Clark slams critics after Shield success

Have a go at me; leave the players alone - Daniels boss Simon Clark
Have a go at me; leave the players alone - Daniels boss Simon Clark

DANIELS boss Simon Clark has hit back at his side’s critics after Tuesday evening’s victory against Boston United in the Lincolnshire Senior Shield.

DANIELS boss Simon Clark has hit back at his side’s critics after Tuesday evening’s victory against Boston United in the Lincolnshire Senior Shield.

Stamford won the final on penalties after an exciting game against the Blue Square North side ended goalless at York Street, and on Wednesday Clark let rip at a section of fans who he feels have targeted his players unfairly.

“I was absolutely delighted with the result,” he said. “I am made up for the players and the fans. It’s always nice to win and it’s good for the lads.

“They have worked hard and it’s great for them. They have taken a lot of criticism.

“But if people are going to have a go, then have a go at me. Not at a 19-year-old kid working as hard as he can for the side.

“Leave the players alone.”

Admitting it has been a difficult and disappointing season for the Daniels, he added: “It has been frustrating and I have taken some criticism as have some of the players.

“I am trying to build a team that plays the right way and to develop a team in a physical league.

“People expect us to play football 100 percent of the time and that’s what we want to do. We are one of the teams in this league that try to play the right way but sometimes we have to play more direct.”

Clark also revealed his determination to see Stamford do better next season.

“I hope I keep this job for next year. I understand we need to improve but I have good football knowledge and a team who do a very good job for this football club.

“If the players were not behind me they would not have performed the way they did last night (Tuesday).”

Boston United 0 Stamford 0

STAMFORD made it a hat-trick of wins against Boston United in the final of the Lincolnshire Senior Shield on Tuesday.

Missing injured Lee Beeson and a quartet of cup-tied players, a makeshift Daniels faced a Boston side that started with 11 players from their first team squad, including joint manager Jason Lee playing at centre back.

Both sides started strongly with a free kick from Liam Parker the first test for either keeper and Boston’s Ricky Drury needed two attempts to hold the ball.

Mickey Stones headed over the bar for Boston but Stamford were a match for their higher league opponents with Dan Cotton firing wide and Dean Oliver just beaten by Drury to a penetrating through ball.

With 14 minutes on the clock, Boston were awarded what looked a harsh penalty. Ben Sedgemore and Danny Davidson both jumped for the ball which came off Davidson’s head onto Sedgemore’s arm. Stamford supporters felt justice was done when Stones hit the spot kick against the post.

Two minutes later a tricky run from Stef Frost ended with a great save by Chris Wright, and from the following corner Davidson’s header deflected onto the bar.

The end-to-end action continued after the break with Cotton firing against the outside of the post and Boston substitute Liam Ogden blazing over from six yards at the other end.

As Boston raised the tempo, The Daniels started to look stretched and in the last minute of time, Wright couldn’t hold a long cross. Lee’s follow-up shot was blocked and his second attempt flew high over the bar.

Stamford ran down the clock and the game went straight to penalties.

Marc Newsham scored the first for Boston, matched by Andy Toyne for Stamford but then James Cullingworth blazed his spot kick over. Boston scored their next two but Matt Cook, Nick Jackson and Dan Cotton all converted theirs before Wright saved the vital final Boston kick from Stef Frost.

Every Stamford player played well and showed terrific effort towards a win that provides some cheer at the end of a miserable season. It also meant a double for the town, a week after Blackstones won the Senior Trophy.

Stamford: Chris Wright, Matt Cook, Nick Jackson, Andy Toyne, Miles Chamberlain, Liam Parker, Ben Sedgemore, Dave Frecklington (Jake Walton), Seth Burkett, Dean Oliver, Dan Cotton. Subs not used: Stuart King, Max Avory, Craig Hill.

Man of match: Dan Cotton.