Home league match played on 18 December 2021.
Kicked off at 3:00 PM

Stafford Town completed a league double of victories over East Staffordshire rivals Rocester, eventually coming out 4-0 winners at Evans Park. Rocester were much improved since the first encounter earlier in the season, playing some good football and carrying a constant threat that kept the result in the balance until Stafford scored their second goal halfway into the second half. The first half was somewhat end-to-end with both sides having chances to score, Josh Oultram seeing his powerful shot well saved for a corner in the second minute after he was released in behind the Rocester backline by Matt Dudley. Five minutes later, a Stafford break saw the ball worked out to Nathan Scott on the right but he fired over. Rocester were looking particularly dangerous in wide areas with Stafford ‘keeper Sam Amedu on hand to save when the ball was worked into the box for a shot. A 12th minute header in midfield by Charlie Swingwood was flicked on by Oultram to Morgan Payne but although he was able to create enough space in the box for a shot, the effort lacked power and was saved. Rocester then produced some neat interplay down the right but the final shot was dragged wide at the near post, another attack moments later resulting in a shot pushed away for a corner. Payne then had a shot from the edge of the box tipped wide and Swingwood was left frustrated as he glanced a header wide from a corner a few minutes later. Oultram was then left in disbelief as he hit the inside of the post and the ball rolled across the front of the goal following a powerful driving run and shot. After Josh Wilson had an effort from distance pushed wide, another good Stafford move eventually saw the ball fall for Oultram, whose shot was just over. Rocester refused to go quietly, forcing another fine save by Amedu on the half hour mark. As half time approached a Stafford attack down the left ended with a low cross towards Wilson, who showed excellent awareness to dummy the ball for ‘Kaz’ Danilian to control on the edge of the box, but he was denied by an outstanding last ditch tackle that prevented a shot. HT 0-0. Stafford hit the post a minute into the second half, Scott only able to get a toe on a diagonal cross into the box by Danilian. It was becoming apparent that the first goal in the game would be decisive and Rocester had a good ten minute spell where it looked as though they would get the breakthrough but Stafford defenders Dudley, Ryan Blagbrough and Harry Bowers held firm. Henry Smith was forced to replace Amedu in goal after an impact injury left him unable to continue, before an attempted clearance by Rocester in the 55th minute ricocheted to Danilian in the box and he showed great composure to chip the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper. Rocester pressed hard for an equaliser, Smith needing to be at his best to cut out one dangerous cross in particular. A driving run by Danilian on the hour mark ended with the ball slipped to Payne, but his weak shot was saved. Danilian then caught Rocester napping as he took a quick free kick on the halfway line to release Ben Wood, who drilled the ball under the ‘keeper to put Stafford in control. Subsequent Rocester protests about the goal saw a player sent to the sin bin for ten minutes, during which time Stafford took further advantage as Scott outpaced Rocester through the middle to finish. Stafford substitute Daniel Mensah then had a couple of efforts at goal, the first saved from distance and the second into the side netting, although he probably should have crossed on that occasion. Rocester almost saw a free kick from the edge of the box sneak in with five minutes to go, but Smith managed to push it wide. Mensah then put some gloss on the scoreline for Stafford, thumping the ball home from the edge of the box for a goal on his home debut after he was played in by Wood. FT 4-0 Stafford Town. Stafford’s final game of 2021 sees the visit of Maine Road to Evans Park on Holiday Monday 27th December, Stafford looking to avenge a 4-1 defeat earlier in the season before beginning 2022 with a huge away match against a strong Sandbach United side on Saturday 8th January.

The best bits as always can be found at Stafford Town TV: https://youtu.be/qgsBezJhGjs

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