Match Report: Stafford Rangers 1-1 Warrington Town

Jack Dunn scored on his return from injury, but it wasn’t enough as Warrington were held to a 1-1 draw away at Stafford.

The 24-year old poked home at the back post after 62 minutes to level after Andrai Jones had prodded home to give Rangers the lead.

Both sides pushed for an equaliser but the closest either side came was through Russell Benjamin, whose strike from the edge of the box was pushed aside by Adam Siviter in the Stafford goal.

Paul Carden welcomed back Dunn, Josh Amis and top scorer Tony Gray from injury, while Mitch Duggan took the place of Shaun Beeley and Russell Benjamin was handed a first league start of the season.

After a cagey opening to the contest, Dylan Vassallo had the first effort of the game after being found by Tony Gray’s cutback, but he could only volley well wide of goal from just inside the area.

Warrington felt that they could have had a penalty a few minutes later as Daniel Burns eased Gray off the ball as he tried to close down Adam Siviter, but despite Town’s appeals, referee Scott Tallis waved play-on.

Nevertheless, they started to get the better of the game, and after Josh Amis’ snapshot was deflected behind for a corner, Siviter did just enough to parry the resultant in-swinging corner out of danger.

Tom Thorley became the first man to see yellow for dragging back Jack Dunn shortly after. From the floated free-kick, Amis did well to nod the ball down, but none of his team-mates gambled inside the area and it bounced on through to Siviter.

The first real save of the game came on 29 minutes as Stafford’s keeper was forced to spectacularly tip a half-volley from Amis over the bar following a superb mazing run from Dylan Vassallo.

From the resulting corner, the hosts tried to counter through Andrew Howarth, but Alex Whittle got across superbly to close him down before he could cross for a team-mate in the area.

Stafford nearly opened the scoring against the run of play as half-time approached. Matthew Hill came forward down the left and let fly from 30 yards, only to see his angled drive fly just over the top of Tony McMillan’s goal.

Amis saw a snapshot fly across the face of goal minutes later after being freed in the area by Gray, before Jack Dunn’s teasing low free-kick was well held by Siviter on his own line.

However, it was the hosts who hit the front in first-half stoppage time. After Town had failed to clear their lines from a corner, the ball was played across the face of the area and Andrai Jones was on-hand to side foot home from close range.

The two sides exchanged started evenly after the break, but Stafford could’ve doubled their lead had McMillan not been on hand to superbly deny Jake Charles’ powerful header from inside the area.

The Stafford number nine had another half-chance seven minutes later, but he could not adjust his feet to half-volley home following a mazing run from Andrew Haworth.

Despite this, Town started to get a foothold back into deservedly equalised just after the hour mark. After the ball ricocheted to Amis in midfield, he knocked the ball out wide to Gray on the right. He took his time before delivering a pinpoint ball to Dunn who stabbed home at the far post.

From then, Warrington grew more into the contest and worked a huge opening shortly after Jack Mackreth was introduced to the action. Once again, Gray worked the ball out superbly to Mackreth on the right side of the penalty area, but his shot went agonisingly wide of the left-hand post with Amis waiting in the centre of the box.

That gave Stafford a wake-up call, and they forced McMillan to tip an effort over the bar after Theo Bailey-Jones met Hill’s floated cross from the left touchline.

Charles thought he was clean through for the hosts after being freed by Andrai Jones, but Mark Roberts managed to slide in sensationally in the nick of time to prevent the Rangers attacker getting a strike away.

Soon after, Russell Benjamin had a chance the give the Yellows the lead, but his fierce first-time effort from the edge of the area was well palmed away by Siviter, before the keeper kept out Gray’s follow-up, although the linesman had already flagged for offside.

Warrington pushed for a winner in the closing stages but could not muster a major chance of note in the remaining minutes as they were forced to settle for a point at Marston Road.

Stafford Rangers: Siviter, Bignot (Coulson 81), Hill, L. Jones, Burns, A. Jones, Bailey-Jones (Williams 88), Thorley, Charles, Haworth (Briscoe 71), Cuff

Subs not used: Davies, Mills

Warrington Town: McMillan, Duggan (Dixon 80), Roberts, Raven, Whittle, Evans, Benjamin, Vassallo (Mackreth 69), Gray (Cusani 87), Dunn, Amis

Subs not used: Hughes, McCarthy

Attendance: 759

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