Match Preview: Stafford Rangers vs City

City are back on the road this weekend when they prepare to face Stafford Rangers at Marston Road.

The Dollies still sit second from top but are now level on points with leaders South Shields after earning a point against Stalybridge Celtic at the weekend. The game ended 0-0 with neither side able to find the back of the net at the Giant Axe.

City will be the favourites for this fixture, with their opponents currently sitting in the relegation spots. Rangers have picked up just 12 points from 17 games and are struggling for form, despite picking up a win in their last league outing.

Stafford have scored the least amount of goals out of any team in the Northern Premier League, but actually hold a better defensive record than City do, out-scoring Lancaster by two goals.

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City are still on the hunt for a first league win since November, with Graham Lancashire’s side picking up two points from their last three league meetings. Recently the Dollies were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Stalybridge, who had won their last four league games.

Before that City picked up a point on the road to Buxton, with Rob Wilson scoring first half penalty, only for Lancaster to concede a second half penalty resulting in a draw.

City’s last three results:

City 0-0 Stalybridge Celtic – 14/12/19 (League)

Hyde 0-0 City (5-4 on pens) – 10/12/19 (Integro League Cup)

Buxton 1-1 City – 07/12/19 (League)

Stafford were City’s opening day opponents this season, with the Dollies running out 2-1 winners to get Rangers off to a losing start.

Despite Boro winning their last league game 2-0 against Radcliffe Borough, they have really struggled for form in recent weeks, with the club losing six of

their last seven league outings. Their lack of goals seems to have been their downfall so far this season, with Rangers only conceding 24 goals this season, that’s less than City.

Rangers have however picked up a couple of positive results in cup competitions recently.

Stafford’s last three results:

Stafford 2-0 Radcliffe – 07/12/19 (League)

Stafford 6-2 RAF Men’s Sect Side – 26/11/19 (Walsall Senior Cup)

Stafford 1-3 Hyde United – 23/11/19 (League)

So, even though City will be seen as the favourites for this one, Stafford will have their tales high after a couple of good results over the past couple of weeks.

Graham Lancashire’s men will be hoping to get back to winning ways in the Northern Premier League and will be confident of picking up three points against a side in the relegation zone.

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By Adam Smith