Home | 21 February 2017 | Attendance: 412
RUSHALL Olympic made a return to winning ways with a hard-fought local derby victory over Stafford Rangers at a wind-swept Dales Lane.
The Pics came out the blocks in positive mood and within the opening two minutes a break down the left by Isaac Cooper saw his cross find Aaron Forde whose effort from outside the area rattled the woodwork.
With four minutes on the clock, Jazz Luckie was brought down inside the area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Forde stepped up and coolly slotted home to open the scoring.
As the visitors looked to get a foot-hold in the game, Richard Batchelor fired wide of the target before an acrobatic effort from Josh Gordon landed just over.
Right on the stroke of half-time, a foul on George Bowerman gave Rushall a free-kick in a promising position and Cooper’s curling effort was well saved by Adam Whitehouse.
The early exchanges of the second period saw Stafford Rangers go close when Izak Reid fired over from a good position, whilst Jose Veiga did well to deny Josh Gordon at his near post.
At the other end, there was a let-off for the visitors when Cooper fired over from in front of goal.
Both sides were showing their commitment in this local derby as the clock ticked down with The Pics holding onto their lead and frustrating the visitors with some resolute defending.
A late breakaway for Rushall saw Craig Bannister feed Josh McKenzie who won the race to the ball but dragged his low effort inches wide.
Right at the death, Levi Reid blazed well over from a good position and with it went Stafford’s chances of taking anything from the game.
RUSHALL OLYMPIC: Veiga, Jackson, Smikle, Forde, Eze, Whittall, Partodikromo, Smith, Bowerman (McKenzie 80), Luckie (Bannister 66), Cooper (Symons 78). Subs not used: Christophorou, Dell.
Booking(s): Symons, Bannister
Goal(s): Forde (4)
STAFFORD RANGERS: Whitehouse, L. Reid, Bowen, Tolley, Morris, Reeves, I. Reid (Taylor 82), Sanders (Cater 66), Perry, Gordon, Batchelor. Subs: Thornton, Haughton, McFarlane.