Away league match played on 30 August 2021.
Kicked off at 3:00 PM

Stafford Town ended their Bank Holiday Weekend in a far better fashion than it began as they came out on top against local Staffordshire rivals Eccleshall with a 1-0 victory at Pershall Park. In a tense match, Stafford were made to battle hard for the points as both sides shared periods of pressure throughout and squandered several chances for further goals. There was an early chance for the hosts when Stafford conceded possession on the edge of their own box, the Eccleshall frontman driving into the penalty area before seeing his shot blocked. Nathan Scott then delivered a couple of dangerous crosses from the right, the first skimming the eyebrows of Josh Oultram and the second leading to a shot by Kyle Ashman that was blocked. Stafford were beginning to get a foothold in the game and were having more extended periods of possession than Eccleshall, from whom the main threat looked likely to come from set pieces. Stafford should have taken the lead in the 15th minute, Oultram dispossessing the Eccleshall centre half and driving in on goal, but his low finish was slightly scuffed and the ‘keeper was able to save. Stafford took the lead in the 27th minute, a controlled spell of sustained possession leading to an exchange down the right and a cross by Scott to Ashman at the far post, his first touch allowing him to subsequently flick the ball over the defender and prod the ball past the ‘keeper and over the line, several Eccleshall defenders coming agonisingly close to clearing. Eccleshall almost responded immediately from a corner, Chris Anderson somehow managing to get his head to the ball and flick it clear. As the half came to a close, Josh Wilson had a couple of half chances for Stafford, putting a free kick just over the bar and then shooting straight at the ‘keeper following good work by Oultram to create a chance from a hopeful long clearance. HT 1-0 Stafford Town. Eccleshall began the second half strongly, forcing Stafford to survive a period of sustained pressure including several corners and one ball in behind the Stafford defence that was just miscontrolled for a goalkick. In the 54th minute Stafford had three chances to double the lead in a matter of seconds, a cross from the right by Ben Wood was headed straight at the ‘keeper by Wilson, the ball falling to Oultram whose follow-up shot was scrambled away by a combination of defender and post before the ball reached Ashman on the penalty spot, his driven effort blocked by several Eccleshall defenders putting their bodies on the line. The game became more stretched as the half drew on, Eccleshall committing more bodies forward for the equaliser, giving Stafford chances on the break. In the 74th minute an Eccleshall free kick into the box led to a shot over the bar, the Eccleshall man stretching for the ball on the shot. Stafford were aggrieved in the 82nd minute, feeling the referee missed a clear foul by the last defender on Oultram as he appeared to be through on goal. Eccleshall were very unlucky not to equalise in the 87th minute, hitting the foot of the post with a low shot that perhaps just flicked the back leg of Stafford ‘keeper Joe Morris as he rushed out to spread himself. A minute later another Eccleshall shot across the goal whistled past the far post, but it proved to be their last chance as Stafford made it to the end with their second clean sheet of the season. FT 1-0 Stafford Town. Stafford next face two home league matches at Evans Park. The first sees the visit of Barnton on Saturday 4th September followed by Abbey Hulton United on the evening of Tuesday 7th September. Best bits of the game can be found here;

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