Former Kidsgrove Athletic forward Ben Mills scored the only goal of the game as Stafford Rangers knocked the Grove out of the Staffordshire FA Senior Cup at the semi-final stage.
Mills’ goal came just after the hour mark at Hollinwood Road and, means the holders will now look to retain their trophy in the final where they play either Rushall Olympic or Stoke City under 23s, their semi-final takes place on the 26th March.
It was Kidsgrove who made the early running in the match with Kyle Diskin and Anthony Malbon both having good chances in the first 10 minutes, had Malbon’s strike gone it would have been another excellent goal for the forward, as he caught it with the inside of his foot. However, it was to go wide of the goal.
From there the visitors started to settle into the game with winger Joe Cuff been at the centre of all the Stafford attacks. He also had a couple of excellent chances himself. But, he wasn’t able to beat Kieran Harrison.
Diskin could have opened the scoring on 33 minutes when, he was put clear by Lee Williamson, however, his well-hit shot was met with a fine save by Adam Siviter to put the ball out for a corner.
In the second half, Cuff was again the key man for the Boro and, he had two good chances to score. The first he put an effort wide of the goal, before going even closer just a minute later, when he saw his strike hit the post and rebound back into play.
Less than 10 minutes later and, Stafford got their goal when a corner was played to Mills, who had no one marking him and he was able to head the ball into the back of the net.
Stafford could have made it 2-0 on 67 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position. Former Leek Town man Louis Briscoe hit a powerful effort towards goal, which, Harrison had to grab at the second attempt as Mills was lurking in the six-yard box.
With timing running out Kidsgrove kept throwing men forward, hoping to try and take the game to penalties and, it almost caught them out when, Stafford sub Jake Charles broke clear, however, Ollie Jepson was able to make a recovering tackle to keep the score at 1-0.
Ryan Austin threw himself on with four minutes to go to try and, change things around and, it nearly worked when he almost scored an equaliser. Diskin whipped in an excellent cross and, he leapt like a salmon to head the ball. However, Luke Jones was able to nick the ball away to preserve the visitors lead.
It was a disappointing way for Kidsgrove to go out of the competition at the semi-final stage, they are back in league action on Saturday when they visit Droylsden.
Kidsgrove Athletic: Harrison, Thompson, Morris, Bergin (Rhodes, 78), Jepson, Butler, Diskin, Williamson, Budrys, Malbon and Rumenio (Austin, 86)
Unused subs: N/A
Stafford Rangers: Stiviter, Coulson, Hill, Jones, Burns, Sherratt, Bailey-Jones (Jake Charles, 62), Thornley, Mills (Howarth, 84), Briscoe and Cuff (Arber, 90+1).
Unused subs: Burnett and Dixon.