DANIELS boss Graham Drury is determined to take positives from Stamford’s FA Cup knockout ahead of tomorrow evening’s league tie at home to Gresley.
A two minute spell before half-time proved costly to the Daniels on Saturday, knocking the wind out of their sails after a bright start against Buxton and forcing an early change with Jake Gibson limping off injured.
Gibson had put the Daniels ahead of their Evo-Stik Premier League rivals in the 14th minute, but the Daniels winger was injured by a bad challenge from Buxton’s Grant Black just before half-time and Stamford were caught on the break when play resumed, conceding a spot kick after Richard Jones caught Lee Morris inside the box. Buxton added two late second half goals to settle the tie.
Drury said: “The turning point was Gibbo’s injury I thought for 43 minutes, we were really good. We put together lots of good passing moves but their goal, on the stroke of half time changed the game.
“Jonesy said he definitely got the ball but it looked clumsy. It gave them that belief and they stepped up a gear in the second half.
“It was frustrating because our impetus went at half-time. Their manager was tearing his hair out in the first half but getting a goal back changes the way managers approach half time.”
Drury, who was pleased by the performance of his side, added: “They know how to see out games. I think Buxton will finish higher up than the league table suggests. They have a lot of ex-Conference players.
“Of course, I am disappointed to be out of the Cup but you move on. The lads had a go and put in a good performance.”
Drury estimates that Gibson, who suffered medial knee ligament damage, will be out of action for at least four weeks, possibly longer.
“It’s a big blow for us,” said Drury who hopes to have ex-Loughborough Dynamo wideman Louis Hamilton available for tomorrow’s tie against Gresley.
“They are one of the favourites and they look a strong side. We have to make sure we can move six points clear of them.
“We had a nice little run and hopefully we can start a new one.”
Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 7.45 at Kettering Road.