Express & Star

Sean seals win for Dad as Boro move up table

A Sean Cooke second-half stunner sealed a 3-1 victory for Stafford Rangers on the road at Matlock Town in the Northern Premier.


The win was Boro’s first away from home since late-August as Dave Cooke’s side moved up to 21st in the standings to end the year.

Starting brightly and maintaining the standard throughout the first half, Rangers were resurgent as Tyreece Onyeka was denied early on.

Connor Heath impressed for the away side and caused problems for Matlock as Cameron Belford parried John Johnson’s effort at the other end.

Heath’s pass to Cooke then led to the Rangers opener as Cooke was fouled in the box and Kaiman Anderson fired home the spot-kick after the half-hour mark.

Jonny Margetts then squandered a golden Matlock opportunity immediately from the restart before Heath superbly extended Stafford’s advantage, finding the bottom-left corner on the turn in the 34th-minute.

Brilliant Rangers defending limited Matlock chances and Ethan Stewart headed closely off-target as Rangers searched for a third, which Cooke provided with a stunning lob from 45 yards out.

Volleying over Deeney in goal while on the turn, wild celebrations followed from the Stafford players and bench.

Despite Michael Williams’ 90th-minute goal for the home, the Rangers defence held strong and Dave Cooke’s side were able to close-out for victory after a superb Belford save.