Drury’s Daniels win at Mickleover Sports

Stamford AFC v FC United of Manchester. Tom Batchelor jumps. Photo: John Evely EMN-150323-141107001
Stamford AFC v FC United of Manchester. Tom Batchelor jumps. Photo: John Evely EMN-150323-141107001

Stamford AFC manager Graham Drury earned his first win of his third reign as manager at the club on Saturday with a 1-0 result away at Mickleover Sports.

New signing Jake Duffy, brought in from Holbeach United where he played under Drury, scored the only goal of the game in Derbyshire in the 58th minute.

The Daniels’ defence held out to earn a vital three points against a side they will be looking to leap-frog in the coming weeks towards the bottom end of the Evo-Stik NPL.

Relegation threatened Stamford remain second from bottom but are now just seven points clear from dragging themselves out of the bottom four positions.

The quality of both side’s football suffered under the battering wind at the Don Amott Leisure Centre Arena in an error-strewn game.

However the visitors had the opening chance of the match when midfielder Tom McGowan called Mickleover stopper Max Smith-Varnum into action.

After after 15 minutes Sports’ Zeph Thomas deliver a dangerous cross which the visitors only just cleared.

Stamford striker Greg Smith, who has returned to the club again after a brief spell at Grantham Town, was using his big frame to cause problems for the home defence and had a decent shot saved.

Duffy went close for Stamford in the 37th minute with a curling free kick which went just wide of the upright.

After an even first half with few clear cut chances the sides went in scoreless at the break.

In the second half Stamford took the lead with a slice of good play and perhaps good luck too.

Duffy ran onto a through-ball into the box, and ignoring the hint of offside he fired the ball low under the advancing keeper and into the net.

Mickleover tried to find an equalising goal but Stamford held firm to get Drury his first win at the fourth time of asking.

The Daniels host high-flying Darlington next at the Zeeco Stadium on Saturday.

Mickleover Sports: Max Smith-Varnum, Jake Bennett, Ashley Jackson (Simeon Oshoboke 83), Chris Spencer (Anthony O’Neil Dwyer 65), Jack Broadhead (Dawes 83), Nico Degirolamo (c), Andy Dales, Sam Finlaw, Zeph Thomas, Anthony Griffiths Junior, Jake Green.

Substitute unused: Kurty Morley.

Stamford AFC: Ashley Timms, Ellis Myles, Jason Field, Jon Challinor (c) (Elliot Hodge 45), Tom Batchelor, Brad Gascoigne, Lee Beeson, Tom McGowan, Greg Smith, Jake Duffy, Jordan Smith (Lewis Carr 90 + 3).

Substitutes not used: Dalton Bettles, Andrew Wright, Jack Drury.

Referee Mr N Pratt.

Attendance: 223