UTTOXETER Town bounced back from Saturday’s demoralising League Cup exit at the hands of bogey side Ball Haye Green by winning through to the quarter-finals of the Leek Cup.
Matty Redshaw netted a brace, with Nick Ward and substitute James Curley also on target to see off a battling Stapenhill who had reduced the deficit to 3-2 in the latter stages.
It was the sixth time the teams had attempted to play the fixture and even on Monday evening the match had to be switch to Rocester’s Hillsfield ground.
Town manager Mark Grimley and assistant Andy O’Connor made a host of changes, with Mark Hodson, Ward, Glyn Douglas, Ollie Crooks and Redsha all brought in the starting line-up at the expense of Rob Collins, Liam Sowter, Jason Cockshutt and James Curley.
And there was a marked improvement in the Town performance from the first minute.
The midfield of Gadsby and Esplin, flanked by Hodson and Crooks, worked tirelessly to put a buoyant Stapenhill side on the back foot and the opener arrived after just four minutes.
Ward, playing alongside Redshaw in a forward role, headed the ball brilliantly out to Crooks who played in Redshaw with a fine through ball, and the marksman made no mistake, lashing home superbly from the left side of the area.
Hodson nearly extended the lead with a fine run and shot but saw his effort curl just the wrong side of the post.
Stapenhill restored parity on the half hour when a wonder save from Langridge fell at the feet of the home striker who rammed home at the second attempt.
Stapenhill’s joy was shortlived when Redshaw turned provider for Ward to restore Town’s lead.
A clever ball found the target man in the area, and an impudent flick over the keeper gave Ward an open goal.
The second half saw Stapenhill again press but the defence of Bagley and Price were resolute, while Douglas produced a fine defensive display at left back.
The introduction of Curley on 65 minutes saw a reshuffle in shape and after a period of adjusting Town were soon back in their groove.
Ward battled well and fed Curley who in turn slipped Redshaw in for another superb finish with 20 remaining.
Stapenhill grabbed a lifeline when Hodson conceded a penalty which cut the lead to just one goal.
But Curley hammered the final nail in the coffin, finishing brilliantly from another Ward through-ball.
It was a huge improvement from Town following the 3-0 defeat against Ball Haye Green two days earlier.
Uttoxeter remain in Leek Cup action this Saturday away to Newcastle Town, kick-off 2pm.
Peter J Douglas man-of-the-match: Matty Redshaw
TOWN: Langridge, Holley, Price, Bagley, Douglas (Richards 74), Hodson, Gadsby, Esplin, Crookes (Curley 65), Ward, Redshaw