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)