Express & Star

United of Manchester 2 Stafford Rangers 1 - Report

Stafford Rangers slumped to the foot of the Northern Premier League table beaten 2-1 by F.C. United of Manchester at Broadhurst Park.


Dave Cooke’s side remain winless on the road since late-August - with the defeat their fifth league loss in a row.

Dontai Gabidon caused problems for the Rangers from the off, cutting in from the right-side and forcing Cameron Belford into a 13th-minute save at the near post.

Declan McLoughlin then gave the home side the lead a minute later with a thunderbolt and wonder strike from afar into the top right corner, but it was too easy for the full-back easing through the Rangers midfield.

Nathan Blissett headed wide for Stafford as Gabidon was denied by Bird and Belford superbly. It was a busy afternoon for the away side keeper who saved Max Woodcock’s effort mid-way through the half.

Joe Willis was fractionally off-target for Stafford before the home side found their second two minutes from half-time with Jordan Buckley firing home after good team play.

The Rangers rallied in the second period and looked certain to claim a point. Sean Cooke tested Pat Boyes in the 51st-minute before the away side were gifted a way back into the game. Defender Curtis Jones turned the ball into his own net and the Rangers sensed the opportunity for a comeback.

Tyreece Onyeka was denied through on goal before Ethan Stewart headed wide and Connor Heath was denied. Heath then struck the crossbar late-on as the points slipped away from Cooke’s side.