THE Daniels face one of the hardest, most physical teams in the league tomorrow in an Evostik Division One South showdown at Glapwell.
Stamford are the middle of a run of four away games and boss Simon Clark is preparing for a tough test against a route one side that doesn’t pull any punches.
Clark said: “This league is physical with many sides not looking to play football. Glapwell are probably the best exponents of that.”
Adding his young players need to learn a little bit of cunning to counter the physical approach, he expects tomorrow, Clark said: “Against the more experienced sides we have been a little bit naive but it takes time to learn how to cope.
“But these lads are learning and we will be different next year.”
And despite a difficult run of fixtures Clark expects his side to move up the league table.
He said: “I still want a top ten finish.”
However he is likely to be missing Simon Ashton and Ben Sedgemore through injury, and has lost the services of Nathan Adams, who has signed for Northern Counties East League club, Lincoln Moorlands.
Clark, who recruited Adams from Lincoln City earlier this season, said: “He has decided to play his football closer to home due to securing a new job.”
Stamford were unfortunate not to take a point from Kidsgrove where they lost 4-3 on Saturday but were poor during Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Goole.
The hosts played to their strengths using the long ball forward quickly to very tall strikers and Stamford didn’t play to theirs, starving their two wide players of the ball for long periods. In 90 minutes, Stamford didn’t have a shot on target.
Clark stuck to the 5-3-2 formation he fielded at Kidsgrove but when Ashton pulled up in the warm up, Seth Burkett had to step in as the third centre back.
Stamford should have gone behind after six minutes but a goal would have sparked huge protests from the Stamford players.
The referee stopped play to allow treatment to a Goole player and restarted with Stamford passing the ball back to the keeper.
The ball was intercepted and quickly played forward to Richard Pierpoint. His cross set up Gavin Allott with just Chris Wright to beat but he shot well wide.
Goole stuck to their tactics of the long, high ball and it paid off after 23 minutes when Allott got behind the Stamford defence and hit the ball past Wright to score goal number 22 this season.
Whenever Stamford won the ball, Goole immediately put the player in possession under pressure, crowding and harrying him.
The pressure forced quick, often misplaced, passes and Stamford found it difficult to get out of their own half.
They should have gone further behind towards the end of the half but, a yard off the far post, Allott managed to head a Luke Jeffs’ free kick back right back across goal.
Stamford lifted their game after the break, dominating the first 15 minutes but without creating a chance on goal.
Stamford should have been level when Adam Millson played a superb ball to Jamie Clarke. He beat three defenders to take the ball into the Goole area but then made a complete air shot, falling over in the process, and the ball ran out for a goal kick.
Stamford: Chris Wright, Matt Evans, Nick Jackson, Seth Burkett, Miles Chamberlain, Paul Malone, Lee Beeson, Andy Toyne, Tony Battersby (Simon Mowbray 66), Jamie Clarke, Dan Cotton (Adam Millson 51). Subs not used; Simon Ashton, Simon Clark, Richard Stainsby.
Stamford v Kidsgrove match report – page 126