Northern Premier League NPL Premier 23/24

Marston Road1 Kenworthy Rd, Stafford ST16 3DY, UK

Stafford Rangers
Marston Road Stafford ST16 3BX
Workington AFC
Borough Park, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 2DT
1 - 0
Final Score
Sean Cooke - 1 (28')
Game Statistics
0 Yellow cards 0
0 Red cards 0
0 Corner Kick 0
0 Saves 0
0 Shots on Goal 0
0 Shots 0
Pass Accuracy
Shot Accuracy
Pass Accuracy
Shot Accuracy
Game Timeline
Sean Cooke
Ceiran Casson
Connor Heath
James O'Neill
Scott Allison
James O'Neill
Aidan Roxburgh
Jake Allan
Conor Tinnion
Kian Taylor


A game bereft of quality and even less finesse was settled in the twenty-eighth minute with a scruffy goal in Rangers favour.

And Danny Grainger’s decision to fight fire with fire and adopt a more direct style backfired.  He abandoned his football principles, for once, a tactic which played right into Stafford’s hands, with the upshot a war of attrition which suited the home side’s battling attributes.

Sean Cooke, the Stafford manager’s son, got the all-important goal which could yet prove crucial in Rangers’ bid to beat the drop.  And in keeping with the game, it was an untidy goal with Workington failing to clear the ball which ultimately deflected to Cooke, whose scuffed finished produced fresh hope for the home fans.

Stafford had made a nervous start and looked a bit edgy in defence.  And there was more concern when the majority of the above average crowd felt they should have been a goal behind, after an eighth minute incident which VAR would have revelled in.

Sam Hetherington was out wide on the left and it wasn’t so much a shot but a cross that went astray which veteran goalkeeper, Cameron Belford, totally misjudged.  He got his bearings wrong, probably couldn’t see the flight of the ball because of the bright sunshine and ended up salvaging a situation he got away with.  The ball had appeared to hit the side netting inside the goal and the assistant referee, Liam Brace, was too busy making up his shortfall of yards to offer any assistance to the referee.

Cooke may not have made a true connection when he scored but he hit the ball sweetly soon after only for Jim Atkinson to gather confidently after diving to his left.

And Belford made amends for his unpunished error with an excellent save to deny a Conor Tinnion effort from all of forty yards.  Tinnion had spotted the ‘keeper off his line and his goal-bound shot was palmed away for a corner by the back-pedalling Belford.   

Atkinson gathered another shot from distance in the second half, thwarting Connor Heath and towards the end denied Kian Taylor, a team mate of Reds’ Kitt Nelson at Deepdale, after quickly advancing off his line.

Prior to that, the Cumbrians had squandered a great opportunity to level matters when Steven Rigg’s cushioned header set up a chance for Hetherington.  The ball was on his favoured left side but he placed his shot wide of the open goal from an acute angle.

Plenty of effort and, at times, misguided commitment from Reds but they failed to match Rangers’ passion and aggression, going down to a third successive defeat in the process. 

Grainger will ‘revert to type’ for Monday’s clash against fellow strugglers Atherton Collieries before ending the month, the season and his tenure at the club with the relatively easy run-in against four of the play-off contenders!

Stafford Rangers: Belford, Burns, Burroughs, Willis, Stewart, Lee (O’Neill, 46), Leitch-Smith (Heath, 46), German, Anderson, Cooke, Onyeka.  Substitutes – Taylor (replaced Heath, 79), Stafford, Porter (not used).

Workington: Atkinson, McCaragher, Wallbank, Little, Smith, Casson (Roxburgh, 67), Nelson (Allan, 73), Hetherington, Reilly (Allison, 60), Rigg, Tinnion.  Substitutes – Christian, Eccles (not used).

Referee: James Tewson, Nottingham

Bookings: O’Neill (Stafford Rangers), Casson, Tinnion (Workington)

Attendance: 771



Date Time League Season Full Time
30/03/2024 15:00 Northern Premier League NPL Premier 23/24 90'


Marston Road

1 Kenworthy Rd, Stafford ST16 3DY, UK


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoals


1Cameron Belford Goalkeeper
2Andy Burns Defender
3George Burroughs Defender
4Joe Willis Midfielder
5Ethan Stewart Defender
6Isaac Lee 15 Defender
7AJ Leitch-Smith 12 Forward
8Owen German Midfielder
9Kaiman Anderson Forward
10Sean Cooke Midfielder 28'
11Tyreece Onyeka Forward
12Connor Heath 14 Forward
14Kian Taylor 12 Midfielder
15James O’Neill 6 Defender 61'
16Jack Stafford Defender
17Lewis Porter Forward


1Jim Atkinson Goalkeeper
2Greg McCaragher Midfielder
3Finlay Wallbank Defender
4Jordan Little Defender
5Sam Smith Defender
6Ceiran Casson 14 Midfielder 33'
7Kitt Nelson 12 Midfielder
8Sam Hetherington Midfielder
9Lewis Reilly 16 Forward
10Steven Rigg Forward
11Conor Tinnion Midfielder 76'
12Jake Allan 7 Midfielder
14Aidan Roxburgh 6 Defender
15Sam Christian Forward
16Scott Allison 9 Forward
21Danny Eccles Goalkeeper
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