Star made the long trip to Shropshire to face basement boys Ellesmere Rangers at Beech Road in this Midland Football Alliance clash; the host creating the first chance on 6 minutes when Jamie Haynes flashed a freekick just over the Star crossbar. With a very heavy pitch Star found the going tough and struggled to get there trademark fast paced, free flowing, attacking football going.
On 23 minutes Ezekiel Tomlinson played a superb cross field ball to Daniel Holgate, but the big striker slipped and miss hit his shot wide of the Rangers’ goal. The hosts took the lead on 31 minutes when James O’Reiley played a ball over the top of the Star backline, allowing Kevin Renshaw to race clear and a one on one with Karl Hunter in the Star goal; Renshaw kept his nerve to calmly slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net a goal that came totally against the run of play
The second half started with Star beginning to get to grips with the pitch and string together a few passes, but only really creating a few half chances, but on 57 minutes the visitors equalised, Tony Green whipped a ball into the Rangers’ penalty area causing panic amongst the Rangers defence; Matt Hunt took advantage of this running into the area and glancing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net’ pass the outstretched hand of the diving Richards in the Rangers’ goal. That was the big defender’s first goal for Star since his move from Pelsall Villa. The goal seemed to stun the home side, who resorted to hitting long balls forward to the front men; Star were now in complete control of the game and turning the screw, but couldn’t find a way pass a very resilient Rangers team.
72 minutes in and the hosts had a penalty appeal waved away by the ref after claiming hand ball against full back Lewis Wright. The final 15 minutes saw both teams searching for the winner and the game becoming very stretched; becoming end to end. After, 78 minutes, Skipper Davion Hamilton and striker Rikardo Reid combined and played an excellent one two on the edge of the Rangers’ area, with Hamilton slipping an excellent reverse pass into the path of Reid, whose goal bound effort was blocked and put out of play by Louis Irving. With two minutes of normal time remaining and the game heading towards a draw Star launched one final attack; Hamilton swept a ball out to the left hand edge of the area, to Green, who curled a ball into the box allowing Holgate to rise up above the Rangers’ defence and powerfully head the ball into the top right hand corner of the net to seal three hard earned points for Star. The victory sees Star move up to 16th place in the table with 17 points from 14 games. Star are in action this wednesday 5th December when we welcome Bridgnorth Town to Dales Lane in the Midland Football Alliance k.o. 7.45pm.
Continental: Hunter; Wright; Davis (Hoyte 53) Hunt; O’Garro; Green; Hamilton(c); Tomlinson; Reíd; Holgate; Benjamin. Subs not used: Gough; Ellis (Gk)
Report by: Adam Duffy, Continental Star.