Matt Williams. Subs: Graham Ward (for Williams, 15), Joe Kendrick (for Kemp, 32), Michael Tuohy (for Weaver, 55), Jon McGrath, Thomas Harban.

Stafford Rangers (black and white/black/black): Chris Brown; Alex Gibson, Ed Booth, Liam Murray (capt), Matt Skinner; Steve Hopkinson, David Oldfield, Christian Dacres, Danny Edwards; Brian Quailey, Dolapo Olaoye. Subs: Alex Gibbons, André Francis (for Edwards, 71), Jemiah Richards, Ricardo Wilks (for Dacres, 81), Lee Scott (for Quailey, 88).

Referee: Rob Merchant (Stone).
Attendance: 178.

Saturday 14th October 2006

Stafford Rangers 1 Woking 0
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1033
Weather: -

Stafford Rangers followed up the away victory at Gravesend with another deserved victory in front of the Marston Road faithful. Guy Madjo scored what proved to be the winner in the 8th minute. Talbott picked up the ball after it was given away by Lambu, took it forward a threaded a pass between Woking’s two central defenders. Madjo cleverly stayed onside and beat the advancing Jalal with a clever lob that dipped into an unguarded net.

Woking thought they’d equalised just before the interval when Berquez headed home but the ‘goal’ was disallowed for offside. Grayson had the ball in the Woking net but a foul by Talbott on Jalal was the reason this didn’t stand.

Alcock pulled off a fine save in injury time to tip over a dipping shot from Bunce.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes/black/black): Danny Alcock; Richard Sutton; Wayne Daniel (capt), Craig McAughtrie; Nathan Talbott; Kevin Street, Ged Murphy, Craig Lovatt, Robin Gibson; Neil Grayson, Guy Madjo. Subs: David Oldfield (for Lovatt, 67), Danny Edwards (for Madjo, 77), Brian Quaileym Dolapo Olaoye, Liam Murray.

Woking: (light blue and white stripes/white/white) Shwan Jalal; Simon Jackson, Karim El-Salahi, Tom Hutchinson, Daniel Bunce; Goma Lambu, Steve Evans, Neil Smith (capt), Giuseppe Sole; Ollie Berquez, Craig McAllister. Subs: Saheed Sankoh (for Lambu, ht), Steve Ferguson (for Smith, 63), Shola Oyedele (for Evans, 63), Matt Ruby, Aaron Howe.

Sponsors Man of the Match: Guy Madjo.

Referee: Jake Collin (Liverpool).
Attendance: 1,033.

Wednesday 11th October 2006

Stafford Rangers Youth 5 Long Eaton Youth 3
FA Youth Cup sponsored by e.on Second Qualifying Round
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 82

Gravesend & Northfleet 1 Stafford Rangers 4

Tuesday 10th October 2006
Gravesend & Northfleet 1 Stafford Rangers 4
Nationwide Conference
At: Stonebridge Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 857

Wearing new white shirts, Stafford Rangers ended their winless run with a superb win in Kent. Fleet skipper Paul McCarthy scored an own goal in the 11th minute, hit when Lance Cronin parried an initial shot from Neil Grayson.

The lead was extended five minutes after the restart when Grayson slid in to score after Cronin blocked a shot from Guy Madjo. Charlie MacDonald pulled a goal back in the 64th minute with a header before Madjo restored the two-goal lead six minutes later, drilling home a low shot.

Grayson made it four in the 88th minute, heading home after Cronin got a hand to Robin Gibson’s cross.

Gravesend & Northfleet (red/white/red): Lance Cronin; Paul McCarthy (capt), James Smith, Peter Hawkins; Mark Ricketts, Luke Moore, Rob Quinn, Danny Slatter, Sacha Opinel; Charlie MacDonald, Onome Sodje. Subs: Chris Anderson (for Ricketts, 57), George Purcell (for Hawkins, 78), Sam Mott, Danny Ekoku, Liam Coleman.

Stafford Rangers (white/ black/black): Alcock; Sutton, Daniel (capt), McAughtrie, Talbott; Street, Murphy, Lovatt, Gibson; Grayson, Madjo. Subs: Edwards, Quailey, Olaoye, Oldfield, Murray.

Tamworth 0 Stafford Rangers 0

Saturday 7th October 2006
Tamworth 0 Stafford Rangers 0
Nationwide Conference
At: The Lamb
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1249

Stafford ended a run of four straight defeats though Tamworth keeper Sean Bowles prevented the team recording a much-needed win. Early in the second half he acrobatically pushed away a looping header from Street and near the end made a double save to deny Guy Madjo and Neil Grayson. Joe Kendrick cleared a header from a Tamworth defender off the line seconds before the final whistle.

Tamworth (red/red/white): Sean Bowles; Simon Weaver (capt), Tom Kemp, Ryan Laight; Thomas Harban, Bradley Thomas, John McGrath, Kyle Storer, Gavin McAllum; Taiwo Atieno, Jon Stevenson. Subs: Adie Smith (for Storer, 58), Joe Kendrick (for McAllum, 67), Graham Ward (for Stevenson, 90), Michael Tuohy, Mark Cooper.

Stafford Rangers: (black and white stripes/ black/black): Alcock; Sutton, Daniel (capt), McAughtrie, Talbott; Street, Murphy, Lovatt, Gibson; Grayson, Quailey. Subs: Edwards (for Gibson, 70), Madjo (for Quailey, 86), Olaoye, Oldfield, Murray.

Referee: David Richardson (Halifax).

Stafford Rangers Res 1 Burton Albion Res 1

Wednesday 4th October 2006
Stafford Rangers Reserves 1 Burton Albion Reserves 1
Central Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 38

Several members of the first-team squad gained valuable match practice in this 2-2 draw with Rangers having what would have been a last-gasp winner disallowed. After a goalless first half, Burton took the lead with a 50th minute penalty from Oliver Hancock. Rangers hit back with an equaliser from Brian Quailey in the 77th minute. Substitute Wilks put Boro ahead six minutes later but Hancock scored an injury equaliser for the visitors. Dolapo Olaoye thought he’d scored the winner but the goal didn’t count as the referee blew the final whistle moments before ball entered the net.

Stafford Rangers 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 2

Tuesday 3rd October 2006
Stafford Rangers 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 2
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Attendance: 1143

Dagenham took the lead with a controversial 22nd minute penalty. Glen Southam drilled the spot kick into the bottom left-hand corner after Craig-Mackail-Smith had been brought down by Nathan Talbott.

Playing in front of the live Sky TV cameras for the first time, Rangers equalised in first-half injury time. Tony Roberts punched Danny Edwards’ cross straight to Robin Gibson on the edge of the area who chipped the ball towards goal. Roberts got his hand to the shot and Neil Grayson forced home the loose ball.

But the Daggers scored the winner in the 59th minute. Substitute Cliff Akurang raced down the left and crossed low for Paul Benson to slot home from close range.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes/black/black): Alcock; Sutton, Daniel (capt), McAughtrie, Talbott; Street, Lovatt, Murphy, Edwards; Gibson, Grayson. Subs: Madjo (for Murphy, 71), Olaoye (for Edwards, 80), Quailey (for McAughtrie, 90), Oldfield, Murray.

Dagenham & Redbridge (red/white/red): Tony Roberts; Danny Foster, Shane Blackett, Anwar Uddin (capt), Scott Griffiths; Sam Saunders, Glen Southam, Dave Rainford, Sam Sloma; Paul Benson, Craig Mackail-Smith. Subs: Cliff Akurang (for Sloma, 56), Paul Bruce (for Mackail-Smith, 82), Shaun Batt, Bai Mas Lettejallow, David Hogan.

Sponsors Man of the Match: Nathan Talbott.

Referee: K. G. Evans (Manchester).

Forest Green Rovers 2 Stafford Rangers 1

Saturday 30th September 2006
Forest Green Rovers 2 Stafford Rangers 1
Nationwide Conference
At: The New Lawn
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 945

Forest Green took the lead in the 17th minute. Simon Clist delivered the ball to the far post where Allan Russell headed home.

Danny Edwards replaced the injured Guy Madjo at the interval and provided the cross the led to Rangers’ equaliser in the 52nd minute. Both Robin Gibson and defender Darren Jones were for a dangerous left-wing cross with the ball ending up in the net. Gibson was credited with his first goal of the season.

But the home side hit back with what proved to be the winner two minutes later. Rigoglioso drove into the bottom right corner from the edge of the area.

Forest Green Rovers (black and white stripes/black/black): Steve Williams; Alex Lawless, Mark Preece, Darren Jones, Kevin Nicholson; Alex Meechan, Michael Brough, Jamie Pitman (capt), Simon Clist; Allan Russell, Adriano Rigoglioso. Subs: Mark Beesley (for Russell, 63), Matt Robinson (for Rigoglioso, 79), Les Afful (for Meechan, 84), Arek Zarczynski, Paul Stonehouse.

Stafford Rangers (red/red/red): Danny Alcock, Kevin Street, Wayne Daniel (capt), Craig McAughtrie, Nathan Talbott; Ged Murphy, Craig Lovatt, Lee Downes, Robin Gibson, Neil Grayson, Guy Madjo. Subs: Danny Edwards (for Madjo, ht), Brian Quailey (for Downes, 69), David Oldfield (for Lovatt, 84), Dolapo Olaoye, Liam Murray.

Referee: M. Mullarkey (Exeter).

Stafford Rangers Youth 4 Castle Vale Youth 2

Wednesday 27th September 2006
Stafford Rangers Youth 4 Castle Vale Youth 2
FA Youth Cup sponsored by E.ON First Qualifying Round
At: Marston Road
Attendance: 76

Stafford Rangers Youth team progressed into the E.ON FA Youth Cup second qualifying round with a 4-2 victory over Castle Vale at Marston Road. But after racing into a wind-assisted four-goal lead in the first half, they had to survive a couple of scares when the plucky visitors scored two late goals.

Playing with the wind, Rangers got on top from the kick-off and Vale keeper Paul Charnley pulled off an excellent early save to tip over a dipping shot from Spencer Gunnell. But Charnley couldn’t prevent Gunnell putting Stafford ahead in the 15th minute. He hammered home a deep free kick from Sam Maddox which dropped invitingly at the far post.

It could have been two on the half hour when Craig Hulme broke clear only to see his shot over the advancing Charnley rebound off the bar.

But Stafford put the result beyond doubt with three goals in 153 seconds just before the interval. In the 36th minute, Dave Brazier put away another excellent corner from Maddox with a glancing header to double the lead. Gunnell quickly made it three a minute later with a low shot from the edge of the area that went in via the right-hand post. Brazier also got his second goal in the 39th minute, slotting home a rebound following an initial save from Charnley. Hulme was then unlucky again when he had a shot cleared off the line.

With two substitutions and the aid of the wind, Castle Vale proved tougher opposition in the second half. However, just after the hour mark, Charnley denied Gunnell a hat-trick with another save, this time to keep out a first-time 20-yard shot. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 85th minute. Substitute goalkeeper Adam Heath, on for the injured Matt Sargeant, couldn’t hold a well-struck free kick from Anthony Gavin and Thomas Campbell converted the loose ball. Vale scored a second goal in injury time when Chris Fitzgerald forced the ball home after Rangers failed to clear a corner.

Manager Any Bates said: "I was very pleased with our performance, particularly in the first half. My players did all that was asked of them. They did the Club proud."

Rangers: Matt Sargeant; Jack Thorley, Rob Haynes, Michael Hathaway, Michael Weston; Ollie House, Charlie Wooollatt, Sam Maddox, Dave Brazier; Craig Hulme, Spencer Gunnell. Subs: Adam Heath (for Sergeant, 71), Matthew Marsh (for House, 51), Matthew Bates, Ashley Turton (for Hulme, 82), Alex Thurston.

Saturday 23rd September 2006

Stafford Rangers 0 Oxford United 1
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1795

Tuesday 19th September 2006

Northwich Victoria 4 Stafford Rangers 0
Nationwide Conference
At: Victoria Stadium
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 971

Saturday 16th September 2006

Stafford Rangers 1 Rushden & Diamonds 1
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1054

Stafford Rangers 1 Burton Albion 1

Tuesday 12th September 2006
Stafford Rangers 1 Burton Albion 1
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 1554
Weather: -

Neil Grayson scored an 89th minute penalty as Stafford Rangers gained a point from the Staffordshire derby and bounced back from the defeat at Stevenage.

Injuries and the start of Ged Murphy’s three-match ban forced Phil Robinson to change the starting line-up. Brian Quailey and Christian Dacres were given full debuts and Liam Murray returned to the centre of defence. Assistant Manager David Oldfield also made his debut as a second-half substitute.

Dean Williams was the first keeper to be called into action when dived at full length to his right to turn round a low 25-yard shot from Andy Ducros.

The visitors, however, took the lead in the 11th minute. Aaron Webster got on the end of a Ducros corner and powered a header home unchallenged at close range. Webster met Burton’s next corner but this time his header flew across the face of goal and wide of the left-hand post.

Burton had another chance when Murray was deceived by a bouncing ball inside his own area. Jon Shaw hooked a shot towards goal, which took a deflection off a Boro defender.

Quailey became the second player to be booked in the 28th minute for what appeared to be nothing more than a collision with Kevin Poole. However, the veteran keeper sustained a badly cut mouth but was able to continue after five minutes of treatment.

There was further danger for Stafford when Andy Corbett drilled in low cross into the six-yard box from the right. Daryl Clare, in front of goal, got on the end but failed to make clear contact with the ball.

As the interval approached, Burton almost added a second goal from another accurate Ducros corner. Gary Rowett headed towards goal and Williams pulled off a fine block on the line. Craig McAughtrie, named Man of the Match by the sponsors, cleared the loose ball much to the relief of the Stafford defence.

Robinson replaced Dacres with Craig Lovatt at half time and straight from the restart a long-range shot from Downes curled wide.

As the game entered the final quarter, unmarked Clare wasted a glorious chance when in plenty of space inside the area. Picked out by Shaw, the striker headed well wide.

Stafford gradually built up some momentum during the second half and there was panic in the Burton defence in the 75th minute. Robin Gibson’s deep cross was cleared off the toe of Grayson and the corner caused panic. Both McAughtrie and Gibson had shots cleared off the line and Quailey eventually fired the loose ball wide.

With time running out, Quailey went down under a challenge from Rowett inside the area and Grayson hammered home the resulting penalty.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes/black/black): Dean Williams; Craig McAughtrie, Wayne Daniel (capt), Liam Murray, Nathan Talbott; Kevin Street, Lee Downes, Christian Dacres, Neil Grayson; Robin Gibson, Brian Quailey. Subs: Craig Lovatt (for Dacres, ht), Dolapo Olaoye (for Talbott, 50), David Oldfield (for Downes, 83), Danny Edwards, Danny Alcock.

Burton Albion (yellow/grey/grey): Kevin Poole; Gary Rowett, Darren Tinson, Ryan Austin, Aaron Webster; Andy Corbett, Danny Holmes, Darren Stride (capt), Andy Ducros; Daryl Clare, Jon Shaw. Subs: Chris Hall (for Ducros, 64), Lee Fowler, Shaun Harrad, John Brayford, Steve Scoffham.

Sponsors Man of the Match: Craig McAughtrie.

Referee: P. Varley (West Yorkshire).
Attendance: 1554.

Saturday 9th September 2006

Stevenage Borough 6 Stafford Rangers 0
Nationwide Conference
At: Broadhall Way
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1708
Weather: -

Ten-man Stafford Rangers suffered their heaviest league defeat since 1994. Midfielder Ged Murphy was sent off for retaliation in the 20th minute after being initially fouled by Barry Fuller.

There was drama before kick-off as the referee decided that the new white shirts taken to Broadhall Way clashed with Stevenage’s shirts. As a result Rangers took the field in an unfamiliar sky blue kit borrowed from the home side.

Stevenage went ahead in the 25th minute. George Boyd, who ended up scoring a hat-trick, got on the end of Jason Goodliffe’s cross and scored with the aid of a deflection. He added a second nine minutes later. Dean Williams did well to thwart former England International Steve Guppy but Boyd forced the ball home.

Stafford found it difficult to get forward and conceded two more goals before in the interval. In the 43rd minute, a cross-cum-shot from Craig Dodson from out on the right wing flew over Williams on its way into the roof of the net. Then in injury time, Williams couldn’t hold a low cross from Adam Miller and Steve Morison scored at close range.

Phil Robinson shuffled his side at the interval with Brian Quailey coming on as a lone striker and a changed formation. The switch certainly looked to have helped give Stafford a confidence boost as Nathan Talbott, fit after missing the previous trip to York, saw a shot blocked by a defender. Neil Grayson also volleyed wide from Talbott’s near-post cross.

But Rangers had no answer when Stevenage, one of the pre-season promotion favourites, added their fifth and sixth goals just after the hour mark in the 61st and 63rd minutes. Boyd completed his hat-trick with a shot into the roof of the net from 15 yards out and Dobson scored his second goal of the game with a close-range shot. It could have been even worse. Williams tipped over another rising shot from Boyd and Morison also hit the post.

Kevin Street got in a late long-range shot near the end but Alan Julian made a comfortable save with Brian Quailey closing in to take advantage of any slip by the home keeper.

Christian Dacres, promoted from the County Senior League ‘A’ team, made his debut as a late substitute.

Stevenage Borough (white and red shirts/red/red): Alan Julian; Jason Goodliffe, Luke Oliver (capt) Dos Santos Gaia, John Nutter; Craig Dobson, Barry Fuller, Adam Miller, Steve Guppy; Steve Morison, George Boyd. Subs: Mark Beard (for Fuller, 73), Chris Sullivan (for Boyd, 77), Dwayne Lee (for Miller, 86), Darryn Stamp, Danny Potter.

Stafford Rangers (sky blue/black/black): Dean Williams; Mark Bailey, Craig McAughtrie, Wayne Daniel (capt), Nathan Talbott; Robin Gibson, Ged Murphy, Lee Downes, Kevin Street; Neil Grayson, Guy Madjo. Subs: Liam Murray (for Bailey, 29), Brian Quailey (for Madjo, ht), Christian Dacres (for Grayson, 84), Dolapo Olaoye, Danny Alcock.

Referee: M. Ball.
Attendance: 1708.

Florence 2 Goldenhill Wanderers 1

Saturday 2nd September 2006
Florence 2 Goldenhill Wanderers 2
Staffordshire County Senior League Premier Division
At: Lightwood Road
Kick-off: 2-45 pm
Admission: none; Programme: £1
Weather: drizzle
Attendance: 15 (headcount)

Florence (red with black sleeves / black / black): 1. Chris Fryer, 2. Marcus Robson, 3. Paul Ulrich, 4. Jamie Cousins (capt), 5. Gavin Wood, 6. Andy Moon, 7. Daniel Viggers, 8. Matt Ellis, 9. Jonathan Pace, 10. Joe Birks, 11. Andy McCue. Subs: 12. Chris Dillon (for Moon, 76), 13. Matt Birks (not used), 14. Neil Bateman (for Ellis, 53), 15. Alex Casey (not used), 16. Phil Carr (not used).

Goldenhill Wanderers (blue/blue/blue): 1. Ian Jackson, 2. Craig Turner (capt), 3. Steven Tipping, 4. Shaun Frazer, 5. Carl Boughey, 6. Ben Biddulph, 7. Gary Gibson, 8. Michael Ibbson, 9. Mark Frzer, 10. Carl Mountford, 11. Danny Taiton. Subs: 12. Dave Harry (for Biddulph, 62), 14. Martin Wright (for Mountford, 59), 15. Godfrey Johnson (for Ibbson, 73), 16. Steven Harrison (not used).

Referee: ???

1-0 Jonathan Pace (9 pen)
2-0 Craig Turner (33 og)
2-1 Godfrey Johnson (82)
2-2 Danny Taiton (90+1)

Florence: Jonathan Pace (YC, 42)
Goldenhill: Craig Turner (YC, 28)

Friday 1st September 2006

York City 0 Stafford Rangers 0
Nationwide Conference
At: KitKat Crescent
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 2955

Tuesday 29th August 2006

Ramsbottom United 2 Salford City 3
Moore & Co North West Counties League Division 1
At: Riverside Park
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 191

Monday 28th August 2006

Stafford Rangers 0 Aldershot Town 3
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 1740

Saturday 26th August 2006

Crawley Town 1 Stafford Rangers 2
Nationwide Conference
At: Braodfield Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 929

Saturday 19th August 2006

Stafford Rangers 1 Southport 0
Nationwide Conference
Attendance: 1081

Stafford Rangers maintained their unbeaten start to the 2006/07 season with a narrow but none-the-less deserved victory over Southport. Neil Grayson rose in the 81st minute to head home the winner from a corner delivered by Kevin Street.

Phil Robinson named an unchanged side for the third game in a row with Craig McAughtrie and Nathan Smith both still out through injury.

On a greasy surface, Stafford were the first side to go close. Robin Gibson and Street combined on the right. The latter found Guy Madjo in the area who turned and saw a near post shot saved by Paul Harrison.

Boro continued their bright start, winning four early corners. Street threaded a pass into the area which Harrison gathered as Madjo looked to get on the end. After combining with Madjo, Grayson fired wide from 25 yards out.

Southport, with Mark Jackson playing as a lone striker, found it difficult to penetrate the well-organised home defence and Stafford, in fact, looked the more likely to open the scoring. Madjo saw another attempt on goal blocked by Michael Powell at the expense of yet another corner.

Stafford, however, survived a scare of their own making on the half hour when Dean Williams was put under pressure by Nathan Talbott’s backpass. The goalkeeper’s clearance was intercepted by Carl Baker but the resulting shot failed to find the unguarded net, admittedly from a narrow angle.

The visitors tried to raise their game and Williams comfortably gathered up a long-range shot from skipper Mark Boyd.

However, another good Rangers move led to a further attempt on goal. Street took the ball into the Southport area and laid it to Grayson. The striker aimed for the opposite top corner but narrowly missed. A well-struck shot from Gibson also flashed wide of the Southport goal.

In injury time, Baker crossed deep and Michael Clancy for forward into a good position at the far post, only to head wide.

Southport looked to press forward at the start of the second half. Boyd had a long-range effort blocked by Wayne Daniel. With the visitors getting more into the game, a dangerous free-kick from Lee Hoolickin was punched out for a corner by under pressure Williams. Stuart Barlow, the former Everton striker, replaced Jackson just after the hour mark in a second change for Southport and first-change player Robert Booth fired over the Stafford bar.

Stafford started to find it harder to get forward but won a corner in the 65th minute. Winning the ball in the air, Daniel has a shot blocked as did Liam Murray in the scramble that ensued inside the Southport area.

Both managers clearly wanted to more than a point out of the game with Robinson giving a debut to substitute Brian Quailey in place of Gibson. Opposite number Paul Cook made his third positive substitution with Joe Fowler replacing Powell.

With the game more open, Williams did well to keep out Baker’s header from another dangerous free-kick delivered by Hoolickin.

Harrison held a shot from Street before Stafford scored what proved to be the winner nine minutes from time. From the second of successive corners, Grayson rose at the near post to head home.

Southport quickly got forward and Williams held a header from Liam Blakeman.

But the visitors’ task of salvaging a point became tougher when Paul Martin was sent off for a professional foul on Guy Madjo in 85th minute.

Stafford Rangers (Black and white stripes/black/black): Dean Williams; Richie Sutton, Wayne Daniel, Liam Murray, Nathan Talbott; Robin Gibson, Ged Murphy, Kevin Street, Lee Downes; Neil Grayson, Guy Madjo. Subs: Brian Quailey (for Gibson, 72), Craig Lovatt, Danny Edwards, David Oldfield, Danny Alcock.

Southport (White/white/white): Paul Harrison; Chris Lane, Paul Martin, Kevin Lee, Lee Hoolickin; Carl Baker, Mark Boyd (capt), Liam Blakeman, Michael Powell, Sean Clancy; Mark Jackson. Subs: Robbie Booth (for Clancy, 53), Start Barlow (for Jackson, 62), Joe Fowler (for Powell, 67), Francis Barry, James Olsen.

Referee: D. H. Coote (Newark).

Sponsors’ Man of the Match: Kevin Street.

1-0 Grayson (81)

Tuesday 15th August 2006

Stafford Rangers 1 Altrincham 0
Nationwide Conference
At: Marston Road
Attendance: 1410

Saturday 12th August 2006

Grays Athletic 1 Stafford Rangers 1
Nationwide Conference
Attendance: 1049

Stafford Rangers marked their return to the Nationwide Conference with a hard-earned draw away at Grays Athletic.

Both goals came in the opening eight minutes with Neil Grayson, from the penalty spot, cancelling out an earlier strike from Michael Kightly.

Manager Phil Robinson started with two of his summer signings. Guy Madjo made his debut alongside Grayson and Ged Murphy, who made one appearance for Boro during the 1999/2000 season, played in midfield. On-loan Richie Sutton slotted in to the right-back spot he occupied at the end of last season. Liam Murray deputised for the injured Craig McAughtrie at centre-back.

Rangers survived an early scare from Grays’ first corner. The ball fell to Jay Smith who saw an effort cleared off the line by Kevin Street.

Grays took teh lead in the 6th minute. Good work by Lee Boylan set up Glenn Poole on the left who saw an angled shot saved by the diving Dean Williams. The keeper could only push the ball into the path of Kightly who turned it into the net under pressure from the challenging Nathan Talbott.

However, within a minute of Grays taking the lead, Murphy was brought down inside the area and Grayson confidently converted the resulting penalty.

Once things settled down after the action-packing opening, Stafford proved more than a match for the side that finished third last season and retained the FA Trophy. On 15 minutes, Madjo looked to take advantage of a mix-up on the edge of the home area. He got in a dipping lob that was inches too high.

Rangers went close again on the half-hour mark. Murphy got on the end of a knockdown by Robin Gibson but Ashley Bayes pulled off a point-blank reaction save.

Grays remained a threat and Dean Williams leapt up to his right to turn round a 30-yard drive by Poole that looked destined for the top-left corner of the net.

Both sides created chances to take the lead at the start of the second half. For Boro, Grayson volleyed over a cross from Gibson and Street was too high with a rising shot.

Aaron McLean really should have put his side in front on 56 minutes but he headed over from no more than 10 yards out.

Lee Downes went close for Stafford with a blocked shot after the persistent Madjo took advantage of a mistake on the left.

As full-time approached, Stafford survived a scare on 87 minutes. Williams pulled off another great save to keep out a shot from Kightly and, in the scramble that followed in front of goal, John Martin had a follow-up effort blocked. Conceding a late goal would have been cruel luck on Rangers so thankfully the ball was cleared and so kept out of the net.

In injury time, Madjo latched on to a ball down the middle with a half-chance of nicking the win. But he was thwarted by excellent defending by two Grays players and couldn’t to get in a shot.

Grays Athletic (4-4-2): Ashley Bayes; Andrew Sambrook, Jamie Stuart, Jay Smith, Adam Green; Michael Kightly, John Martin, Ashley Nicholls, Glenn Poole; Lee Boylan (Dennis Oli, 71), Aaron McLean. Unused subs: Tom Williamson, Nathan Moulds, Jamie Slabber, Danny Knowles.

Stafford Rangers: Williams; Sutton, Daniel, Murray, Talbott; R. Gibson, Murphy (Lovatt, 86), Street; Grayson, Madjo. Unused subs: Edwards, Quailey, Olaoye, Alcock.

Referee: S. Cook (Sheffield).

1-0 Kightly (6)
1-1 Grayson (8 pen)

Saturday 5th August 2006

Abbey Vale 0 Stranraer Athletic 6
South of Scotland League
Attendance: 30 (headcount)

Wednesday 2nd August 2006

Mid Annandale 1 Crichton 1
South of Scotland League
At: King Edward Park, Lockerbie
Kick-off: -
Admission: -; Programme: -
Attendance: 50 (headcount)
Duration: first half: -; second half: -

Saturday 29th July 2006

Stafford Rangers 0 Walsall 0
Pre-Season Friendly
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 782
Weather: cloudy, dry, windy
Duration: first half: 47:06; second half: 48:13

Stafford Rangers can take plenty of encouragement from this pre-season game as they held a full-strength Walsall side to a goalless draw.

The match was watched by former Arsenal and Stoke star Lee Chapman, his wife Leslie Ash and mother Gill who officially switched on Stafford’s new floodlights during an evening reception after the game at Marston Road. Along with a host of former players from the 1970s, all will have enjoyed the action with the only thing lacking being a goal.

Walsall took the game to Rangers early on and Hector Sam was denied a clear shot on goal by a brave saving tackle from Craig McAughtrie.

The visitors also won three corners during the opening five minutes and Sam also had the ball in the back of the net. However, the effort from the Trinidad and Tobago International striker was ruled out for offside.

Stafford took a while to settle and Lee Downes saw a curling shit drift wide of the right-hand post.

With Walsall enjoying more possession than Rangers, they should have taken the lead in the 22nd minute. Martin Butler did well to set up a chance for Sam who miskicked in front of goal.

Mark Wright sent a rising 25-yard drive flashing past the goal and he also had a header cleared off the line by McAughtrie.

Stafford weathered the pressure and certainly posed more of the threat during the closing 15 minutes of the first half.

Quickly winning two corners in quick succession, Stafford kept up the pressure on the Walsall defence and skipper Wayne Daniel headed straight at Ince.

Kevin Street, who put in an impressive performance, combined with Neil Grayson inside the visitors area. The ball fell to Robin Gibson who saw a lob beat Saddlers’ goalkeeper Clayton Ince and shave the top of the bar.

But just before the break Anthony Gerrard fired inches over the Stafford bar from well outside the area.

In the second half, Stafford continued to pose problems for the League Two visitors and the impressive Kevin Street saw a shot deflected wide.

Butler had a couple of efforts on goal either side of the hour mark but Walsall found it hard to penetrate the determined Stafford defence.

Rangers survived a scare on 67 minutes, however. A slip by Daniel allowed Sam to break forward and square the ball to Butler who saw a shot blocked by McAughtrie.

With substitutions made a regular intervals, chances became scare though Stafford goalkeeper Dean Williams did well to claim a loping shot from Butler from underneath his bar.

As full time approached, Street fired straight at Ince from 20 yards out.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Dean Williams, 2. Richie Sutton, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 4. Craig McAughtrie, 3. Nathan Talbott; 11. Robin Gibson, 7. Lee Downes, 6. Simon Osborn, 8. Kevin Street; 10. Guy Madjo, 9. Neil Grayson. Subs: 12. Brian Quailey (for Madjo, 65), 14. Danny Edwards (for Gibson, 77), 15. Dave Walker (not used), 16. Dolapo Olaoye (for Grayson, 84), 17. Ged Murphy (for Osborn, ht), 17gk. Danny Alcock (not used), 2. Alex Gibson (not used), 3. Pat Bannister (not used), 4. David Oldfield (not used), 5. Liam Murray (for Talbott, 65).

Walsall (red/white/white: 1. Clayton Ince, 2. Craig Pead, 4. Anthony Gerrard, 6. Ian Roper, 15. Kris Taylor; 14. Mark Wright, 16. Mark Kinsella, 12. Dean Keates (capt), 3. Daniel Fox; 9. Martin Butler, 10. Hector Sam. Subs: 17gk.James McKewan (not used), 19. James Constable (for Sam, 80), 20. Ishmal Demontagwal (for Taylor, 67), 5. Chris Westwood (for Keates, 77), 24. Scott Dann (not used), 25. David McDermott (for Wright, 89).

Referee: Ian Scarr.
Assistants: Nigel Day and Lance Blackwood.
Fourth Official: Phil Reade.

Tuesday 25th July 2006

Leek Town 1 Stafford Rangers 1
Pre-season Friendly
At: Harrison Park
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 162
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 44:54; second-half: 44:55

A headed goal from former skipper Lee Barrow, scored early in the second half, looked like to condemn Stafford Rangers to a rare pre-season defeat until Nathan Talbott scored a late equaliser.

Talbott, who played in a more attacking role at Harrison Park, tapped in at close range in the 84th minute after Leek keeper Mark Kearns could only parry a shot from Pat Bannister.

Boro Manager Phil Robinson started with Alex Gibson, Ged Murphy and Delapo Olaoye in what was a familiar line-up. Missing were Robin Gibson, Craig Lovatt, Danny Edwards and Nathan Smith.

It was Stafford who dominated the opening half and Kearns pulled off several fine saves to keep Leek on level terms.

Early on, the keeper tipped over a shot from Neil Grayson and from the resulting corner Talbott saw a shot cleared off the line by Rob Hawthorne.

Olaoye headed over from eight-yards out before Kearns denied both Wayne Daniel and Grayson with acrobatic saves.

Grayson headed over and a chip from Murphy didn’t miss by much as Boro continued to threaten the home goal with Craig McAughtrie also driving over from well outside the area.

Dean Williams was rarely troubled but, just before the interval, he held a curling free-kick from Barrow.

Rangers continued to cause problems and Hawthorne made another goal line clearance, this time to keep out a McAughtrie header.

But Leek stunned Boro by taking the lead in the 53rd minute. Barrow, who recently arrived from Hednesford Town, headed home a near-post corner delivered by Dave MacPherson.

Stafford were denied two clear-cut penalties, one for a foul on Dave Walker and another for handball, and it didn’t look as if it was going to be Stafford’s night.

However, with time running out, Talbott got into the area unchallenged to score the equaliser.

Leek Town (blue / blue / sky blue): 1. Mark Kearns, 2. Rob Hawthorne, 3. Adam Yates, 4. Ashley Wooliscroft (capt), 5. Paul Booth, 6. Lee Barrow, 7. Mark Devlin, 8. Dave MacPherson, 9. Alan Nagington, 10. Dan Booth, 11. Jordan Johnson. Subs: 12. Sam Wood (for Nagington, 78), 14. Dave Tickle (not used), 15. Tom Barnett (for Dan Booth, 70), 16. Kevin Jackson (for Wooliscroft, 85).

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Dean Williams (Alcock, ht), 2. Alex Gibson (Walker, ht), 3. Nathan Talbott, 4. Craig McAughtrie, 5. Wayne Daniel, 6. Ged Murphy (Osborn, ht), 7. Lee Downes (Dacres, 81), 8. Kevin Street, 9. Neil Grayson (Bannister, 81), 10. Dolapo Olaoye (F. Francis, ht (A. Francis, 88)), 11. Liam Murray (Milliard, 88). Subs: 17gk. Danny Alcock (for Williams, ht), 12. Dave Walker (for Gibson, ht), 14. Francino Francis (for Olaoye, ht), 16. Simon Osborn (for Murphy, ht), 2. Christian Dacres (for Downes, 81), 15. Pat Bannister (for Grayson, 81), 3. Chris Milliard (for Murray, 88), 4. Andre Francis (for Francino Francis, 88), 17. Ed Booth (not used), x. Jemiah Richards (not used).

Referee: Nigel Day (Kidsgrove).
Assistants: Simon Bennett (Kidsgrove) and Oliver Yates (Newcastle).

Saturday 15th July 2006

Newcastle Town 0 Stafford Rangers 2
Pre-season Friendly
At: Lyme Valley Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 143
Weather: very hot and sunny
Duration: first-half: 45:00; second-half: 45:40

We spend the morning in Rugeley running the Sport Relief Mile before I set off up the A34 for Stafford Rangers' second pre-season friendly.

The Newcastle players gave Stafford a guard of honour to acknowledge the visitors' promotion into the Nationwide Conference.

Stafford's starting line-up again had a familiar look with just three changes from Rocester. Jemiah Richards, Simon Osborn and Dave Walker came into the side with former Port Vale defender Stephen Rowland continuing at right full-back.

In very hot and sunny conditions, Stafford got the game underway attacking the north/entrance end in the first half.

Stafford almost took the lead on 18 minutes. Simon Osborn’s corner was met by the Neil Grayson who saw a header rebound off the bar.

Eventually, Stafford turned their superiority into a goal in the 26th minute. Robin Gibson went down inside the area and Grayson gave Town’s Richard Froggatt no chance from the penalty spot.

Certainly in the thick of the action, the 41-year-old striker was denied again by the woodwork after combining with Nathan Talbott.

Rangers extended their lead in the 31st minute. Found in space on the left side of the area, Street sent a spectacular angled drive across the face of goal and into the opposite side of the net.

Talbott should have made it three just before the interval. Put clear by Osborn, he blasted high over the bar with just Froggatt to beat.

Newcastle’s first-half chances were limited with unmarked John Powell heading the best straight at Dean Williams.

The weather and substitutions had an impact on the second half which began with Froggatt comfortably saving from both Grayson and Talbott.

Boro’s Danny Alcock was the busier keeper after the restart. The former Accrington stopper pulled off a couple of good saves to deny Rosalind Martins and ex-Boro midfielder David Berks, who both caused problems all afternoon.

Newcastle Town (yellow / navy blue / navy blue): 1. Richard Froggatt, 2. Dean Gillick (capt), 3. Lee Duckworth, 4. Kevin Jones, 5. John Powell, 6. David Berks, 7. Paul Tortoishell, 8. Danny Hughes, 9. Nick Wellecombe, 10. Rosalind Martins, 11. Andy Bostock. Subs: 12. John Diskin (for Powell, ht), 14. Lee Talbot (for Bostock, ht), 15. Adam Vickers (for Gillick, ht), 16. Tom Fogg (for Duckworth, ht), 17. Anthony Buckle (used?), 20gk. Scott Bentley (for Froggatt, 57), 2. Trialist (for Tortoishell, 74), 3. Trialist (for Fogg, 77).

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Dean Williams, 2. Steve Rowland, 3. Nathan Talbott, 4. Jemiah Richards, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 6. Simon Osborn, 7. Lee Downes, 8. Kevin Street, 9. Neil Grayson, 10. Dave Walker, 11. Robin Gibson. Subs: 17gk. Danny Alcock (for Williams, ht), 17. Levi Reid (for Osborn, ht), 16. Pat Bannister (for Walker, ht), 15. Dolapo Olaoye (for Grayson, 58), 4. Ed Booth (for Richards, 69), 14. David Oldfield (for Street, 71), 4. Jemiah Richards (returned for Daniel, 78), 12. Danny Whittaker (for Gibson, 78), Alex Gibson (not used), Robinson (not used).

Referee: Lee Tavinder (Cheddleton).
Assistants: A Yates and S Bennett.

0-1 Neil Grayson (26 pen)
0-2 Kevin Street (31)

Rocester 1 Stafford Rangers 1

Tuesday 11th July 2006
Rocester 1 Stafford Rangers 1
Pre-season Friendly
At: Hillsfield
Kick-off: 7-30 pm
Attendance: 174
Weather: warm and sunny
Duration: first-half: 44:54; second-half: 44:15

With the close season over, there was no better way to start the 2006/07 season than a trip to the familiar destination of Rocester. Some 66 days ago, I was there at the Pirelli Stadium celebrating Stafford's win over Droylsden to win that covered place back in non-league's top flight.

It always seems to be warm and sunny whenever I visit Rocester and this evening was no exception. Stafford Rangers created a hat-full of chances but in the end needed a late equaliser from Dave Walker to gain at draw against a side that ply their trade in the Midland Alliance.

To reach the ground from the A50 roundabout adjoining McDonalds at Uttoxeter, take the B5030 to Rocester (also signposted for Ashbourne and Alton Towers). After approximately four miles turn right (opposite the JCB factory) over the narrow bridge into Rocester village. At the mini-island turn right into Mill Street and the ground was 500 metres on the left, just past the former cotton mill.<

here was a large car park, on grass, at the rear of the ground. Entering the ground from this side, all the facilities were to the left with a press/PA box, tea bar, social club, changing rooms and seated stand. Opposite on the Mill Street side, was a small area of cover containing benches.

Phil Robinson named a strong and familiar starting line-up lacking Danny Edwards and Nathan Smith, both sidelined by injury. In fact, the only trialist in the starting line-up was ex-Port Vale defender Steve Rowland though plenty of trailists were waiting for their chance in the second half.

Rocester (wearing amber shirts, black shorts and socks) got the game underway in bright sunshine attacking the mill end ofthe ground in the first half.

The lively Robin Gibson was inches away from giving Stafford the lead inside the first minute. He got on the end Neil Grayson’s knockdown and sent a shot flashing past the top-left corner.

Never at their best, but then again this was the first outing of the season, Rangers (wearing last season's black and white striped shirts, black shorts and socks) dominated the Romans in the first half and created a number of good chances. Amongst them, Kevin Street was unlucky to see a low shot rebound off a post while Grayson was thwarted by a brave block by keeper Brad Clark.

As expected at the interval, both teams made wholesale changes. Rocester brought on five substitutes for the second half while Stafford boss Phil Robinson replaced all his players bar Liam Murray.

Rocester replaced Mike Ruddock with Richard Owen in the 57th minute and then upset the form book by taking the lead a minute later. Jemiah Richards brought down Kyle Esplin inside the area and Rowley beat former Accrington keeper Danny Alcock from the spot.

Player-manager Robinson replaced Liam Murray in ther 62nd minute and saw his side dominate without success in front of goal. Ed Booth twice headed over from crosses by ex-Wolves man Simon Osborne while Dave Walker saw a close-range shot pushed on to the bar by Clark.

With time running out, good work on the left by Jamie Phoenix ended with Walker firing low past Clark from inside the area.

Boro finished on the attack with both Phoenix and Delapo Olaoye going close to netting the winner.

Full credit to Rocester for gaining a draw in this curtain raiser.

First half
Rocester (amber/black/black): 1. Brad Clark, 2. Pete Johnson, 3. Carl Allen (capt), 4. Mark Grimley, 5. Mick Ede, 6. Dave Brown, 7. Kevin Milward, 8. Chris Rowley, 9. Mark Ruddock, 10. Nick Ward, 11. Steve Caswell.
Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Dean Williams, 2. Steve Rowland, 3. Nathan Talbott, 4. Craig McAughtrie, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 6. Craig Lovatt, 7. Lee Downes, 8. Kevin Street, 9. Neil Grayson, 10. Liam Murray, 11. Robin Gibson.

Second half
Rocester: 1. Brad Clark, 14. Matt Johnson, 17. Darren Braithwaite, 6. Dave Brown, 3. Carl Allen, 12. Martin Gadsby, 15. Liam Sowter, 8. Chris Rowley, 7. Kevin Millward, 9. Mark Ruddock, 16. Kyle Esplin. Subs: 18. Richard Owen (for Ruddock, 57).
Stafford Rangers: 17. Danny Alcock, 2. Danny Whittaker, 5. Jemiah Richards, 4. Ed Booth, 10. Liam Murray, 15. Ged Murphy, 14. Simon Osborn, 16. Stacy Caldicott, 17. Jamie Phoenix, 9. Dolapo Olaoye, 12. Dave Walker. Sub: 3. Phil Robinson (for Murray, 62).

Referee: Steve Nixon (Stoke).

1-0 Chris Rowley (59 pen)
1-1 Dave Walker (83)

Sunday 28th May 2006

Sunday 28th May 2006
Hvidovre 3 Roskilde 0
Danish Division 2 East
At: Hvidovre Stadium
Kick-off: -
Attendance: 933


Saturday 6th May 2006

Stafford Rangers 1 Droylsden 1
(after extra time, Stafford won 5-4 on penalties)
Nationwide North Play-off Final
At: Pirelli Stadium, Burton Albion FC
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 2704

Tuesday 2nd May 2006

Tuesday 2nd May 2006
Stafford Rangers 1 Harrogate Town 0
Nationwide North Play-offs Semi Final
At: Marston Road
Kick-off 7-45 pm
Attendance: 1665

A single goal from Robin Gibson scored on 63 minutes took Stafford Rangers one step closer to regaining their Nationwide Conference status lost back in 1995.

Kevin Street’s left-wing corner was punched out to the winger lurking on the edge of the area. Gibson headed the ball past his marker and buried a shot into the bottom-right corner of Martyn Wood’s net from 18 yards out.

Rangers manager Phil Robinson was delighted with his side’s victory. He said: “I’m really pleased and pleased for the players as well.

“It is only half the job done and we know we’ve got a massive task ahead of us against Droylsden on Saturday.

“I thought the players worked really hard together as a team and we have asked them for one last effort like that on Saturday. I feel that if we work like that as a team again we will put ourselves in with a good chance of getting a victory.

Both sides looked to get forward in the first half with Harrogate, attacking with a strong breeze, creating the better chances.

Lee Philpott fired narrowly wide and Marc Smith saw a header held by Stafford goalkeeper Dean Williams. Just before the interval Craig McAughtrie cut out a 25-yard shot from Philpott at the expense of a corner.

Disaster almost struck for the visitors within a minute of the restart. Richard Dunning’s headed backpass wrongfooted his keeper Martyn Wood who recovered to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Stafford built up the pressure on the Harrogate defence and Wood blocked a close-range shot from Neil Grayson. And from the resulting corner, Gibson’s moment of brilliance put Stafford into the play-off final.

Harrogate made a bold bid for an equaliser and on 87 minutes furiously appealed for a penalty after a shot struck a defender. The referee waived play on and Stafford held on for a memorable victory.

Stafford Rangers: Williams, Sutton, Talbott, McAughtrie, Daniel, Lovatt, Downes, Street, Grayson, Edwards, R. Gibson. Subs: Reid, N. Smith, Thomson (for Edwards, 56), Groves, McMahon.

Harrogate Town: M. Wood, Dunning, Ryan, L. Wood, Timons, Ellerker, Grant, Hunter, M. Smith, Holland, Philpott. Subs: Jones (for Dunning, 74), Stoneman, Heard, Lally, Mason.

Referee: G. M. Brittain (Doncaster).

Non-League Paper Star Man: Craig Lovatt (Stafford).
Entertainment: 3 out of 5.

Pilkington XXX 3 Coventry Sphinx 4

Monday 1st May 2006
Pilkington XXX 3 Coventry Sphinx 4
Midland Combination Premier Division
At: Triplex Sports Ground
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: none; Programme: £1
Weather: mild, dry
Attendance: 35 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 45:57; second-half: 48:18

Pilkington XXX (sky blue / sky blue / sky blue): 1. Marc Rogers, 2. Jamie Leach, 3. Rob Blakeney, 4. Darren Field, 5. Martell Beckford (capt), 6. Matt Witherwick, 7. Aaron Grey, 8. John Williams, 9. Josh Mackenzie, 10. Earl Jordan, 11. Carlos Knight. Subs: 12. Junior Hewitt (for Grey, 71), 14. Ryan Moore (for Field, 69), 15. Andrew McGarry (for Blakeney, 65), 16. Peter Dunbavin (not used).

Coventry Sphinx (yellow/blue/yellow): 1. Ashley Hooker, 2. Shaun Thomas, 3. Adam Knibbs, 4. Paul John, 5. Terry Ward (capt), 6. Carl Winterbottom, 7. Jamie Towers, 8. Craig Civzelis, 9. Adam Kinder, 10. Rob Stevenson, 11. Peta Jon Gordon. Subs: 12. Chris Harris (for Stevenson, 69), 14. Casey Gaggini (for Gordon, 59), 15. Jaoa Jardim (not used), 16. Danny McSheffrey (for John, 76), 17. Ian Brooks (not used).

Referee: -
Assistants: -

1-0 Josh Mackenzie (1)
1-1 Jamie Towers (8)
2-1 Earl Jordan (15)
2-2 Adam Kinder (34)
2-3 Jamie Towers (40)
2-4 Adam Kinder (56)
3-4 Josh Mackenzie (84)

Pilkington: John Mackenzie (YC, 22), John Williams (YC, 48)
Coventry Sphinx: Terry Ward (YC, 22)

Saturday 29th April 2006

Saturday 29th April 2006
Stafford Rangers 0 Harrogate Town 1
Nationwide North
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 806

On the final day of the regular league season, Harrogate Town finished the day as they began it, in fifth position, and will return to Marston Road on Tuesday evening (7.45 pm) to contest a play-off semi-final against Stafford Rangers, the Nationwide North runners-up.

Leading scorer Danny Holland scored the only goal, on 38 minutes, of a game with few clear-cut scoring opportunities.

Stafford’s Lee Downes had the first attempt on goal, firing well wide from fully 30 yards out.

The visitors quickly responded and a dangerous free kick cannoned off Paul Groves for a corner.

Both sides looked to get forward and Danny Ryan drove over the Stafford bar from outside the area.

Rangers almost took the lead on 21 minutes. Craig McAughtrie took a free kick from 20 yards out which deflected off the wall. The ball fell to Danny Edwards who saw a goalbound shot blocked by defender Chris Ellerker.

Nathan Smith and Edwards both went close before Harrogate scored the winner on 38 minutes. Gareth Grant pulled the ball back for the unchallenged Holland to slot home at close range.

Martyn Wood produced a superb save just before the interval to keep his side in front. Clearly unsighted, he did well to turn round a free kick from Edwards.

In the second half, Stafford found it difficult to penetrate the visitors’ well-organised defence and Martyn Wood was rarely troubled.

At the other end, Holland fired straight at Dean Williams from another chance created by Grant. The Stafford goalkeeper remained alert and pulled off a diving save to keep out a well-stuck effort from Lee Philpott.

As the game petered out during the final half-hour, Grant shot across the face of the Stafford goal and Holland sent another shot high over the bar.

During the interval, 41-year-old striker Neil Grayson was named Stafford Supporters’ ‘Player of the Season’.

Stafford Rangers: Williams, Sutton, Murray (Talbott, ht), McAughtrie (Daniel, ht), Groves, Reid, Downes, McMahon (Walker, 70), Pope, N. Smith, Edwards. Unused subs: Lovatt, A. Gibson.

Harrogate Town: M. Wood, Dunning, Ryan, L. Wood, Tomins, Ellerker, Grant (Lally, 90), Hunter, M. Smith, Holland (Jones, 83), Philpott. Unused subs: Heard, Stoneman, Mason.

Referee: R. J. Steans (Loughborough).

Goal: Danny Holland (38)

Non-League Paper Star Man: Holland (Harrogate)

Saturday 22nd April 2006

Northwich Victoria 3 Stafford Rangers 1
Nationwide North
At: Victoria Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 3154

Wednesday 19th April 2006

Stafford Rangers Reserves 0 Worcester City Reserves 0
Central Conference
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 44

Worcester City visited Marston Road for the final home Central Conference league game of the season. Through the match finished goalless, the Reserves created a number of good chances and found City’s Neil Hacking in fine form between the posts. The visiting keeper did well on 36 minutes to push away a deflected shot from Alex Gibbons that looped towards the top corner. Rangers keeper Steve Jackson also did well to hold a long-range effort from Butler at the second attempt. Stafford pressed in the second half with Hacking blocking a good effort from Ross Clarke.

Stafford Rangers: Steve Jackson, Dan Holgate, Mark Bailey, Ed Booth, Jemiah Richards (capt), Steve Hopkinson, Mike Weston, Alex Gibbons, Richard Miller, Ross Clarke, André Francis. Subs: Josh Robinson (for Hopkinson, 55), Courtney Shaw (for Miller, 62), Alex Taylor (for Weston, ht).

Monday 17th April 2006

Stafford Rangers 3 Lancaster City 0
Nationwide North
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 943
Weather: -

Danny Edwards, Craig Lovatt and Grayson all went close before the latter opened the scoring on 25 minutes. Nathan Talbott, found in space on the left by Edwards, crossed low into the area and Grayson gave Anthony McMillan no chance of keeping out a well-struck shot.

Rangers continued to cause all sorts of problems for the visitors defence and doubled their lead on 43 minutes. Kevin Street played the ball into the six-yard box and Gibson forced it home.

Lancaster rallied at the start of the second half and Dean Williams pulled off a great diving save to keep out a header from Kevin Brown.

Lee Downes and Grayson both missed good chances to further extend the lead while City’s Mike Eckersley fired across the face of the Rangers goal.

It was Grayson who scored the third on 73 minutes, converting a pass from Street.

The outcome was never in doubt after that goal went in and Robinson was able to bring off Grayson, Street and Talbott before the end; each player received rapturous applause from the 943-strong crowd.

Stafford Rangers: Williams, Sutton, Talbott, McAughtrie, Daniel, Lovatt, Downes, Street, Grayson, Edwards, R. Gibson. Subs: Murray (for Talbott, 86), P. McMahon, N. Smith, Pope (for Grayson, 79), Reid (for Street, 82).

Lancaster City: Anthony McMillan, Mike Eckersley, Andy Scott, Kevin Brown, Joe McMahon, Ryan Elderton, Stephen Skinner, Steve Smith, Alex Taylor, Matt Bailey, Griff Jones. Sub: Tony Sullivan (for Skinner, 78), Joe Feeney (for Taylor, 78), Lee Foxcroft (for Elderton, 81), Gary Finley.

Sponsors’ Man of the Match: Neil Grayson.

Referee: M. Heywood (Northwich).
Attendance: 943.

Saturday 15th April 2006

Moor Green 0 Stafford Rangers 1
Nationwide North
At: Danson Park
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 393
Weather: -

For the third match in a row, Stafford left it late to find the back of the net and this time it was substitute Paul McMahon who scored after 84 minutes. Neil Grayson broke down the left, stayed onside and found Peter Thomson who had an initial shot blocked on the line. The recent signing from Hednesford reacted to tap in his first Rangers goal. Moor Green included three ex-Stafford players – Ben Petty, Darren Middleton and Andy Penny.

Moor Green: Ashley Timms, Richard Scott, Philip Midworth, Lee Collins (capt), Guy Sanders, Ben Petty, David Morrison, Dale Anderson, Peter Faulds, Gary McPhee, Phil Trainer. Subs: Darren Middleton (for Morrison, 72), Chris Nurse (for Petty, 72), David Bridgwater, Junior English, Andy Penny (for Scott, 88).

Stafford Rangers: Williams, Groves, Talbott, McAughtrie, Daniel, Reid, Downes, Street, Grayson, Smith, R. Gibson. Subs: Lovatt, Murray (for Groves, 74), McMahon (for Reid, 74), Thomson (for Smith, ht), Sutton.

Referee: P. Caswell (Leicester).
Attendance: 393.

Tuesday 11th April 2006

Workington 0 Stafford Rangers 1
Nationwide North
At: Borough Park
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 495
Weather: -

Stafford Rangers returned from the long midweek trip to Workington with all three points. But the fans who made it to Borough Park had to wait until 83 minutes for the winner. Paul McMahon low crossed into the area and Neil Grayson fired past Adam Collin from eight yards out.

Workington (red/red/red): Adam Collin, David Hewson, Marc Green, Kyle May, Alan Gray, Matt Henney, Gary Prosser, Steve Birks, Craig Johnston, Graham Goulding, Tom Cowan. Subs: Darren Edmondson, Dan Dillon (for Cowan, 75), Gareth Arnison, Wayne Gordon (for Goulding, 65), Craig Summersgill.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Dean Williams, 2. Paul Groves, 3. Nathan Talbott, 4. Craig McAughtrie, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 6. Craig Lovatt, 7. Lee Downes, 8. Kevin Street, 9. Neil Grayson, 10. Nathan Smith, 11. Tom Pope. Subs: Murray, Reid (for Lovatt, 70), McMahon (for Pope, 54), Edwards, Thomson (for Smith, 75).

Referee: D Handley (Wigan).