Stafford Town recorded just their second league win since the start of 2022 with a 1-0 victory over Alsager Town at Woodpark Stadium, all but relegating the hosts in the process. In a bitty and scrappy affair with few clear chances on offer for either side, Nathan Scott got the decisive goal for Stafford in the final ten minutes, who probably just shaded the contest over the ninety minutes. The match began with neither side able to produce any attacking fluency of note, a theme that persisted throughout the match given the difficult nature of the playing surface. In the eleventh minute an Alsager attack through the middle led to a shot that was well saved by new Stafford ‘keeper Beau Hudd; a Stafford counter attack from the resulting corner saw Morgan Payne released down the right by Josh Wilson, his cross to an unmarked Declan Arber was not quite strong enough however, allowing the ‘keeper to get to the ball first. The next ten minutes saw Hudd display some excellent distribution with his feet, ‘Kaz’ Danilian put a free kick wide of the target for Stafford, a dangerous low cross by Alsager somehow evade everyone and another Alsager shot that was wide. Stafford almost took the lead in the 23rd minute; a diagonal ball out to the right by Charlie Swingwood released Scott to cut the ball back to Arber but he scuffed his effort and it was pushed wide and cleared. There was an even better chance for Stafford with ten minutes left in the half; Scott again driving down the right before playing a neat one-two with Arber and shooting across goal, the ball appearing destined for the far corner but it went just wide of the post. Alsager then had a great chance of their own to take the lead, a driven low cross from the left turned goalwards inside the box, the ball hitting the post and ricocheting to safety. HT 0-0. Alsager began the second half the better of the two sides, Hudd forced into an excellent low save in the first minute that required a strong wrist to turn the ball away from goal before the danger was cleared by Chris Anderson. Alsager kept the pressure on for the next ten minutes or so, forcing Stafford to deal with several set pieces, but they held firm and began to get on top of the match as Alasger faded. Fresh legs for Stafford in the form of Ryan Taylor and Harry Bowers gave new impetus and with twenty minutes to go a drive down the right by Arber ended with a promising cut back that was somehow cleared. A long throw by Henry Smith into the Alsager box was only partially cleared, the ball played out to Scott to get into the box and play a pass inside to Arber, but unfortunately he scuffed wide with the goal at his mercy. Hudd then made another comfortable save from an Alsager free kick before the breakthrough finally came for Stafford in the 82nd minute; some rare midfield interplay between Wilson and Danilian gave the latter enough space to play a beautifully weighted ball through the middle for Scott, who flicked the ball past the onrushing ‘keeper and held his nerve to roll the ball into the empty net. Stafford were forced to battle hard for the remainder of the half but with the exception of one dangerous Alsager cross that was headed away for a corner, Alsager were unable to create another chance of note. FT 1-0 Stafford Town. Stafford’s penultimate league match of the season heralds the visit of Cheadle Town to Evans Park on Saturday 26th March before what promises to be a barnstorming final day away at Silkmore Lane to take on local rivals Brocton on Saturday 2nd April.
Best of the action is here at Stafford Town TV: https://youtu.be/TJj3MeOBIL8