Home league match played on 01 February 2022.
Kicked off at 7:45 PM

Stafford Town’s frustrating run of games without a win stretched to five matches as they went down 2-0 to Maine Road at Evans Park in a match rearranged from the 27th December. Stafford performed slightly better than in recent games for periods of the first half but still struggled to create many clear chances before problems reared their ugly head again, conceding early in the second half and losing control of the game as confidence waned. Maine Road began the game slowly, which allowed Stafford to get some comfortable early possession of the ball, culminating in a dangerous cross from the left in the 7th minute that was just dealt with. After Maine Road had a 12th minute shot blocked in the box, Stafford ‘keeper Henry Smith was forced into a good save minutes later as Stafford lost possession near the edge of the box. Stafford should then have taken the lead in the 21st minute, a delightful through ball by Josh Wilson released Nathan Scott in behind the Maine Road defence but although his low shot across the goal was on target, it was well saved. Stafford needed to score during this period of the match when they found themselves on top, ‘Kaz’ Danilian cutting in from the left in the 30th minute and having a shot pushed over for a corner that was subsequently headed over. Both sides then wasted good opportunities on the break as Maine Road began to get more of a foothold in the game. In the 36th minute Stafford again conceded possession on the edge of the area, Smith forced into another good save at his near post. The final action of note in the half was a Maine Road corner that was initially headed goalwards before being cleared to safety. HT 0-0. After an early shot by Scott from the left was saved, Stafford fell behind in the 55th minute; Wilson looked to have been fouled from behind on the edge of the Maine Road box but nothing was given, the resulting break down the left into the Stafford box ending with a low shot that sneaked past the outstretched hand of Smith into the bottom corner. Perhaps unsurprising given their current run of form, the goal drained much of the belief from the home side and the visitors took control of the game from then on. Stafford began to continually give the ball back to their opponents in dangerous areas and after several close calls they were punished in the 83rd minute by a swift Maine Road break and finish to put the result beyond doubt. Maine Road had two almost identical further chances to extend the lead, winning possession high and feeding the ball forward for a shot, but in both instances the effort was wide. Stafford had one final chance in the last minute, substitute Declan Arber playing the ball down the left for Scott to cut in at goal, but he dragged his effort wide of the near post instead of shooting across goal. FT 2-0 Maine Road. Stafford must arrest their slide down the table quickly, hopefully beginning with the away match at Barnton on Saturday 5th February, followed by a trip to Staffordshire rivals Abbey Hulton United on Saturday 12th February.

Match Highlights available here at Stafford Town TV: https://youtu.be/2GZL46M9FW4

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