FOOTBALL: Daniels aim to maintain perfect start

Stamford players celebrate Sam Mullarkey's goal, which proved enough to win Saturday's FA Cup tie at home against Borrowash Victoria'Photo: Geoff Atton
Stamford players celebrate Sam Mullarkey's goal, which proved enough to win Saturday's FA Cup tie at home against Borrowash Victoria'Photo: Geoff Atton

STAMFORD face Kidsgrove Athletic this afternoon hoping to make it three out of three at the start of their league campaign.

The Daniels have beaten Northwich Victoria and Lincoln United in their opening two EvoStik First Division South games of the season, and followed those high-scoring encounters with a 1-0 victory in the FA Cup on Saturday. If they can marry Saturday’s clean sheet to their early goal-scoring form, they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Sam Mullarkey’s goal was enough to send Stamford through to face Holbeach United in the next round of the cup but the Daniels should have seen off Borrowash Victoria by more than the solitary goal at Kettering Road.

Steve Smith in the Borrowash goal was in inspired form and even when he was beaten the post came to his rescue to prevent Jordan Smith adding to Mullarkey’s 56th minute goal, which was cleverly set up by Gary King.

The Daniels rarely looked threatened in the second half but had Callum Thompson steered his late header under the bar, the Daniels would have been made to rue their missed chances. As it is they held on for a deserved win and their first clean sheet of the season, ahead of Monday’s league tie at Kidsgrove Athletic.

Daniels boss Graham Drury said: “We have to be more clinical. It’s about killing games off, otherwise it only takes one late chance.

“It’s really important that we go into the league games and take chances but overall we kept our first clean sheet of the season and if we keep that for the next game I will be happy.”

Borrowash had few clear cut chances and Drury added: “I think they tried to stop us and keep the score down while looking for that one chance.”

Stamford enjoyed dominant spells in both halves with Andy Hall’s looping 20 minute header Smith’s first real test in the visitors’ goal.

Two minutes later, Smith had a header clawed from the base of Smith’s left hand post, and not long after former Daniel Luke Garton prevented Mullarkey getting his shot in as Stamford began to take control of the game.

Mullarkey broke the deadlock early in the second half dinking the ball past Smith diagonally into bottom left of the goal and after that Stamford had chance after chance to add to their tally.

Ultimately one goal proved enough and Stamford will travel to Holbeach for the nest round on September 8.Kick off will be at 3pm.