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Non League Football

Rangers 'keeper Dean Williams
Image courtesy of Neil Brown

Rangers return to Conference

Stafford Rangers have been promoted back to the Conference after winning a dramatic play-off final against Droylsden.

Stafford Rangers fans have been waiting 11 years, but now they've got plenty to been celebrate after the club sealed their return to the conference with the last kick of Saturday's (May 6, 2006) play-off final.

Stafford had taken a first half lead at Burton's Pirelli Stadium when Street rolled the ball into the path of Grayson who fired the ball left-footed into the roof of the net.

Sending off

And worse was to follow for Droylesden as midfielder Kevin Lynch received his second yellow card before the break.

Re-live the final dramatic stages of the pnalty-shoot-out and all the after-match reactions...
audio Listen to the dramatic penalty shootout >
audio Listen to Rangers manager Phil Robinson >
audio Listen to Rangers Captain Wayne Daniel >
audio Listen to winning penalty taker Levi Reid >
audio Listen to Rangers defender Craig McAughtrie >
audio Listen to Rangers Chairman John Downing >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

But if Stafford thought it was going to be easy against 10 men, they were mistaken. Droylsden were a awarded a disputed penalty early in the second half and Terry Fearns made no mistake from the spot to bring the Bloods level.

After that, Rangers never really got going for the remainder of the second half and survived a few scares before the game was forced into extra time.

Fine saves

With Droylsden starting to tire, Stafford went forward in search of the winner but Bloods 'keeper Dean Philips was always up to the challenge pulling of a series of fine saves.

So with the score tied at 1-1, it meant a nerve-racking penalty shootout was needed to finally separate the two teams.

Rangers' keeper Dean Williams saved the first  Droylsden penalty taken by Terry Fearns' penalty and Levi Reid held his nerve to win the shooutout 5-3 and promote the Rangers back to the Conference after 11 years away.

See the photos from the victorious Rangers game...
Pics- Rangers v Droylsden >
last updated: 08/05/06
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