Daniels will field a strong side against the Wakes

Ellis Myles and Ryan Clarke defending for Stamford against Gateshead EMN-140731-112312001

Ellis Myles and Ryan Clarke defending for Stamford against Gateshead EMN-140731-112312001

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Stamford AFC will field a strong side against local opponents Bourne in an eagerlyt anticipated pre-season friendly today (Saturday).

But as manager Dave Staff points out, Daniels do not have a large squad, and so every game - whoever the opposition - involves the first team.

In any case, with just two weeks to go to the start of the Evo-stik Northern Premier League, the manager is keen to press on with the preparations, which have gone well so far.

He said: “It’s another 90 minutes of football and the chance to try things and work on the way we want to play.”

Richard Jones (illness) and Dan Lawler (vacation) are unavailable for tomorrow, but otherwise the manager can give game-time to a full squad, which is thankfully free from injury worries.

His optimism for the new season has been fuelled by some good performance in the latest warm-up matches, a 4-3 reverse against Loughborough on Tuesday night and a 2-1 win over Gateshead on Saturday.

Staff was particularly pleased with the game against Conference Premier side Gateshead.

Goals from Ryan Robbins and Shawn Richards either side of half-time secured the win over Gateshead, whose response came from a headed own goal by Ryan Clarke.

Staff said: “This was a nice test for us. Gateshead are two levels above us and are a good side, so the way we played was pleasing. The result could have gone either way, in fairness, but we defended well and had our own chances against a good side.”

The manager was particularly pleased with a solid defence, where Lewis Carr and Ellis Myles both did really well.

In Tuesday’s game, Unlucky Ryan Clarke conceded his second own goal in as many games to give Loughboorough Dynamo the lead, but Robbins equalised and then gave Stamford the lead.

Five minutes into the second half, the home side equalised and then went ahead on 74 minutes.

Stamford equalised again after a run and shot from Nabil Shariff, but Daniels were denied a share of the spoils when Alvin Jarvis conceded a penalty for a challenge in the box, which was duly converted.

The manager was happy with another decent workout, which means his players have now all played at least one full game, although he was critical of the way his side wasted possession on occasions.

Team (versus Loughborough) : Andrew Stevens, Ellis Myles, Jason Field, Ryan Clarke, Lewis Carr, Emeka Nwadike, Matt Cotton, Jon Challinor, Nabil Shariff, Jordan Smith, Ryan Robbins. SUBS: Alvin Jarvis, Shawn Richards, David Staff