Official Site Report:
On a miserable night in at Marston Road on a pitch which could only be described as a flooded swamp Stafford Rangers claimed the spoils in the Cannock Chase Derby as they simply played to the conditions better than Hednesford Town.
Despite taking the lead inside the first sixty seconds through a Nick Wellecomme shot which took a huge deflection off Alex Forde, Hednesford were second best all night and their gallant but ultimately misjudged tactic of attempting passing football was never a viable option.
The strong running of Tyree Clarke made the difference for the home side as the Stafford midfield played balls into the less muddy channels to exploits The Pitmen’s lack of pace at the back.
Callum Wright equalised for Stafford on thirteen minutes easily despatching a rebound from close range and as the torrential rain moved in Clarke scored his team’s second goal on forty minutes with a cool finish as a long ball over the top beat Decio Gomes and the linesman’s offside flag.
The Pitmen went in at half time undeservedly level after Darren Campion scored another free kick which, just like the one he scored at Cambridge last Saturday, beat a poor defensive wall and skidded into the net.
The storm which engulfed Marston Road made football an impossibility in the second half but Stafford dealt with the farcical conditions best and sealed a semi-final meeting with Kidsgrove Athletic with another quality finish by Clarke on sixty-five minutes and the striker sealed his hat-trick with a debatable late penalty.