Home league match played on 13 August 2022.
Kicked off at 3:00 PM

Stafford Town’s start to the season continues to be one of frustration as they went down 5-2 to Cheadle Town on a sweltering afternoon at Evans Park. Stafford had plenty of possession in the game but Cheadle gave them a harsh lesson in ruthlessness, capitalising on some sloppy errors to score multiple goals without the need to over-exert themselves. Stafford found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening ten minutes despite having had the majority of possession; first, a Cheadle ball into the Stafford box was poorly dealt with, ultimately leading to a challenge by Henry Smith that resulted in a penalty that was dispatched. Five minutes later Huewlan Wright was caught on the ball at right back, Cheadle countering quickly and slipping the ball through for a composed finish past Joe Williams in goal. Charlie Swingwood then glanced a header wide from a corner before Cheadle fired over following another mix-up in the Stafford defence. Ben Wood pulled a goal back for Stafford in the 14th minute, latching onto a flick by Josh Oultram and just getting enough on the ball to finish low across the ‘keeper. Cheadle had a 20th minute effort from distance pushed wide for a corner and Williams was forced into another save in the box with his feet shortly after. In the 33rd minute Oultram managed to deliver a dangerous ball along the goalmouth but no Stafford player had made a run to the backpost and the ball was cleared for a corner. Cheadle restored their two goal advantage with just two minutes to go in the half, claiming an uncontested second ball on the edge of the Stafford box and firing into the corner, the lack of pressure on the ball of major concern to the Stafford contingent. HT 3-1 Cheadle Town. Stafford almost pulled a goal back immediately, Nathan Scott linking with Declan Arber before seeing his shot saved for a corner. Cheadle appeared content to keep their shape, perhaps confident that another opportunity would arrive from a Stafford mistake. This belief was realised in the 62nd minute; Cheadle again winning the ball in the Stafford half and feeding the ball forward quickly for a cut back and finish in the box as Satfford scrambled to recover. Arber had a 71st minute shot pushed over for a corner before Scott had another shot blocked for a corner a couple of minutes later. Stafford’s miserable afternoon was complete in the 77th minute as they again sloppily lost possession in their own half, Cheadle again countering to devastating effect to score. Stafford did manage a consolation goal in the final minute; an initial Stafford break looked to have faltered, but a clever lofted ball by Arber found Will Bates in the box, the substitute taking the ball past the ‘keeper before finishing to get a deserved first senior goal, a rare bright spot on a poor day for the home side. FT 5-2 Cheadle Town. Stafford will need a vast improvement if they are to get anything from their next match, which sees unbeaten near neighbours Eccleshall visit Evans Park on Saturday 20th August.

The footage that matters as always is here at Stafford Town TV: https://youtu.be/EIU4D9g_J-Y

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