Home league match played on 20 August 2022.
Kicked off at 3:00 PM

Stafford Town continued their indifferent start to the season with a 1-1 draw against near neighbours Eccleshall at Evans Park. In a tense, entertaining affair, both sides had chances to win the game but a draw was ultimately a fair reflection of the match as Stafford had the better of the first half but were forced to endure significantly more pressure after the break. Stafford looked far more solid defensively than the week before against Cheadle Town, the result leaving Eccleshall as the only unbeaten side in the division so far this season. Stafford began the game the brighter of the two sides, Nathan Scott getting in down the right twice in the opening seven minutes, both times crossing for Ryan Taylor, who saw his first effort deflected wide for a corner and his second dragged wide of the target. Stafford were taking fewer risks than recent games and consequently looked far more solid, as Taylor had a corner scrambled away in the 19th minute. Five minutes later, Scott again advanced down the right before setting the ball back to Sean Kinsella for a cross into the Eccleshall box that was somehow scrambled away before a Stafford player could finish. Eccleshall slowly began to grow into the match, a low cross from the right flicked goalwards but Stafford managed to clear. In the 32nd minute an over-hit Eccleshall cross drifted over Stafford ‘keeper Joe Williams and hit the bar, the visitors repeating the trick with a deflected shot from the edge of the box five minutes later. As halftime approached a lofted Eccleshall cross to the backpost resulted in a free header that was wide of the target. Stafford then took the lead in added time of the half, a clever ball by Declan Arber releasing Scott down the right, allowing him to cut inside and square the ball for Taylor to tap home into an empty net. HT 1-0 Stafford Town. Stafford were forced to withstand a greater amount of pressure in the second half, Eccleshall forcing a number of free kicks and corners that posed a significant threat. In the 52nd minute an Eccleshall free kick was headed goalwards, Williams somehow flicking the ball onto the underside of the bar before it bounced close to the goal-line and was cleared. Eccleshall headed another corner over the bar before Kinsella shot wide for Stafford in the 65th minute. A minute later a superb through ball by Arber sent Scott into the box with only the ‘keeper to beat, but the Eccleshall stopper somehow got a hand to the ball as Scott attempted to go round him. Failure to convert such a chance ultimately proved costly as Eccleshall’s improved second half performance was rewarded with an equaliser three minutes later; a counter down the right leading to a cut back into the box that was turned goalwards and although the contact was not perfect, the ball evaded Williams to find the net. Buoyed by the equaliser, Eccleshall pressed for another, seeing a shot deflected wide for a corner in the 77th minute and missing another header at the back post a couple of minutes later. In the 82nd minute Eccleshall thought they had taken the lead when they bundled the ball home from a free kick delivered into the box but Stafford were saved by the offside flag. Stafford then had two stoppage time chances to take all three points; the first was a break down the left by Scott, the ball played inside to substitute Will Bates but although he managed to shoot low across the goal, the ‘keeper somehow managed to get a hand out to stop it. The second chance also fell to Bates, this time a pass from the right into the box ending with a shot on the turn into the side netting. FT 1-1. Stafford now face three consecutive away matches, the first a trip to Manchester to take on Maine Road on Saturday 27th August before a Bank Holiday Monday game against Abbey Hulton United on 29th August as Stafford look to add to their points tally and climb the table. Best of the action is found here at Stafford Town TV:


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