Away win extends Stamford’s unbeaten run and boosts play-off bid

Eliot Putman
Eliot Putman
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Stamford stretched their unbeaten run to five games after an excellent 2-1 away success at Gresley Rovers on Tuesday night.

Two goals in four first-half minutes laid the foundations for the Daniels’ success which takes them onto the verge of the Evo-Stik Division One South play-offs.

Despite their Derbyshire hosts being rooted to the foot of the table, the Moatmen had strengthened their ranks in recent weeks.

One-time Stamford loanee Max Smith-Varnam started in goal for the hosts while ex-Daniel Alvin Jarvis was on the Gresley bench.

Recent recruit Ryan Robbins was suspended for the match against his former club after serving the second of his three-match ban for his sending off against Lincoln United.

The home side started brightly enough but it was Stamford who went closest when Liam Adams cut in from the left but his shot flew just the wrong side of the near post.

Stamford took the lead midway through the opening period when Eliot Putman burst forward before firing home a well-struck shot that beat Smith-Varnam at the near post.

The Daniels’ lead was doubled four minutes later when Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson won the race with Smith-Varnam for a ball over the top.

The recent Stamford recruit then crossed into the box for Liam Adams to head home unchallenged for his fourth goal in six games.

Gresley came close to halving the deficit eight minutes before half-time when Lucas Harrison rattled the crossbar with a fierce strike.

It wasn’t until the 72nd minute that Gresley managed to claw a goal back when Dan Haystead palmed away another well-struck shot from Hill.

Matt Melbourne was waiting to pounce though and reacted by smashing the ball home for the opening goal.

However, despite the hosts’ need for an equaliser, it was Stamford who created the best chance of the finale.

Adams connected with a free-kick from the right but his effort was superbly turned away by Smith-Varnam to deny the Daniels a third goal.

The victory moved Stamford up to eighth place in the table with only goal difference keeping them out of the play-off places.

They take a break from league action on Saturday when league rivals Loughborough Dynamo are the visitors to the Zeeco Stadium in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy.

Stamford will be keen to avenge a recent league defeat by Loughborough who ran out 3-1 winners as three goals in the final 25 minutes cancelled out Adams’ 48th minute opener for the Daniels.

Gresley: Smith-Varnam, Roome (K King), Egginton, Barrett, Wake, Hill, Harrison, Morris, Dasaolu (R King), Melbourne, Danquah (Law). Not used: Jarvis, Stevenson.

Stamford: Haystead, George, Putman, Armstrong, Gordon, Eze, Morgan, Challinor, Smith, Adams (Hollis), Fortnam-Tomlinson (Mwanyongo). Not used: King.

Attendance: 215.