Carlton 4 Stamford 2
THE Daniels were soundly beaten by Carlton Town on Wednesday.
With neither Lee Beeson nor Miles Chamberlain fit and Jake Gibson still on holiday it was a completely unchanged squad and starting eleven from the win against Kidsgrove on Saturday.
Carlton started strongly and after 10 minutes a clearance from Rob Maddox was charged down and the ball fell straight to Robert Gill. His snap shot forced a great save from Ziccardi. Carlton took the lead on 15 minutes with a long range shot from Hawkridge which curled into the top corner.
On the half hour there was a real scramble as Ziccardi twice tried to grab the ball until it was cleared for a corner by Tom Land. The corner was scuffed along the ground and Ashley Kitchen was alert to sweep the ball home.
Two minutes later Stamford came their closest to scoring when a Carlton defender headed a Cotton free kick behind his own defence but the ball eluded first Gregg Smith and then Michael Jacklin.
There were only five minutes left when Stamford had their first genuine chance when Matt Cook and Sam Mullarkey combined well, but the shot from Mullarkey was always rising over the bar.
After the break, Stamford needed a good start to get back into the game and Cotton delivered driving home a poor defensive header.
The goal lifted Stamford and they had their best move of the game.
Smith at last beat the Carlton centre backs and first held up the ball well before squaring it for Mullarkey to run onto. His run took him past the outside of two defenders but his shot rose over.
Stamford pulled another goal back through Cotton who charged down a clearance and played the ball to Mullarkey. He beat two players before unselfishly playing the ball straight into the path of Cotton who smashed the ball home.
Cotton missed an easy chance late on which proved costly as a minute later Massiah McDonald scored a fourth for Carlton.
Stamford: Mario Ziccardi, Matt Cook, Dan Barrett, Chris Gray, Tom Land (Danny Brooks 83), Michael Jacklin, Danny Steadman, Robbie Maddox (Andy Toyne 75), Greg Smith (Dean Oliver 75), Sam Mullarkey, Dan Cotton. Subs not used: Seth Burkett, Stuart King