Away league match played on 13 November 2021.
Kicked off at 3:00 PM

Stafford Town ended the first half of their inaugural North West Counties League season with a credible 1-1 draw on the road against a more than competent Cheadle Heath Nomads, the first time this campaign that Stafford have shared points with the opposition. After an early Declan Arber goal was cancelled out just before halftime, Stafford were forced to withstand mounting pressure after the break; the result leaving Stafford in 8th place in the table with 28 points from 19 games. Stafford started the game well, getting the ball in and around the Nomads box several times in the opening couple of minutes and passing the ball sharply through the pitch. Stafford took the lead in the 12th minute, Karen ‘Kaz’ Danilian winning the ball in midfield and playing a clever lofted ball that released Nathan Scott down the inside right channel, the ball subsequently squared to Arber who finished at the back post. After another couple of half chances for Stafford sandwiched between an excellent block by Chris Anderson that denied Nomads their best chance of the match, Stafford should have doubled the lead; Danilian again played the ball through to Scott but his decision to turn down a clear shot in favour of attempting a cross was the wrong one and the ball was cleared. Nomads were growing into the game and seeing more possession as the half progressed, full-backs Ryan Blagbrough and debutant Ravel Wallace forced to deal with Nomads dangerous widemen on multiple occasions as Anderson and Matt Dudley marshalled the middle. After Nomads headed wide from a corner in the 30th minute they should have equalised a minute later when a Nomads player found himself in behind the Stafford backline but he shot wide. Nomads pressure continued to mount, Stafford holding out until the 43rd minute when a good ball down the Nomads right led to a low cross that Blagbrough could only turn into his own net at close range with the Nomads forward lurking inches behind him. Stafford then survived another scare as Nomads dragged another shot wide when clean through. HT 1-1. Stafford saw an early second half corner flash across the Nomads goalmouth but Nomads soon resumed control, constantly recycling the ball and forcing Stafford to defend for long periods. Although Stafford had another dangerous corner scrambled away in the 56th minute they were beginning to look somewhat leggy, struggling to build attacks and were instead forced to dig in defensively and hope for a decisive chance. Stafford ‘keeper Henry Smith made a couple of sound saves, in particular pushing one close-range header over the bar in the 68th minute. After another Nomads shot wide, substitute Morgan Payne had a good chance in the 74th minute as the ball fell to him in the box but unfortunately his shot was partially blocked which allowed the ‘keeper to save. The chance proved a rare reprieve, Nomads again shooting wide and having two shots blocked in the box in quick succession. As the match ticked into the final five minutes of normal time a Nomads attack down the right resulted in an inviting low cross that was just missed before being cleared. Stafford managed to see out the remainder of the match, pleased with their defensive performance and the point given Nomads excellent home record and the fact that they have looked fragile and conceded a lot of goals in their recent away matches. FT 1-1. St. Martins are the visitors to Evans Park on Saturday 20th November, with an away fixture against Stockport Town the following week on Saturday 27th November.

As always the best of the footage can be found here at Stafford Town TV:

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