Daniels pick up first league win in a month

Stamford AFC v Blyth Spartans. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140922-123037001
Stamford AFC v Blyth Spartans. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140922-123037001
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Stamford AFC got back to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Frickley Athletic

The away victory was curtesy of second half goals from Jordan Smith and Shawn Richards, to give the Daniels their first three points since the end of August.

Despite a tough September Stamford’s impressive start to the season means they remain in fifth place in the league despite having several games in hand over the teams around them at the top end of the table.

On Saturday Stamford had the better of the first half exchanges; Nathan Fox had an off target effort from the edge of the area after a Jon Challinor throw-in fell at his feet following a half clearance by the Frickley defence.

Fox them turned provider, suppling a free kick for Jordan Smith to flick on to his captain Richard Jones. However the centre-back, who had a bad afternoon in the FA Cup qualifying second round last week, could not get his shot away before the defence scrambled the ball clear.

The powerful Stamford defender then threatened the homeside’s goal again with a headed effort on target from a Challinor corner but it was well stopped by the Athletic keeper.

After the break Stamford finally made their advantage show on the scoreboard with Smith scoring from close range in the 48th minute after man of the match Nabil Shariff had caused havoc down the right hand wing with a strong run and then dangerous and perfectly placed kick.

Jones then prevented the visitors drawing level with some alert play at the back. The skipper was on hand to clear the ball after his goalkeeper Andy Stevens, back in the side after recovering from injury, almost gifted the inform Athletic a goal when he juggled what should have been a routine take.

However Stevens made amends later on with some great saves to keep the Daniels ahead.

The Stamford skipper was a thorn in Frickley’s side from the set piece through out and in the 75th minute he had another headed effort from a corner stopped by the Athletic custodian. It was late in the game when Richards made the game safe, scoring in the 80th minute after Stamford’s top goal-scorer Ryan Robbins turned provider, holding the ball up and feeding it to his attack partner who did well to avoid a pair of tackles before beating the keeper with his shot.

Stevens had to be alert in the final moments to keep his clean sheet, making a couple of decent saves.

Stamford host Buxton tomorrow night (Tuesday). Kick off 7.45pm.

Stamford: Andy Stevens, Shawn Richards, Nathan Fox, Lewis Carr, Richard Jones (c), Ryan Clarke, Jon Challinor, Emeka Nwadike, Jordan Smith, Nabil Shariff, Ryan Robbins (Matt Cotton). Subs not used: Dalton Bettles, Tom Mcgowan, David Staff.