Stafford Rangers 1 Altrincham 1

Monday 27th August 2007
Stafford Rangers 1 Altrincham 1
Blue Square Premier
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 986 (186 away fans)
Weather: sunny spells

Stafford Rangers earned their first point of the season with a draw against old rivals Altrincham. Both goals came in the opening quarter with Marco Adaggio's penalty cancelling out an earlier goal scored by Robbie Lawton.

Phil Robinson made two changes to the Stafford line-up with Marco Adaggio and Matt Hazley coming into the side in place of Neil Grayson and Sebastian Arnolin.

Atrincham midfielder Val Owen had the game's first attempt on goal when he lifted a shot over the bar from 20 yards.

The visitors took the lead in the 15th minute when Robbie Lawton tapped in after Danny Alcock kept out an initial shot from Chris Senior.

Stafford drew level five minutes later. Adaggio, brought down inside the area by Stephen Rose, got home to hammer the resulting penalty past Richard Acton.

The lively Adaggio almost scored again six minutes later. Greg Stones delivered a free-kick into the area and Adaggio, making his full debut, got in an overhead kick which didnt miss the right-hand post by much.

Chances were scare in the latter stages of the first half though Hazley did have one effort blocked outside the area.

Altrincham replaced Val Owen with Colin Potts at the interval.

Soon after the restart, Kevin Street crossed from out on the right. David McNiven knocked the ball down to Fred Murray who volleyed wide from 20 yards.

Stafford continued to create the better chances. Both McNiven and Adaggio had shots blocked on the edge of the area while the latter also drove over after good work by Street.

On the hour, Alcock pulled of the first of two fine saves. Potts' cross-cum-shot from out of the right bounced inside the area and the Rangers keeper pulled of a one-handed diving save to push the ball away.

Ramon Manak replaced Hazley before, in the 67th minute, Alcock pulled of a superb flying save to keep out Jake Sedgemore's curling free-kick.

Both sides could have scored what would have been the winning goal inside the last few minutes. For Stafford, Stones sent a dipping volley straight at Richard Acton while Potts drove over for the visitors

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Danny Alcock; 2. Richard Sutton, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 4. Craig McAughtrie, 25. Fred Murray; 8. Kevin Street, 23. Greg Stones, 7, Chris Flynn; 22. Matt Hazley; 10. David McNiven, 20. Marco Adaggio. Subs: 18. Ramon Manak (for Hazley, 66), 9. Neil Grayson (for Street, 78), 21. Jemiah Richards (not used), 24. Steve Hopkinson (not used), 27gk. Robert Duggan (not used))

Altrincham (navy blue with sky blue sleeves/sky blue/sky blue): 13. Richard Acton; 15. Chris Lane, 5. Darren Tinson, 14. Stephen Rose, 2. Stephen Aspinall; 7. Robbie Lawton, 6. Jake Sedgemore, 8. Val Owen, 11. Warren Peyton; 19. Chris Senior, 21. Gareth Whalley. Subs: 17. Colin Potts (for Owen, ht), 18. Pat McFadden (for Senior, 78) 4. Karl Munroe (not used), 12. Joe O'Neill (not used), 1gk. Stuart Coburn (not used).

Referee: D. Coote (Newark).

This match report was originally written for and published on the now defunct Stafford Rangers official website (

Tytherington Rocks 1 Winterbourne United 1

Sunday 26th August 2007 Tytherington Rocks 1 Winterbourne United 1
Sport Italia Hellenic League Division 1 West

Saturday 25th August 2007

Oxford United 2 Stafford Rangers 1
Blue Square Premier
At: Kassam Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 4617
Weather: sunny

Goals immediately before and half-time by Oxford midfielder Phil Trainer (45, 46 mins) helped Oxford United take maximum points in the sunshine at the Kassam Stadium. Craig McAughtrie (78 mins) reduced the deficit but Rangers couldn't find an equaliser.

Oxford v Stafford With Djoumin Sangare out with a groin injury, Fred Murray made his debut and Kevin Street returned to the midfield after missing the last two games. Ramon Manak came on in the second half for his debut. Oxford made one change with Michael Standing coming in for Luke Foster, who was fit enough only for a place on the bench..

Stafford certainly stuck to their task during the first half of keeping both Oxford and the crowd quiet until Trainer struck moments before the interval.

David McNiven has the first attempt on goal when he fired wide from outisde the area. Standing did a similar thing for Oxford.

Danny Alcock pulled off a couple of good saves around the midpoint of the first half, both from Alex Jeannin, as well-organised Rangers frustrated the U’s.

Just before the laf hour, Greg Stones got in a near-post shot from the right which hitthe side-netting.

With Rangers looking forward to enjoying half-time still on level terms, Trainer fired past Alcock from the left.

Stafford's task became harder just 19 seconds after the restart when Trainer struck again, this time with a fiercely struck shot just outside the area straight into the top-left corner from .

Alcock pulled off three fine saves, all to deny Yemi Odubade, and Trainer drove wide across goal as Oxford threatened to put the outcome completely beyond doubt. Eddie Anaclet, Trainer (again) and substitute Marvin Robinson all went close as well.

Stafford made full use of their three substitutions and they gave the small band of travelling fans some hope of salvaging what seemed to be an unlikely point.

Oxford v Stafford Matt Hazley, who was lively down the left, drove against the bar from outside the area before Stafford were rewarded with a goal scored in the 78th minute. Awarded for handball, McAughtrie drove a 28-yard free-kick through the wall and past the statuesque Billy Turley, once on the books at Marston Road.

In the closing stages, Stafford applied some pressure but were unable to find an equaliser which would have opened their points tally for the season.

Oxford United (yellow/navy blue/navy blue) 1. Billy Turley, 3. Michael Corcoran, 4. Barry Quinn (capt), 21. Matt Day; 2. Eddie Anaclet, 8. Eddie Hutchinson,24. Michael Standing, 18. Phil Trainer, 20. Alex Jeannin; 10. Yemi Odubade, 23. Gary Twigg. Subs: 11. Daniel Rose (for Standing, ht), 26. Marvin Robinson (for Twigg, 71), 9. Rob Duffy (for Odubade, 84), 16. Luke Foster, 30. Chris Tardiff

Stafford Rangers (red/red/red): 1. Danny Alcock; 2. Richard Sutton, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 4. Craig McAughtrie, 25. Fred Murray; 8. Kevin Street, 23. Greg Stones, 7, Chris Flynn, 19. Sebastian Arnolin; 10. David McNiven, 9. Neil Grayson. Subs: 20. Marco Adaggio (for Grayson, 58), 22. Matt Hazley (for Street, 58), 18. Ramon Manak (for Arnolin, 70), 21. Jemiah Richards, 27. Robert Duggan (gk)

Referee: Steve Creighton (Berkshire)
Attendance: 4617 (inc 89 away fans)

The match report was originally written for and published on the now defunct

Wednesday 22nd August 2007

Oldland Abbotonians 0 Hengrove Athletic 1
Toolstation Western League Division 1
At: Aitchison Playing Field
Kick-off: 6-30 pm
Attendance: 51
Weather: warm and sunny, blustery wind

Conditions were just about perfect for a late summer evening of football when I visited Toolstation League newboys Oldland Abbotonians during the week before the Bank Holiday. They are based on the eastern side of Bristol and this home game was Oldland’s fourth since promotion to the Toolstation League Division One and local rivals Hengrove Athletic were the visitors.

I got the impression that Oldland were enjoying life in the higher league and their neat and tidy ground certainly impressed. The club Manager Lee Gibbs wrote in the programme: “Saturday was a fantastic day at Larkhall Athletic, one of the best places you visit in this league ... getting three points always makes it feel better.” However, visitors Hengrove won by the only goal scored in the first half before an official attendance of 51.

Oldland Abbotinians FC is the result of a merger in 1998 between St Annes (Oldland) FC and Abbotinians FC. St Annes were founded in 1910 and competed in both the Bristol Premier League and Gloucestershire County League, while Abbotonians FC was started in 1947 by pupils at Hanham Abbots School.

The merged club competed in the Somerset Senior League. They lost just three league games in 2004/05 to become Senior League Division One Champions to gain promotion to the Premier Division. Oldland Abbotonians finished second in the first season (2005/06) back in the Premier Division and last season went one better to gain promotion to the Toolstation League as Champions.

I found the Aitcheston Playing Field a really neat and tidy venue. Clearly a lot of effort had been put in to get the ground ready for promotion. The pitch (orientated west-east) is located on the nearside of the triangular plot of land. Along the touchline nearest the entrance is an area of covered standing around the halfway line which is flanked by the dugouts. To the left of the entrance are the changing rooms and club bar. So far there are no floodlights. There is also a second pitch at right angles to the main railed off pitch

To reach the ground from the M32, exit at junction 1 and follow the A4174 in a clockwise direction (past Mangotsfield) for about five miles. Eventually turn left onto the A420 and turn right by the Griffin pub into Bath Road (A4175) which becomes High Street. The access road to the ground entrance is on the left past the Dolphin pub and between the Chinese takeaway and post office. Continue down this road to the ground entrance.

A 20-page programme was sold for £1 which included notes from the Chairman and Manager, a player profile and news from around the league to complement fixtures, statistics, league tables and line-ups. Teams were announced over the tannoy but, unfortunately, were those listed in the programme and not on the teamsheet. That wasn't a problem for me though.

The low sun shone straight down the pitch into the eyes of Oldland who kicked-off attacking the changing rooms end of the ground.

The home side (blue and white striped shirts, blue shorts and blue socks) created the first decent chance on the quarter hour when Matt Huxley fired over from six yards out. Huxley went close with a couple of other chances but it was Hengrove (green shirts, black shorts and black socks) who broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute, scoring what proved to be the game’s only goal. Ben Crewe sent a long angled drive across the face of goal and into the bottom left corner.

Oldland were reduced to ten men when Aaron Marshall received a straight red card for retaliation. Hengrove were awarded a penalty when Jordan Richards handled Ricky Charlton’s cross. However, Charlton missed the target after sending the keeper the wrong way. Late pressure from Oldland in fading light failed to produce an equaliser.

Oldland Abbotonians (blue and white stripes / blue / blue): 1. Ruben Holt, 2. Dean Taylor, 3. Seb Spiller, 4. Jon Mayo (capt), 5. Mark Coles, 6. Jordan Richards, 7. James Cobley, 8. Aaron Marshall, 9. Ryan Bernard, 10. Matt Huxley, 11. Jamie Comley. Subs: 12. Tyrone Fudgell (for Comley, 56), 14. Danny Pearce (for Spiller, 77), 15. Tom Coole (for Bernard, 77).

Hengrove Athletic (green/black/black): 1. Richard Jenkins, 2. Shane Cummins, 3. Scott Lewis, 4, Steve Ratcliffe, 5. Scott Collier, 6. Tom Kingston, 7. Luke Crewe, 8. Marcus Maggs, 9. Ben Crewe, 10. Ricky Charlton (capt), 11. Matt Batchelor. Subs: Lloyd Abood (for Ratcliffe, 86), 14. Chris Cowell (for B. Crewe, 86), 15. Andrew Nash.

Referee: I Harley (Somerset).

Saturday 18th August 2007

Stafford Rangers 0 Woking 1
Blue Square Premier
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 682
Weather: rain

A breakaway goal early in the second half (54 minutes) from Marvin Morgan gave Woking victory at Marston Road

With Kevin Street and Dolapo Olaoye not fit enough to considered for selection, Phil Robinson named an unchanged side. Woking boss Frank Gray made one change with Goma Lambu coming in for the injured Matt Gray.

Chances were few and far between during a low-key first half with players finding the greasy surface difficult at times. The referee frequently stopped play to penalise petty offences and as a result the game lacked any sort of flow. There wasn't a malicious tackle in sight.

A couple of crosses from Woking, who also won a corner, were the only notable incidents during the opening cautious exchanges.

Stafford, looking to bounce back from two defeats, had the first attempt on goal in the 14th minute. Summer signing Sebastian Arnolin picked up the ball 40 yards out and launched a lob which Woking goalkeeper Nick Gindre got back to his line to hold.

Craig McAughtrie drove a 35-yard free-kick against the wall and Flynn following up fired wide of the right-hand post.

From Stafford's first corner, the ball was cleared to Chris Flynn was unlucky to see a low drive blocked inside the area. The rebound fell to McAughtrie who also sawa a well-struck shot blocked as well.

David McNiven had the best chance of the first half on the half hour. Found by Arnolin, he drove across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post with the diving Gindre beaten. The shot was agonisingly close to putting Stafford in front.

The visitors created several openings during the closing stages of the first half. Morgan slipped the ball through to Giuseppe Sole who drove wide. Sole also got on the end of a pass from Bradley Quamina and fired straight at Danny Alcock. Morgan couldn't direct a header on target from Lambu's dangerous right-wing cross and Alcock left his area to boot clear a throughball from Tom Hutchinson.

Gindre got down well to hold a low shot from Stones at the start of the second half and pulled off a fine save.

McNiven fed Stones who hammered the ball towards goal and Gindre against thwarted the midfielder this time with a flying catch. The goalkeeper immediately launched a break upfield for the visitors. Morgan got free of his markers and thumped the ball past Danny Alcock to net his side's 54th minute winner.

A combination of a defender and woodwork prevented the visitors from doubling their lead four minutes later. From Sole's corner, Hutchinson powered a header that hit both the right-hand post and Steve Hopkinson before rebounding out.

Stafford looked to make a breakthrough and had a great chance to level in the 80th minute. Craig McAughtrie up with the attack knocked the ball down to Grayson, 6 yards out in front of goal, who lifted the ball over the bar.

Woking finished with ten men after Matt Pattison was dismissed for two bookings late in the game. He was first cautioned for a foul then inexplicably booted the ball into the crowd to waste time with inevitable consequences.

But just like Farsley a week ago, Rangers had insufficient time to equalise in a late surge of pressure on the visitors' goal. McMiven fired over, Marco Adaggio saw a shot blocked and a cross from Stones caused confusion inside the Woking area.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Danny Alcock; 6. Djoumin Sangare, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 4. Craig McAughtrie, 2. Ritchie Sutton; 19. Sebastian Arnolin , 7. Chris Flynn, 23. Greg Stones, 22. Matthew Hazley; 10. David McNiven, 9. Neil Grayson. Subs: 24. Steve Hopkinson (for Hazley, 56), 20. Marco Adaggio (for Arnolin, 69), 18. Ramon Manak, 21. Jemiah Richards (for Sangare, 57), 27. Robert Duggan (gk)

Woking (sky and white stripes / white / white): 1. Nick Gindre; 2. Paul Lorraine, 5. Tom Hutchinson (capt), 6. Jay Gasson; 16. Matt Ruby, 15. Goma Lambu, 4. Bradley Quamina, 11. Matt Pattison, 3. Danny Bunce; 24. Giuseppe Sole 8. Marvin Morgan. Subs: 9. Michael Charles (for Sole, 69), 17. Jerome Maledon (for Morgan , 73), 14. Adam Green, 18. David Shin, 12. Ross Worner (gk)
Referee: Richard West
Attendance: 682 (inc 64 away fans)

This match report was originally written for and published on the now defunct

Tuesday 14th August 2007

Stafford Rangers 1 Kidderminster Harriers 3
Blue Square Premier
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 1126
Weather: dry, mild

Stafford Rangers produced a fine display of football during the first half but it was Kidderminster who took the honours in this entertaining local derby. Justin Richards (26 mins) gave the visitors the lead against the run of play and Sebabtian Arnolin equalised with a super strike in firts-half injury time. However, a low drive from Gavin Hurren (66 mins) and a late penalty from Richards (85 mins) comdemned Rangers to defeat.

Both Kevin Street (calf) and Dolapo Olaoye (ankle) were forced to miss the game with goalscorer Arnolin and Matthew Hazley, a loan signing from Stoke City, coming into the starting line-up.

Rangers, attacking the 'Shed End', made a bright start with both David McNiven and Hazley firing wide. In the 19th minute, Greg Stones had an initial shot blocked on the edge of the area. The ball rebounded to Arnolin who earned a corner with a defected drive.

Neil Grayson got clear and managed to get the ball past Scott Bevan who had left his area to attempt a clearance. But the keeper quickly raced back onto his line before Grayson could shoot and managed to get down well to save.

However, Harriers took the lead against the run of play in the 26th minute with their first effort on target. Brian Smikle got to the right bye-line and delivered the ball low into the six-yard box where Justin Richards slotted home.

Stafford continued to press forward and entertained the crowd with some sensational attacking football. Grayson fired across goal and Arnolin shot straight at Bevan as chances continued to be created.

But there was danger when Mark Creighton headed a deep corner from Jeff Kenna wide of the target.

Arnolin fed Hazley on the left who cut in and drove the ball across the face of goal. Grayson ran in at the far post put couldn't quite apply the finishing touch.

Rangers were finally rewarded in first-half injury-time, moments before the half-time whistle. A long throw from the left was poorly cleared to Arnolin, lurking just outside the area. And the Frenchman on his full debut needed no second invitation to thump the ball into the bottom-left corner past the diving Bevan. Play resumed for barely a second before the referee sent the players into the changing rooms.

Kidderminster unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty at the start of the second half and Grayson was thwarted by Jonathan Munday's saving tackle made as the striker looked to get clear. Hazley also narrowly missed with a long-range lob.

A header from Creighton and shot from Smikle went close for the visitors who were thankful for a superb save from Bevan in the 63rd minute. Chris Flynn laid the ball into the path of Arnolin on the right who drove across the face of goal. The shot looked destined for the net until the fingertips of the diving keeper turned the ball round for a corner.

After Danny Alcock saved from James Constable, Kidderminster took the lead in the 66th minute. Smikle found Gavin Hurran who turned 20 yards out and fired low into the bottom right corner.

Rangers started to chase the game and Grayson headed Hazley’s cross wide. Craig McAughtrie also drove a free-kick straight at the tall Bevan and Hazley’s volley deflected off a defender for a corner.

Alcock kept Rangers in touch with a one-handed reaction save but Harriers added a cruel third goal in the 85th minute. Sponsors' Man of the Match Djoumin Sangare was harshly adjudged to have knocked over Richards inside the area, who got up to convert the resulting penalty.

In injury time, Alcock gathered up a shot from Iyseden Christie and Boro substitute Marco Adaggio took the ball forward and drove wide.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes/black/black): 1. Danny Alcock; 6. Djoumin Sangare, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 4. Craig McAughtrie, 2. Ritchie Sutton; 19. Sebastian Arnolin , 7. Chris Flynn, 23. Greg Stones, 22. Matthew Hazley; 10. David McNiven, 9. Neil Grayson. Subs: 24. Steve Hopkinson (for Hazley, 89), 20. Marco Adaggio (for Arnolin, 90), 18. Ramon Manak, 21. Jemiah Richards, 27. Robert Duggan (gk)

Kidderminster Harriers (red/white/red): 1. Scott Bevan; 2. Jeff Kenna, 16. Jonathan Munday, 5. Mark Creighton, 18. Paul Bignot; 14. Brian Smikle, 4. Gavin Hurran, 10. Russell Penn (capt), 15. Michael McGrath; 8. James Constable, 9. Justin Richards. Subs: 17. Andrew Ferrell (for McGrath, 73), 23. Iyseden Christie (for Constable, 86), 21. Matthew Barnes-Homer (for Richards, 90), 20. Neil Howarth, 13, Dean Coleman (gk)

Referee: S. Procter-Green (Lincolnshire).
Attendance: 1126 (inc 264 away fans).

This match report was originally written for and published on the now defunct

Monday 13th August 2007

Chadderton 2 Castleton Gabriels 1
Vodkat League Division 2
At: Andrew Street
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 80

Two days after the trip to Farsley Celtic, I once again ventured up the M6. This time the destination wasa the Vodkat League Division Two game between Chadderton and Castleton Gabriels. It was certainly an exciting time to be a Chadderton supporter as two local businessmen had completed a takeover of the club. ‘Chad’ had also won on the opening day and hoped to make it two out of two against the Gabriels – which they did!

Chadderton’s Andrew Street is what I would call a ground of character. A decent stand with bench seating, banking around several parts of the ground, car parking next to the pitch, etc. I needn’t have worried about obtaining the teams – they were pinned up inside the changing room building and read over the tannoy. Hot and cold refreshments were available and most welcome on what was a sunny evening.
I found the ground without a problem. From the M62 junction 20, following A627(M) towards Manchester. The motorway becomes a dual carriageway and turn left at first major traffic lights (A699) Middleton Road. Take then second left into Burnley Street and and second left by Asda into Andrew Street. The ground entrance is on the right at the end. There is ample car parking inside the ground. The nearest railway stations are Mills Hill and Oldham Werneth.

The 32-page programme with glossy red cover was readily available for £1-20 and contained, amongst other articles, notes from both the manager and chairman. Even though the opening-day match was played barely 48 hours before, there was a match report of that win at Ashton United with up-to-date league table and appearances/scorers chart, admittedly containing just one game.

Just before kick-off, the teams entered the arena to the sound of ‘Rings of Fire’. Chadderton scored the only goal of the first half through Alex Dodd. There was delay to the start of the second half as the net at the changing room end needed to be secured to the base of the left-hand post. Castleton worked hard to get back on level terms but Chadderton doubled their lead in the 58th minute. Late on, Castleton pulled a goal back courtesy of Chadderton’s John Cregan in front of an official attendance of 80.

As a footnote, I was a bit saddened to find out in April 2008 that things hadn’t worked out as planned with the new owners. A news item of the Chadderton website, dated early April 2008, read: “The current owners of Chadderton FC has decided to sell their interests in the Club for the sum of £1.00.”

But good news appeared on the club's web site a month later including: "News from the Club, pre-season training arrangements and friendlies infomation will continue to be posted here throughout the closed season. The committee, managers and players would like to thank everyone for the continued support, particularly through the recent weeks."

I do hope they can pull through and that Chadderton FC and their Andrew Street ground aren’t lost.

Saturday 11th August 2007

Farsley Celtic 1 Stafford Rangers 0
Blue Square Premier
At: Throstle Nest
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 825
Weather: -

Saturday 4th August 2007

Queens of the South 3 St Johnstone 3
Irn Bru Scottish League First Division
At: Palmerston Park
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 2255

Wednesday 1st August 2007

Stafford Rangers 0 West Bromwich Albion 1
Pre-season friendly
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: -
Attendance: 1212