22/23 Match Preview: Stafford Rangers

The Lions will look to respond to heartbreak from Tuesday night, as they face Stafford Rangers on Saturday in a 3pm kick-off, writes Harry Ware.

Match sponsored by: Blacks Solicitors

Tickets will be on sale on the day at the turnstiles with payment by cash or card. Turnstile 3 will be card only with turnstile 1 taking cash and card, turnstiles 2, 4 and 5 will be cash only.

It is also cash payments only inside the ground for programmes and 50/50 cash draw tickets. Food and drink from The Lions’ Diner and clubhouse food servery can be paid for by cash or card and the clubhouse accepts and prefers payment by card.

Unaccompanied U21s must have a season ticket or youth membership to attend the game following recent changes to our Ground Regulations, these can be purchased online now. Entry for U21s is via turnstiles 1 and 2 only.

Tickets are priced at £12 adults, £8 concessions/students/registered disabled, U18’s £5 and accompanied U11’s £1.

Previous Meetings

All three clashes in recent history between the Lions and Stafford Rangers have concluded in draws, including the reverse fixture this season.

Callum Chippendale’s penalty put the Lions ahead in the first half, only to be cut out with Stafford having a penalty of their own, which was put away by Tom Tonks.

The sides met at Nethermoor back in 2011, when again the game finished in a 1-1 draw, when both teams were playing their football in the National League North.


The Lions’ Form Book

The Lions were unfortunate to be on losing end of a 1-0 score line at Broadhurst Park, as a Matt Van Wyk last minute winner grabbed all three points for ten-man FC United of Manchester.

Paul Phillips’ side remain 13th after the defeat but are now six points off the play-off spots. However, there will be confidence going into Saturday’s game, with the Lions having lost just once a home in the league since the start of December.

Whilst the Lions lost last time out at Nethermoor, it came against then league leaders Hyde United in a valiant effort by Phillips’ side, with the Lions losing out to Hyde 3-2 and Phillips will be looking to put that right on Saturday afternoon.


A Look At Stafford Rangers

Stafford Rangers have had a relatively miserable start to 2023, with just one win from the seven games they have played in the league.

Boro have scored just twice since the start of January and continued that record last time out in a 2-0 loss at the hands of Warrington Town.

Rangers boss Matt Hill currently has his side sat in 13th place, just six points above the drop zone. They will need to improve to ensure they stay in the division and will be encouraged by a 2-0 win over Marske United two weeks ago.

Stafford joint top goal scorers Callum Saunders and Kaiman Anderson will be looking to bring the goals back for Saturday’s visitors. The pair have seven goals apiece this campaign and will be hoping to add to that against the Lions at Nethermoor.


A Look At The Lions

Spencer Harris will be available for his first home appearance in five months after recovering from a back injury to return at Marske.

Jake Cassidy is likely to miss out through an injury picked up in the warm-up at Mount Pleasant though but new signing Alfie Moulden and Osebi Abadaki will be in line for their home debuts on Saturday.

Andy Kellett is also likely to miss out with injury against Stafford.

Paul Phillips has named an unchanged starting elven for the last two games.


What Are They Saying?

Lions boss Paul Phillips spoke to us after the loss at Broadhurst Park on Tuesday night and was disappointed that his side could not find a goal against FC United of Manchester:

“We dominated both halves. Could have scored two or three first half, we have gifted them three points. You can see what it means to them with a last-minute winner, but again it has come from us not communicating and it is unacceptable.

“We have been brilliant throughout the game, one team on the front foot after they have gone down to ten men which you expect. I think we have had seven or eight brilliant chances which you have got to put in the net.

When you don’t score, you are always going to end up with that sucker punch.

“(The game) got a bit disjointed after the red card with them trying to waste time, but again the game should have been out of sight by the time we got to the second half.”

Phillips also gave us his thoughts on the signing of Alfie Moulden, who joined the club from Weston-Super-Mare on the day of the game:

“With the injuries we’ve got and volume of games we’ve got we needed to bring someone in, and he brings competition to places.

“He came on tonight, he hasn’t played that much so he will obviously be better with more games.”

Tickets for the game with Stafford Rangers can only be purchased at the turnstiles on the day. Don’t forget to pick up a matchday programme for just £3, it is packed full with exclusive content with what you will find inside here.

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