Rocester 3 Stafford Rangers 7

Saturday 3rd August 2002
Rocester 3 Stafford Rangers 7
Attendance: 205

Rangers continued their high scoring pre-season programme with a seven-goal haul at Rocester. Six of them came during an impressive first half display of attacking football before the home side made it more of a contest after the break.

They got off to a great start with two goals in the first eleven minutes. Daniel Davidson was the first on target after seven minutes when he fired home after good work by Barrow, Heath and Bott. Then Berks beat Wood from 20 yards with the aid of a deflection off defender Paul Ede. It was all a bit one sided and when player-boss Phil Robinson fired home the third from the edge of the area on 24 minutes, the question on every ones lips was just how many would Rangers win by.

However, a lapse in concentration on 28 minutes allowed Rob Wade to find Dominic Heath then continue his run towards goal and hammer home the resulting pass from the Rangers old boy at close range. The disappointment of conceding a first goal in 280 minutes of football soon turned to joy and Bott was on hand to force home a loose all after Wood stopped a shot from Robinson on the line. That was after 35 minutes and three minutes later Davidson latched onto a long ball from Shaw and flicked the ball past Wood for the fifth. Right on the stroke of half-time Rob Heath set-up Berks to hammer it home.

Rocester, who persisted with an almost unchanged side throughout the match, pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Steve Oldacre beat Price from 30 yards on the hour mark to lift the home side.

Robinson and assistant Barry Powell made further changes including the return of Paul Szewczyk from injury but plucky Rocester kept on causing problems and deservedly netted a third on 75 minutes. Oldacre ran down the left and played the ball low for Wade to beat Price at close range. There could have been a fourth Rocester goal soon after but Darren Wright, now in goal in place of Price, made an outstanding point-blank save to keep of a header from Russ Morris.

In the second minute of injury time, Craig Lovatt ran towards the edge of the area before playing the ball into the path of Chris Rowell who fired home from inside the area.

Rocester: Wood, P. Ede (capt), Colclough, Knight, M. Ede, Seward, Brown, Leadbeater, Oldacre, Wade, D. Heath. Subs: Owen, Morris (for D. Heath, 45), James McCarron, Ridley (for Rowntree, 64), Rowntree (for Brown, 45), Froggatt

Stafford Rangers: Price, A. Gibson, Shaw, Barrow, McAughtrie, Robinson, Berks, R. Heath, Bott, Davidson, R. Gibson. Subs: Lovatt (for Robinson, 55), Wilkes (for R. Heath, 55), Rowell (for Bott, 71), Daniel (for Barrow, 63), Howard (for McAughtrie, 63), Singh (for R. Gibson, 74), Szewczyk (for Davidson, 71), Lowry (for Berks), Wright (75 mins for Price)

Referee: Mr R. Place (Burntwood)