Stamford boss Graham Drury described Tuesday night’s victory as ‘perfect’ after his side tore apart fourth-placed Rainworth.
It was the ideal response to Saturday’s FA Trophy exit at the hands of Buxton with a first brace for Rickey Miller, and second half goals for Gary King and Jake Gibson.
It was a superb performance from the Daniels that narrows the gap on the top two sides.
Drury said: “It was the perfect result. They were seven games unbeaten but we defended very well and created good goals.
“We went with a 5-3-2 shape for the first time and lads adapted brilliantly.”
Michael Jacklin played in midfield with King partnering Miller up front, and Robbie Maddox playing as sweeper.
“I won’t play 5-3-2 on Saturday but it suited us for this game,” said Drury. “That’s why we have scout’s reports done each week.”
Stamford took the lead after only four minutes. A long throw from Paul Mayo was flicked to the far post where Jacklin beat the keeper to the loose ball and crossed to Richard Jones whose header to Ricky Miller was struck home emphatically by the striker.
The game was held up for 15 minutes during the first half due to a power cut in the village but upon resumption the Daniels carried on where they had left off.
It wasn’t long before Stamford made it two. Andy Hall’s crossfield ball was inch perfect for Mayo and his first time pass found Miller, who turned sharply and let fly with the outside of his boot straight into the top corner.
Stamford started the second half just as strongly. Danny Brooks picked Corey Dyer-Stuart’s pocket and fired narrowly over the bar.
Rainworth were architects of their own downfall for the third and fourth goals. The third came from a Rainworth throw to Sam Craven who was under pressure from Miller, and who gave the ball away to King who slotted home from a tight angle.
Rainworth’s first chance came with 10 minutes left. A cross was cleared by Jones to Callum Lloyd but his shot was just over. They had a better chance soon after when Karl Slack found space for a free header that forced an outstanding save from Matt Finlay, pushing the ball onto the bar.
Stamford’s fourth came late in the game. A long ball down the line from Jack Cotton reached Rainworth captain Mark Camm, who made a hash of his header back to his keeper. Jake Gibson was left with the easy task of playing the ball under the keeper for the fourth.
Stamford’s next match is at home to Mickleover Sports tomorrow at 3pm.
The Daniels then travel to King’s Lynn for the first round of the Doodson League Cup.