Plucky Daniels suffer narrow loss to Salford ‘glamour boys’

Players exchange handshakes before Saturday's match between Stamford and Salford City in Manchester EMN-151124-115037001
Players exchange handshakes before Saturday's match between Stamford and Salford City in Manchester EMN-151124-115037001
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The Daniels poor form continued on Saturday in a 1-0 defeat away to the current glamour boys of non-league football, FA Cup giant-killers Salford City.

Going into the game Graham Drury’s side were massive underdogs given their five-game losing streak in the league and their perilous position in the relegation zone.

The Manchester side, in comparison, were unbeaten in five, pushing for promotion and buoyed by their recent televised cup exploits against League 2 Notts County.

In freezing temperatures Stamford started with little possession and, having set up to defend, they invited pressure from Salford in their own half. But the Daniels defended well and looked organised at the back.

However it wasn’t long until Salford, whose players starred in a recent BBC documentary series, opened up Stamford’s defence with Luke Clark having his free kick from the left blocked and James Poole firing narrowly wide of the right post.

Stamford’s Greg Smith was booked in the opening half for a sliding tackle on the Salford keeper Jay Lynch.

However Smith created problems in the home defence a few moments later but his header was safely gathered by Lynch after a mix up at the back. This was the start of a decent attacking spell for the Daniels, who threatened again only for Smith for shoot over the bar following a great one-two with Duffy.

Salford were cheered on by former Manchester United and England star Gary Neville, who is one of the co-owners with his old United team-mates Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt.

And they began to dominate towards the end of the first half with one effort dropping just over the crossbar.

And just a minute before the break, the Daniels’ defences were breached as Lewis Hardcastle set up Tom Peers and he found the net with a low finish from 15 yards.

It was the home side’s first shot on target but, in truth, they deserved the lead.

Stamford came out for the second half on the front foot and almost levelled immediately, only for Smith to nod wide from Duffy’s corner.

Salford were lucky again in the 60th minute when Ellis Myles broke free into the penalty area but his powerful cross deflected onto a defender and into the hands of the keeper.

Back came Salford, who will be appearing in another televised live FA Cup game, at home to Hartlepool next week, with a low shot across goal just missing the post.

The home side then had penalty appeals waved away by the referee after Chris Lynch crossed to Stopforth, who appeared to be brought down by a Stamford player.

Overall, though, the second half was very even with few chances for both sides.

But Salford held on to take the three points and add to Stamford’s league woes.

Gary Neville later Tweeted about his joy at the victory on social media and his delight at the bumper attendance of 1,311.

Next up for the Daniels is Marine at home with Graham Drury looking for his first win as the new manager.

Salford City: Jay Lynch, Luke Clark (Elliot Kebbie 82 mins), Steve O’Hallaran, Gary Stopforth, Steve Howson, Chris Lynch (C), Lewis Hardcastle, Tunji Moses, James Poole (Danny Webber 59 mins), Richie Allen, Tom Peers (Jordan Hulme 59 mins.

Unused Subs – Scott Burton, Joe Mwasile.

Stamford FC: Jonathan Hedge, Jon Challinor, Nathan Fox, Paul Malone, Bradley Gascoigne, Tom McGowan, Ellis Myles (Elliot Hodge 66 mins), Andrew Wright (Tom Batchelor 66 mins), Greg Smith, Jake Duffy, Jordan Smith (Shawn Richards 79 mins).

Unused Subs – Andrew Phillips, Lewis Carr.

Referee – Simeon Lucas.

Attendance – 1,311.