Derby day draw as Stamford share spoils again

Jake Duffy
Jake Duffy
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Stamford were held at home for the second successive match after a 1-1 draw with Spalding on Saturday.

This was Stamford’s third draw of the EvoStik League Division One South season as they again failed to break down stubborn opposition.

And boss Graham Drury was bitterly disappointed by his side’s display against a Spalding side who had shipped nine goals in their last two league games.

Drury said: “They came for a point - and have gone away with one.

“They made the game scruffy and tried to stop us playing, but I was frustrated by our tempo.

“We started well but, once they went ahead, we went into panic mode. We really struggled to find our rhythm.

“We looked very flat for some reason and didn’t have any drive.

“It’s definitely two points dropped because these are the sort of games we must be winning if we want to be challenging.”

Stamford were boosted by the return to fitness of summer signing Jack Jeys who was joined on the substitutes’ bench by Pa Nije, a Gambian international striker who numbers Worcester City, Shrewsbury and Nuneaton as his former clubs.

The Daniels created an excellent opening in the first few minutes as Andy Hall was released but Spalding regrouped to block his goalbound effort.

Sam Hollis put a header just wide from a well-worked free-kick while Gary King tested home goalkeeper Dan Haystead with a well-struck free-kick.

The Tulips took the lead midway through the first half when Henry Eze made a rare error as his underhit back pass was intercepted by Spalding’s new recruit Devante Reittie who fired home from a tight angle.

Stamford responded and it took a fine save from Spalding goalkeeper Michael Duggan to deny Jordan Smith after the home frontman had worked a decent opening.

The home side did get back on level terms on the half-hour mark when Jake Duffy’s free-kick took a deflection off the Spalding wall to wrong-foot Duggan.

But chances were at a premium after that despite the double introduction of Jeys and Nije 10 minutes into the second period.

Jeys tested Duggan with an effort that was safely gathered before the home side had strong penalty appeals turned down when Nije was bundled over in the box by Neal Spafford.

Nije curled another effort just wide but, despite a flurry of pressure, the visitors held out to leave Stamford with a below-par return of six points from their opening five games.

Stamford: Haystead, George, Putman, Morgan, Eze, King, Duffy, Smith, Hollis, Hall. Subs used: Challinor, Njie, Jeys; not used: Hill.

Spalding: Duggan, Fixter, Jackson, Varley, Maslen-Jones, Spafford, Millington, Whitehead, King, Reittie, Acar. Subs used: McGhee, Lockie, Lemon; not used: Harris, Chipamunga.

Attendance: 276.