Boro’s strikers need to find form in Cup quest

Turning chances into goals is the aim for Stafford Rangers as they look to kick-start their season by clinching a place in the first round of the FA Cup.

Stafford Rangers manager and former Shrewsbury Town stiker Jody Banim
Stafford Rangers manager and former Shrewsbury Town stiker Jody Banim

Jody Banim’s side have made an underwhelming start to the 2019/20 campaign with the team currently sitting bottom of the Northern Premier League.

But performances have been considerably better than results with a lack of goals the root of Rangers’ problems.

Banim’s side have scored just twice in six league outings – one of which was an own-goal.

Now, though, they have the chance to kick-start their campaign by securing a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup when they host Skelmersdale United in the final qualifying round tomorrow.

The Lancashire side currently play two-tiers below Stafford in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

But with so much at stake for both sides, Banim knows his team are in for a tough game.

“It’s not been the start to the season we wanted and the lack of goals is a concern,” the boss said. “We really aren’t far away. But football is a tough business and we can’t let this go on.

“Against Basford on Tuesday – we were dominant for 75/80 per cent of the game.

“We could easily have been three goals up. But that quality you need in the final third just wasn’t there and hasn’t been all season. We have been controlling games and if we play tomorrow as we did against Basford we will win the game.

“But the front players have got to step up. They are in the team to score goals, we need them to find that killer instinct.”

Banim is confident the prize of reaching the first round of the FA Cup will bring out the best in both teams tomorrow.

“The prize is absolutely massive for both clubs,” he continued. “We haven’t got many players who can say they have played in the first round of the FA Cup.

“Of course the money it brings in is so important.

“That’s the case every year but even more so now with everything that’s happened with Covid-19.

“And who knows who we will get.

“You don’t want to get ahead of yourself but you can’t help but dream of being drawn against someone like Sunderland and the television cameras arriving.”

Asked what he is expecting from Skelmersdale, Banim said: “They will be very, very hard-working.

“I watched their game against Lancaster, who they beat in a previous round.

“They will be full-blooded, in your face and aggressive.

“And they have got a little bit of quality up front.

“Danny Mitchley is a striker who has scored goals at a higher level so we won’t be taking them lightly.

“But we know where we have been falling short this season.

“It doesn’t take a lot of working out.

“We’re a good side we just need to start putting the ball in the net.”

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