Stafford Rangers 0 Worcester City 0

Saturday 9th April 2005
Stafford Rangers 0 Worcester City 0
Nationwide North
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Programme: ???
Attendance: 820
Weather: sunny spells, cold
Duration: first-half: 45:16; second-half: 47:37

In form Worcester City’s playoff hopes suffered a blow as they were held to a goalless draw at Stafford Rangers, who recorded their 15th Conference North clean sheet of the season.

Stafford got the game underway attacking the Town End in the first half.

Visiting goalkeeper Danny McDonnell twice kept his side level inside the opening five minutes. He turned a close-range header from Chris Smith round and also tipped over Danny Edwards’ curling free-kick.

However, the first half, in which Worcester enjoyed plenty of possession, produced few serious chances. The home side went close again in the 20th minute when Robin Gibson drilled a low shot wide of the left-hand post.

Both sides came out in a positive mood at the start of the second half. Adam Webster fired straight at Stafford’s debutant goalkeeper Joe Anyon and the same player was also denied a clear shot on goal by Craig McAughtrie’s brave tackle inside the area.

Stafford almost broke the deadlock on 55 minutes. Gibson found Rob Heath with a quickly-taken free-kick and the resultant lob was superbly palmed away by McDonnell. As the home side started to dominate, Edwards crossed into the area and Gibson headed wide.

Rangers should have taken the lead just past the hour mark. Again from an Edwards cross, Craig Lovatt sent a free header wide of the target. Craig Wilding, recalled in place of the injured Neil Grayson, also fired inches wide from the edge of the area.

Forced to defend for long periods, Worcester could only attack on the break and a mistake by Anyon almost gifted them a goal. Deceived by a bouncing ball from Jai Stanley hit down the middle, the teenager did well to recover and claim the ball under pressure on his line.

In injury time, Worcester were reduced to ten men when defender Paul Carty was dismissed for a second bookable-offence.

Chris Smith was named Man of the Match.

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Joe Anyon, 2. Craig McAughtrie, 3. Robert Heath, 4. Chris Smith, 5. Wayne Daniel (capt), 6. Craig Lovatt, 7. Nathan Talbott, 8. Lee Downes, 9. Craig Wilding, 10. Danny Edwards, 11. Robin Gibson. Subs: 12. Alex Gibson (not used), 14. Richard Beale (not used), 15. Alan Dodd (not used), 16. Richard Miller (not used), 17. Dennis Pearce (not used).

Worcester City (blue/blue/blue): 1. Danny McDonnell, 2. Rob Warner, 3. Les Hines, 4. Paul Carty, 5. Barry Woolley, 6. Carl Heeley (capt), 7. George Clegg, 8. Nic Colley, 9. Leon Kelly, 10. Adam Webster, 11. Jai Stanley. Subs: 12. Andy Preece (for Colley, 84), 14. John Snape (not used), 15. Tom Warmer (for Stanley, 88), 16. James Smith (not used), 17. Liam McDonald (not used).

Referee: A Taylor (Wythenshawe).
Assistants: P. L. Anderson (Manchester) and R. Bromfield (Rochdale).

Goals: none

Stafford: none
Worcester: Paul Carty (YC, 65), Barry Woolley (YC, 80), Paul Carty (YC, 90+1)