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Evo-stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Leek Town 2 Stafford Rangers 0

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

Man of the match Sam Hall.

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BLUES turned in another professional performance to inflict a first defeat of the season on Stafford Rangers on Bank Holiday Monday.

The clubs had never met in a league competition before and Leek claimed bragging rights to go two points clear at the top of the table with their 100 per record still intact.

Chances were few and far between until the 23rd minute, when former Blues' striker Dan Cope turned on the edge of the box – but his shot was deflected, leaving Ben Chapman to claim the loose ball.

Just one minute later, Blues again came close to taking the lead when Dan Shelley drove a corner into the box and Darren Chadwick was narrowly wide with a header.

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However, Blues swept into the lead on 25 minutes when Bell played a corner back to Shelley outside the box and he drove a shot through a crowded penalty area where Niall Maguire steered the ball wide of the helpless keeper.

Stafford opted to play the long ball and also relied heavily on the long throw of Sam Griffiths – but the Leek defence were rarely in any danger.

Leek continued to play the ball on the deck but chances went begging until they stretched their lead in time added on at the end of the first half.

Once again, Bell drove a free kick from deep on the left and Sam Hall rose just inside the box to plant a header in the far bottom corner.

Blues opened the second half on the attack and Tim Grice had a shot blocked, while at the other end, Alex Curtis' cross found Christian Dacres at the far post – but Chapman smothered his effort.

Stafford's best chance of the game came in the 54th minute when a high ball into the box found Cope in space – but he completely missed the ball.

Blues then began to control the game and Shelley, Maguire and Hall all went close before Shotton crashed a shot into the woodwork.

In the 72nd minute, Cope missed out with an attempted scissor kick and two minutes later, Mark Branch almost conceded an own goal as Blues kept up the pressure.

Stafford got their only shot of the half on target in the 78th minute, when Chapman was forced to concede a corner.

Leek Town: Chapman, Smith, Jackson, Hall, Espley, Chadwick, MaGuire, Shelley, Grice (Johnson 76), Shotton, Bell (Danylyk 79). Subs not used: Donnelly, Kinsey, Moorhead.

Stafford Rangers: Whitehouse, Griffiths, Branch, Ballinger, Daniel, Williams (Smith 72), Dance, Dacres, Wynter (Edwards 67), Cope, Curtis (Nadat 53). Subs not used: Mills, Donnes.

Man of the match: Sam Hall Attendance: 472

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