Home friendly match played on 09 July 2022.
Kicked off at 3:00 PM

Stafford Town slipped to their first defeat of pre-season as they fell victim to a late goal, ultimately going down 1-0 to Lye Town at Evans Park. The match appeared destined to end goalless as both sides worked hard but struggled to find the final piece of attacking quality required to end in a goal. However, a poor lapse in concentration by Stafford in the final couple of minutes saw Lye take the win. Following a cagey opening ten minutes, Lye fired the first shot of the match over the bar after cutting inside from the left. Declan Arber was then denied by a good save a minute later, the ball eventually cleared for a corner which came to nothing. Josh Oultram was working hard upfront in a slightly wider position than usual, getting the ball into the box on several occasions but no finish was forthcoming. Lye were having similar problems, as they were also unable to get the final pass right to create a clear chance, despite getting the ball into some good areas. Callum White and Ben Wood were both battling hard in midfield and although ‘Kaz’ Danilian was getting on the ball, Stafford were certainly lacking the attacking fluency exhibited in their first two pre-season games. Wood dragged a shot wide from distance in the 17th minute; Lye also dragging wide from inside the box and missing the target again from distance a few minutes later. In the 37th minute a third-man-run from Wood was found by Ryan Taylor but Wood toe-poked wide. The final chance of the half saw a 39th minute free kick by Danilian hit straight at the ‘keeper. HT 0-0. Stafford began the second half with a poor ten minute period during which Lye had a number of chances to take the lead. Danilian had a curling effort from distance well saved after a Lye free kick down the middle, before Stafford ‘keeper Zak Noble did well to save a header following another Lye free kick delivered into the box. Lye then dragged a great chance wide after Stafford sloppily conceded possession on the edge of their own box. In the 53rd minute a Lye attack down the left somehow ended up with the ball being scrambled away at the near post before Stafford regained a foothold in the game. Arber had a shot blocked in the 61st minute, before a Lye break from a Stafford corner ended with a lob that was just wide. Stafford then almost took the lead with their best chance of the match; Oultram cutting the ball back from the right for substitute Jamie Weldon, whose superb first touch took him into the box with time and space but his finish was lacking and was saved. Another lobbed finish from Lye bounced over the bar in the 73rd minute, before a couple of neat pieces of play by Arber almost led to goals, one cut out at the last moment and the other ending in a shot by Danilian that was saved. Noble saved well with his feet as the match entered the final ten minutes, before Lye eventually broke the deadlock with two minutes to go; Stafford were undone by a diagonal ball to the right, a cut back finished at the back post and although Stafford appealed for offside, the goal was given. FT 1-0 Lye Town. North West Counties Division 1 North side Chadderton visit Evans Park for the first time on Saturday 16th July (early 2pm kick-off), followed by a midweek fixture against Tividale on Tuesday 19th July.

Best of the action can be found at Stafford Town TV: https://youtu.be/xBVvFqLtFeg

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