Stafford Town continue to suffer a poor record at home as they lost 2-1 in cruel fashion to Barnton. Despite taking the lead late in the first half, a penalty and a goal in the final minute of normal time left a bitter taste in the mouth for Stafford, who looked the better side for much of the first half. The opening exchanges of the half saw Stafford have a greater share of the ball, without perhaps creating a clear cut chance. Barnton seemed content to remain in shape and not over commit early on, restricting Stafford to a couple of snapshots from distance and the occasional cross that was headed clear. In the 30th minute good work by Josh Wilson down the right led to a cut back towards Ben Wood in the box, his challenge for the ball deemed to be a foul by the referee, who blew his whistle as Kyle Ashman put the loose ball into the net. In the 37th minute a diagonal ball from Nathan Scott found Ashman who set up a shot from outside the box by Ben Douglas, the ‘keeper spilling the ball to Josh Oultram to finish the rebound, only to be denied by the flag of the assistant referee. Stafford pressure was eventually rewarded in the 40th minute, some nice interplay down the left before Ashman cut inside and found Wood on the edge of the box, who coolly slotted the ball into the corner with the inside of his foot. Thus far Barnton had been restricted to one shot over the bar from distance and a speculative free kick that was dragged wide. Stafford were therefore left aghast as they conceded a needless penalty in the 43rd minute which allowed the first half to finish level. HT 1-1. The second half was a more even affair in terms of possession, with neither side creating many clear chances. Early in the half a Wilson free kick delivered into the box was headed wide by Charlie Swingwood. Shortly after, a Scott cross nearly found the head of Oultram before a chance for Barnton that was dragged wide across the goal. In the 62nd minute Stafford ‘keeper Joe Morris was on hand to tip another Barnton shot from distance over the bar. The game looked to be heading for a draw, the final third of the game being devoid of any attacking incidents until the last minute of normal time; a long throw into the area by Henry Smith was dropped by the Barnton ‘keeper, no Stafford player able to get enough on the ball to score before he recovered to smother. Disbelief then turned to more disbelief as a seemingly innocuous long ball by Barnton was not properly dealt with by the Stafford defence, a poor clearance leading to a ball into the box which eventually allowed a Barnton player to swivel and shoot across Morris who was rooted to the spot as the ball hit the inside foot of the post before rolling across the line. Stafford were unable to create a chance to equalise in injury time, Barnton left celebrating their third successive win. FT 2-1 Barnton. Next up are two more home games for Stafford, North Staffordshire rivals Abbey Hulton United visiting on Tuesday 7th September before the FA Vase gets underway against Eccleshall on Saturday 11th September.
Best bits of a decent game are found as always here at Stafford Town Tv: