On a night of ups and downs, York erase nightmare of 6-1 Crawley mauling and relegate Rangers.

YORK City confirmed Stafford Rangers' relegation from the Blue Square Premier with a thumping 4-0 victory last night.

Results elsewhere also ended the Minstermen's mathematical hopes of reaching the play-offs this season with five games still left to play.

But that was the last thing on the minds of anyone with a City allegiance after second-half goals from Martyn Woolford, Richard Brodie, Stuart Elliott and Mark Robinson helped heal the wounds from Saturday's 6-1 capitulation at Crawley.

It is perhaps fair to assume that, given the choice, City boss Colin Walker might have handpicked Stafford away as an ideal fixture following such a heavy setback.

The Marston Road outfit have won just one of their 20 league games at home but, as Walker rightly pointed out, you can only beat what's put in front of you and City did that in style following a forgettable first-half.

Twenty-two minutes passed before either side managed a shot of any description and, even then, Ishmale Reid's weak free-kick only required a routine save from the recalled Tom Evans.

At the other end, the visitors had rarely threatened until Robinson squandered an excellent chance to break the deadlock on 38 minutes.

Elliott sent Onome Sodje racing down the right flank and the 19-year-old striker's inviting low cross found Robinson five yards from goal, but the full-back sidefooted straight at Danny Alcock with the goal at his mercy.

Stafford's best opportunity of the half came just seconds before the interval when Evans dropped a Reid cross. Ex-Rowntree Mackintosh forward Neil Grayson then stabbed the ball to striking partner Nick Wellecomme but his goalbound low shot was sliced on to a post by Darren Craddock.

City brought an end to the lethargy by seizing the initiative after the interval. Danny Parslow headed straight at Alcock from five yards after a Woolford corner but, seconds later, City forged ahead.

Woolford scored his 16th goal of the season after winning possession before exchanging passes with Sodje and firing a low drive into Alcock's bottom right-hand corner from 20 yards on 53 minutes.

A crossfield punt by skipper Manny Panther then led to a slick passing move for City's second goal five minutes later. Woolford and Sodje again combined before the former fed the ball to Ben Purkiss who, in turn, pulled the ball back from the by-line for Brodie.

With his back to goal, Brodie spun his marker and found Alcock's bottom right-hand corner with a low eight-yard drive.

City, however, survived a second scare when Evans dropped an inswinging Reid corner but Grayson shot over from five yards.

That only provided brief respite, however, for Stafford and Woolford should have added to the scoreline when he was sent clear by Purkiss but fired wide with Alcock to beat.

The Stafford 'keeper then saved from Robinson after teenage substitute Adam Boyes picked out his overlapping run and Brodie burst past home skipper Wayne Daniel, but his low shot was turned behind for a 78th-minute corner.

Woolford found Elliott waiting 25 yards from goal, though, with the subsequent flag kick and the midfielder unleashed a thunderous drive that rocketed into Alcock's top left-hand corner for a worthy goal of the season contender.

Brodie saw another decent strike saved by Alcock after more good work by Woolford on the left before the Minstermen added a fourth in the second minute of stoppage time. A searching Elliott pass saw Woolford sprint clear from the halfway line, but he shot straight at Alcock when he might have been better advised to go round the overworked 'keeper. The ball fell kindly for Robinson and he made amends for his earlier profligacy by finding the empty net.

Match facts

Stafford 0, York City 4 (Woolford 53, Brodie 58, Elliott 78, Robinson 90)

Key: 10 - Faultless; 9 - Outstanding; 8 - Excellent; 7 - Good; 6 - Average; 5 - Below par; 4 - Poor; 3 - Dud; 2 - Hopeless; 1 - Retire

Tom Evans 5
Darren Craddock 8
David McGurk 7
Danny Parslow 7
Ben Purkiss 7
Manny Panther 8
Stuart Elliott 8
Martyn Woolford 8
Mark Robinson 7
Onome Sodje 8
Richard Brodie 8


Adam Boyes (for Sodje, 66) 7
Nicky Wroe (for Brodie, 83)
Anthony Lloyd (for Parslow, 86)

Subs not used: Mimms, Fortune-West.

City's star man: Woolford - should have scored a hat-trick, but grabbed the first and a hand in the other three.

City player watch: Martyn Woolford

Goal attempts on target: 3
Goal attempts off target: 1
Blocked goal attempts: 1
Passes to own player: 19
Passes to opposition: 7
Crosses to own player: 2
Crosses to opposition: 2
Pass success rate: 70 per cent
Dribbles ball retained: 5
Dribbles ball lost: 8
Dribble success rate: 62.5 per cent
Headers: 7
Tackles: 6
Clearances, blocks and interceptions: 3
Free-kicks won: 3
Free-kicks conceded: 0
Offsides: 0
Bookings: 0

Final summary: Woolford set the tone for an exciting second half with a fine 53rd-minute strike.

He then played a part in Brodie's second goal and claimed assists for Elliott and Robinson's efforts. Missed two great chances for a first senior hat-trick, but Stafford could not contain him after the break and he was fouled three times.

Stafford: Danny Alcock, Wayne Daniel, Djoumin Sangare, Chris Flynn, Samy Mawene, Tom Ingram, Alex Gibson (Steve Hopkinson, 62), Ishmale Reid (Nathan Smith, 70), Jonathan Loukes (Ross Draper, 62), Neil Grayson, Nick Wellecomme. Subs not used: Seb Arnolin, Danny Allen.

Yellow cards: Brodie 21.

Referee: Steven Cummins (Frodsham). Rating: bit over fussy in terms of physical contact, but Brodie will be relieved he showed leniency after showing dissent having earlier being cautioned.

Attendance: 455 (52 from City).

Goal of the match: Elliott's thunderous strike which could also win goal of the season.

Cross of the match: Sodje's unselfish centre for Robinson, who failed to beat Alcock from five yards.