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MATCH REPORT Stafford Rangers 1-0 Ashton United
Monday 16th October 2017 @ 09:56 by Mark Phillip

Evo-Stik Premier Division

Stafford Rangers 1-0 Ashton United

A scrappy encounter at the Marston Road ground was settled by a single strike for the hosts with 9 minutes remaining. With Josh Granite injured Tom Eckersley replaced him in the centre of defence with the Robins otherwise unchanged and it was the visitors who threatened first as Liam Tomsett stole the ball in midfield and played in Matty Chadwick who forced a save out of Whitehouse at his near post.

Will Beesley’s cross then led to Eckersley’s shot being deflected out before Izak Reid’s hanging cross saw Richard Gregory denied at the second attempt by goalkeeper Carnell. Midway through the half Tomsett again intercepted but shot straight at Whitehouse before the Ashton defence came under pressure as Gregory spread the ball wide to Westwood with Jack Dyche eventually heading clear. On the half hour Sherratt’s pass put Reid through on goal from where he chose to square the ball to Gregory who was denied by a fine save from Carnell before Davis’ persistence took him past Smalley with Eckersley to the rescue.

A good move from the Robins then saw Beesley ship the ball on to Nicky Platt who found Dyche in space with Whitehouse needing to make a low save and the half ended with Mark Lees heading Beesley’s cross straight at the keeper. Batchelor failed to control Davis’ cross into the area at the start of the second period before another cross by Davis saw Batchelor out jump Slinn with Carnell making the save.

Dyche was then played through on his right side but chose to pass to Alex Johnson whose pull back saw both Chadwick and Dyche denied from close range. Abadaki’s pass then saw Joe Thomas take too long to get his shot away and Batchelor’s ball into the area saw Thomas again on target with Carnell well positioned. The home’s side pressure eventually told as Thomas’s cross saw Gregory finish from close range after his initial header had been saved and Tomsett was then denied by a decent save from Whitehouse and Gregory cut inside well but sliced his shot well wide.

Team: Carnell, Smalley, Beesley (Slinn 46), Eckersley, Chalmers, Platt, Lees, Tomsett, Chadwick, Dyche, Evangelinos (Johnson 60) SNU: Ollerenshaw, Roberts, Woodford.

By David Robinson