It was back-to-back league victories for Stafford Town as they overcame a lethargic first half, scoring twice and keeping a clean sheet to beat Cammell Laird 1907. Laird looked the better side in the first half, playing some neat passing football and testing Stafford ‘keeper Henry Smith in the second minute but he saved comfortably. Stafford were looking somewhat laboured and slow in possession but had a great chance in the 8th minute when a clever lofted ball in behind the Laird defence by Josh Wilson was seized upon by Peter Tautscher but he dragged his shot wide of the near post from less than ten yards. Laird were then left fuming as a ball into the channel caught Stafford napping and last defender Ryan Bradshaw got in a tangle with his man leaving both players on the ground but fortunately for Stafford the referee waved play on. Laird should have gone ahead in the 20th minute, a superb first time strike from outside the box was well saved by Smith who somehow got to his feet to make a second save as the ball fell to a Laird player to again fire goalwards from close range. Both teams then had the chance to score from corners, Laird heading wide and Stafford seeing the ball scrambled clear after a great back-post header by Chris Anderson that was followed up by Bradshaw. Temperatures were raised with five minutes to go in the half when a Stafford breakaway was prevented by an almost waist high challenge on Nathan Scott, which led to a yellow card for the offender and some handbags afterwards from both sides. In injury time Ryan Taylor cut inside his man and shot goalwards, leading to good save by the Laird ‘keeper who then did well to smother the rebound by Tautscher. HT 0-0. Stafford looked a changed side after the break, playing with far more urgency and pressing the ball far better than in the first half. In the 51st minute a cross from the left by Jack Pollard was flicked on to Scott, but his shot was wild and off target. Stafford took the lead just a minute later, Taylor slipping the ball into the left channel to Wilson, who cut the ball back for Ben Wood to fire high into the net. The lead was doubled four minutes later, lively substitute Cydon Walker passing the ball inside to Tautscher from the right, who somehow managed to slip the ball through the defenders legs and set Wilson in on goal and though his initial shot was well saved, he subsequently tucked away the rebound. It was now a case of game management for Stafford with Anderson, Bradshaw and Harry Bowers marshalling the Laird forwards with assurance and excellent midfield work by Wood and Charlie Swingwood forcing Laird to concede possession far more cheaply. Fresh legs were introduced in the form of Kyle Ashman and Kyle Wainwright, the pair linking up well in the 74th minute leading to a shot by Ashman that was pushed wide for a corner. Laird looked to be tiring and were struggling to create chances, with any cross into the box appearing to have GK Smiths’ name on it. Things got heated again with minutes to go when a reckless challenge from behind on Wilson saw the Stafford man lucky to escape injury, the offender escaping with only a yellow card. FT 2-0 Stafford Town. Stafford make the short trip to Rocester on Tuesday night before the visit of West Didsbury and Chorlton to Evans Park on Saturday.
As usual match highlights can be found on our YouTube channel Stafford Town TV using this link;