Stamford extended their unbeaten run to seven games with a 3-2 victory at home against Market Drayton on Saturday.
Louis Hamilton levelled for the Daniels after Nick Porter had given the visitors the lead at Kettering Road, but a brace from Sam Mullarkey put Stamford in the driving seat. Ryan Connor then set up a nervous finale after scoring from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute.
Stamford boss Graham Drury said: “It’s another three points to keep us on the coat-tails of the top two.
“It was comfortable until the referee gave them a dubious penalty with five minute to go. There were lots of positives. Sam had a very good chance for a hat-trick.”
Stamford started brightly and Paul Mayo had the first decent chance after just five minutes, letting rip after Mullarkey had teed him up. But his shot was tipped around the post.
Drayton took the lead soon after with a Porter collecting a deep cross and slipping the ball past Matt Finlay after nine minutes.
Stamford equalised on 24 minutes when a long throw from Mayo was flicked on by Gary King for Hamilton to head home from close range.
The Daniels tool the lead 14 minutes later with King once again the provider, playing a neat one-two with Jack McGovern, and crossing for Mullarkey to flick the ball in.
Stamford started the second half once again in the ascendancy. A great ball through the middle found Mullarkey one-on-one with the keeper whom he rounded but only for Drayton’s last man to recover well and pull the ball away just in time.
Mullarkey was on the scoresheet again just minutes later however. Mayo found King with a quick free kick on the left and his header fell perfectly for the Stamford striker to thrash into the top corner for his third goal in two matches.
At the other end, Finlay pulled off a superb save when Delroy Fox ran unchecked at goal but he could do nothing about Connor’s spot kick, awarded somewhat harshly when the ball appeared to hit Jack McGovern around the midriff with his arms at his side. Connor calmly placed the ball to Finlay’s left but Stamford held on for the three points.
M-o-M: Sam Mullarkey
Match sponsor: The International Mystery Men.