Resilient Badgers lose out to Rangers

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Stafford Rangers 2 Eastwood Town 0

Stafford Rangers laboured past struggling Eastwood on Saturday as the Badgers proved a tough nut to crack despite their lowly position.

It was an encouraging performance from Eastwood who created chances and were reslient at the back for much of the encounter, but two second-half goals ultimately did the damage for Stafford as they claimed what was their first win in seven games.

Sean Kinsella forced an early save from Richard Stainsby and the Eastwood keeper was again on hand to keep out Fabrice Kasiama after Paolo Piliero’s clearance had rebounded off Christian Dacres .

But it was an error from Dacres that nearly gifted Eastwood the lead on 18 minutes when he conceded possession just outside the Rangers area.

Ben Garratt could only parry Sam Winch’s shot but Bradley Munn’s follow up shot hit the far post and was cleared.

Stainsby was again Eastwood’s saviour when he kept out a Jon Sheldon effort with his legs prior to Eastwood’s best spell of the game, which saw Garratt turn a rising shot from Winch away for a corner and Mitch Hanson fire over when well placed.

Just before the interval, Kasiama looked to have played Danny Quinn through but he was tripped just outside the box and the subsequent free-kick came to nothing.

Neat exchanges between Michael Carr and Sheldon early in the second-half saw the latter force another save from Stainsby while Quinn volleyed wide from a Carr centre.

The deadlock was finally broken on 57 minutes as Rangers benefited from a questionable free-kick awarded on the half way line.

Chris Flynn struck the ball deep into the Eastwood area where defender James Bolton, playing the last game of a loan spell, fired home via the underside of the bar.

But Rangers were unable to press on and it wasn’t until five minutes from time that they secured the points when captain for the day Dacres headed home from Sheldon’s corner which had been needlessly conceded by Wayne Diuk.

Rangers went close to a third in the closing moments but Stainsby made a fine double save to keep out Sheldon’s drive and then the follow up from Peter Heler.

It was ultimately another frustrating day for the Badgers but one which they could also take heart from as their tough season continued.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stafford: 1 Ben Garratt 2 Luke George 3 Ryan Brown 4 Chris Flynn 5 James Bolton 6 Christian Dacres 7 Sean Kinsella (Jimmy Turner 80) 8 Michael Carr 9 Danny Quinn (Peter Heler 77) 10 Fabrice Kasiama 11 Jon Sheldon (Oliver Davies 88)

Unused Subs: Christian Smith, Adam Alcock

Scorers: Bolton 57, Dacres 85

Eastwood: 1 Richard Stainsby 2 Danny Roberts (Wayne Diuk 76) 3 Josh Raven 4 Mitch Hanson 5 Romaine Graham 6 Scott Rogers (Preston Robinson 81) 7 Vijay Selvam (Nicholas Labbate 67m) 8 Kallum Keane 9 Sam Winch 10 Bradley Munn 11 Paolo Piliero.

Unused Subs: Travis Munn, Tyler Witton

Att: 332

Ref: Mark Howes

by Chris Elsley