Stafford Rangers Stripes 0 Congleton Vale 1

Saturday 31st December 2005
Stafford Rangers Stripes 0 Congleton Vale 1
Staffordshire County Senior League Division 1
At: Yarnfield Pitch 3
Kick-off: 12-00 noon
Programme: free (8 pages)
Attendance: 16 (headcount)
Weather: overcast
Duration: first-half: 45:20; second-half: 50:06

Two games today on the last day of the year and the first one, a noon kick-off, provided the opportunity to see Stafford Rangers Stripes entertain Congleton Vale on Pitch 3 at Stone Dominoes’ Yarnfield complex.

Confusingly, both sides named a ‘Ross Clarke’ in their starting line-up – a Stafford striker and Congleton defender who took corners.

Congleton Vale (in yellow and green) got the game underway defeding the changing room end in the first half and created a couple of decent chances around the quarter-hour mark. Ross Clarke’s right-wing corner was flicked on and driven wide by Tom Jackson. Then, from a cross by Jake Moss, Jackson got in a header which was superbly turned round the right-hand post by Stafford goalkeeper Matt Sargeant.

Having created few first-half chances, Stafford almost took the lead within two minutes of the restart. Richie Miller hit a low shot which Vale goalkeeper Simon Farrell kept out with his boot.

With drizzle falling, Stafford had the ball in the net in the 52nd minute. Byron Benton receieved a pass from Miller before firing home, only to see the ‘goal’ disallowed by the referee after consulting his assistant.

Mark Ogden [also wearing 9] replaced Darren Byrom in the 55th minute and the substitute scored what proved to be the winner two minutes later. Chris Riley crossed low from the right to the far post where Ogden fired home.

Congleton were reduced to ten men in the 71st minute when Ross Clarke fouled Miller and picked up a second booking. Alex Gibbons took the free-kick which was heading for the top-right corner before Farrell pushed the ball clear.

Sargeant rescued his side with a diving save to keep out a shot from Ogden.

With Matthew Davenport providing an ‘old head’ at the back for the visitors, Stafford tried to take advantage of their extra man. Resolute defending prevented the home side from equalising and, in stoppage time, Ross Clarke saw a shot blocked by a defender.

So, Stafford suffered only their second defeat in the league and I headed for Marston Road for the 3 pm kick-off between Stafford Rangers and Northwich Victoria.

Stafford Rangers Stripes (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Matt Sargeant, 2. Dan Holgate, 3. Jemiah Richards (capt), 4. Alex Gibbons, 5. Ed Booth, 6. Josh Robinson, 7. Andre Francis, 8. Byron Benton, 9. Richard Miller, 10. Ross Clarke, 11. Joe Harratt. Subs: 12. Matt Skinner (not used), 14. Glenn Davies (for Richards, 84), 15. Courtney Shaw (not used), 16. Jamie Phoenix (for Harratt, 54), 17. Mark Bailey (not used).

Congleton Vale (yellow/green/yellow): 1. Simon Farrell, 2. Ross Clarke, 3. Jamie Smith, 14. Matthew Davenport, 5. Grant Robinson, 6. Thomas Burgess, 7. Michael Clewlow, 8. Tom Jackson, 9. Darren Byrom, 10. Chris Riley (capt), 11. Jake Moss. Subs: 9. Mark Ogden (for Byrom, 55), 15. Stephen Davenport (not used), 16. Lucas Clarke (not used), 17. Toby Hassall (not used).

Referee: S. Finney.
Assistants: T. Lane and L. Barnet.

0-1 Mark Ogden (57)

Stafford: Josh Robinson (YC, 42), Jamie Phoenix (YC, 78), Ed Booth (YC, 86)
Congleton: Ross Clarke (YC, 17), Ross Clarke (YC/RC, 71)