Defeat but no disgrace for Daventry in the opener

Daventry Town captain Jason Lee challenges for a header against Stafford Rangers. Photo: Chris Ward
Daventry Town captain Jason Lee challenges for a header against Stafford Rangers. Photo: Chris Ward

Despite seeing his side lose 2-1 against Stafford Rangers in Saturday’s Northern Premier League opener, Daventry Town boss Darren Foster will be encouraged by their display.

Daventry took an unexpected lead after only four minutes against one of the Division One South title favourites through Karabo Motseweni but the visitors won it through goals from Josh Craddock and Ryan Edmunds.

Daventry went ahead after some neat wing play down the right provided James Tricks with an assist for former Sileby Rangers striker Motseweni to thump the ball past keeper Adam Whitehouse.

Rangers hit back with a 14th minute equaliser from Craddock, the former Hednesford Town midfielder placing a strong header from an Edmunds corner past keeper Ben Heath. Edmunds then turned goal scorer in the 28th minute, collecting a loose headed clearance from Adam Creaney and curling an excellent strike from outside the area and into the far corner, leaving Heath well beaten.

Much of Town’s early play was coming down the left with the impressive partnership of Motsweni and former Kettering wing back Jon Bukasa causing the Rangers defenders all sorts of problems, with winger Tommy Waldock seeing very little of the ball out on the right. Daventry had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away minutes before the interval, Waldock finding provided a fine through ball to Shariff who appeared to have been bought down in the area.

Heath was soon called into making a fantastic fingertip save from Josh Craddock on 53 minutes, turning the midfielder’s long range shot around the post for a corner. Motsweni also hit a superb shot for Daventry which almost took the paint off the post as it went narrowly wide.

Dan Childs did very well coming on as a second half substitute, pushing forward at every opportunity and doing a fine job at breaking up attacks when Rangers broke forward. Ricky Hill again caused concern amongst the Rangers defence with his long throw–ins and Joe Curtis and Adam Confue were both influential in midfield.

Daventry pressed hard for an equaliser but despite dominating the final half an hour, they could not find a second goal past a well organised and strong experienced Rangers defence. But Foster and assistant Neil Chapelovier will have very been pleased with the way their hastily arranged squad have performed against what should prove to be one of the toughest opponents.