Matlock Town 2 Stafford Rangers 3 - Report

A Jake Charles second half penalty was enough for Stafford Rangers to take a 3-2 victory at Matlock Town after coming from behind twice in the tie.

Rangers got off to the worst possible start when a punch away from goalkeeper Luke Pilling fell to Liam King who fired the ball home.

Pilling was forced into action again on eight minutes saving from a header by Matlock skipper Liam Hughes.

However, it was Rangers who levelled on 17 minutes with Charles’ effort from outside the box finding the net.

Moments later Alex Fletcher almost put the visitors ahead but saw his effort flash wide.

In an end to end first half the Gladiators were next to try the visitors’ goal with Alex Byrne seeing his rifled effort saved well by Pilling.

Byrne did beat Pilling on 31 minutes with a chance shot from the by-line which caught the Boro goalkeeper out to put Matlock 2-1 ahead.

Ryan Qualter almost increased Matlock’s lead before the break but saw his effort clear the crossbar.

After showing their intent early in the second half Rangers levelled on 57 minutes with Tom Tonks slotting the ball home from close range after a Andrew Burns cross.

With 15 minutes left on the clock when Louis Malandjou was shown a red card for an off the ball incident after a penalty was converted by Charles.

Matlock then threw everything at an equaliser seeing a shot cleared off the line before Liam Hughes hit the post in the dying moments.

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