Drury proud of his players despite dominant Daniels display ending in defeat

Elliot Sandy
Elliot Sandy
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Daniels boss Graham Drury admitted he couldn’t have been more prouder of his players despite defeat away at Cleethorpes Town on Wednesday night.

Stamford went down to a narrow 1-0 away reversal against the table-topping Owls who have won seven games on the bounce since their promotion to the EvoStik League Division One South.

Drury’s charges produced a dominant display, but their ongoing problem of failing to convert chances again proved costly.

This has prompted the Stamford manager to put in two seven days notice of approach for frontmen as he bids to rectify a problem which is threatening to derail his side’s season.

He said: “We were outstanding on Wednesday night. It was the best we have played in a long while.

“We changed the system to three-at-the-back and played with a real high tempo, but again we’ve done everything but score.

“It was heartbreaking really.

“I couldn’t have been more prouder of the players because they’ve been at work all day and then had to make a three-and-a-half hour trip.

“We deserved a lot more, but games are won by sticking the ball in the net and that is something we need to rectify quickly because we’re falling behind other teams.

“Teams are building a brick wall against us and we have to keep believing that we can knock it down.

“I’ve got two approaches in for strikers because this is happening too often and I need to do something about it.”

Stamford made a bright start to Wednesday’s contest and home goalkeeper Liam Highton produced a stunning 16th minute save to tip Jordan Smith’s goalbound header onto the crossbar.

The Daniels continued to create the better openings and home defender Peter Winn was forced to clear off the line after a Stamford corner caused havoc in the home penalty area.

Winn fired an effort wide for the hosts while Liam Adams went close for Stamford after a good run behind the home defence.

Stamford continued on the offensive after the break with Winn clearing another effort off the line with Highton well beaten.

Smith had a header scrambled away by the home rearguard before the Owls took a 57th minute lead against the run of play.

Marc Cooper whipped in a superb cross from the left and Liam Rose powered home a header off the underside of the crossbar.

The goal rocked Stamford and Cleethorpes created the better openings with Davis volleying a good opening over the bar.

Stamford could have snatched a point in the dying throes as a long throw into the penalty area found Jake Duffy who fired over from close range.

The defeat leaves Stamford in 18th place in the league standings, just three points off the bottom spot.

They now face two massive home matches with struggling Romulus the visitors to the Zeeco Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

This is followed on Tuesday night by a home match with Bedworth United who are just a point above Stamford in the league standings.

Drury added: “These two games are the perfect opportunity to pick some points up. If we play like we did on Wedneday night then we are going to hammer someone soon.”

Max Smith-Varnam will continue to deputise in goal on Saturday for the unavailable Dan Haystead while frontman Elliot Sandy is also back in contention.

Pearson Mwanyongo and Joe Burgess both remain sidelined through injury while Andy Hall is going out on loan for a couple of games for match fitness.

Stamford: Smith-Varnam, George, Armstrong, Gordon, Putman, Eze, Hill, Duffy, Smith, Adams, Morgan. Subs used: Challinor, Hollis, Jeys. Not used: King, Hall.