A LATE goal by Ryan Wynter was enough to give Stafford Rangers a 2-1 victory over Leamington in what was a fairly low key pre-season friendly on Saturday.
With both sets of players feeling their way back into things after a summer break, the tempo of the match was that of a pre-season fixture.
The hosts were without the likes of Jack Edwards, Tony Breeden, Ben George and Ben Mackey but summer recruits Ross Oulton, Rob Ogleby and Jake Jones were all in the starting line-up along with the returning Jamie Hood.
There were few chances of note for either side over the course of the afternoon, and while a couple of late challenges caused brief flare ups there was little to trouble referee Ben Cooke.
One of Stafford’s new recruits Ben Haseley was the first to try his luck at goal when the prolific former Halesowen Town man fired across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
However Haseley did have his first goal in his new colours on 17 minutes when he was allowed ample time and space to fire a shot past Lewis Fenney in the Leamington goal.
Jake Jones had already drawn appreciative applause from the home crowd for a positive run up the left wing, and he levelled things up on the half hour by latching onto the loose ball after Jamie Tank’s shot was blocked to crash his high rebound high into the net following a free kick.
Ogleby missed a good chance to put Leamington in front when he headed wide from a central position in front of goal and he sent Brakes’ best chance of the second half a whisker wide of the upright after being set up by Jones.
Stafford substitute Jazz Luckie fired straight at Fenney after a good turn, but there was one final chance for the visitors when goalkeeper James Wren played a free kick into the box which was missed by the advancing Fenney and substitute Wynter was presented with the easy task of heading the ball into an empty net.