Stamford AFC are looking to put their recent dip in the league behind them and try to emulate last season’s success in the FA Cup when they take on Lincoln United in the first qualifying round of the competition tomorrow.
Last season the Daniels reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time in 40 years.
They beat Grantham in the opening round 3-2 after playing out a scoreless draw the first time they met, before beating AFC Wulfrunians 4-1 and Aston United 4-2. Their run finally came to an end against a strong Hednesford Town when they lost 2-0.
Tomorrow Stamford travel to Lincoln, who play one division below them in the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier First Division South, having lost their last three league fixtures.
However Lincoln United are also struggling of late and are fourth from bottom in their league with just one win in six matches.
Daniels manager David Staff said: “The FA Cup is very important for us, and the finances are important to the club.
“The FA Cup is something the players always look forward to being involved with.
“We are going to have to be at our best to beat Lincoln, especially away from home. We will have to eliminate the errors if we want to progress.”
Staff may have to make the trip without some of his best players with skipper Richard Jones a doubt with a calf injury and star striker Ryan Robbins nursing a rolled ankle.
Dan Lawlor and Cameron Powell are also both still out, stretching Stamford’s impressive but reasonably small squad.
Staff said: “We don’t want to blame injuries but it is tough when you have a small squad. Richard Jones I thought was a big loss to us on Tuesday and he is doubtful for the weekend.”
Staff said he would probably give him a fitness test tomorrow morning, such is the importance of his centre back.
There is an added spice to the game on Saturday with many ex-Stamford players now at United, including the manager.
Lincoln manager Dave Frecklington played for Stamford in the noughties and was assistant manager at the club three years ago. When manager Simon Clark left in 2011, the club tried to convince Frecklington to step up as manager with no success.
This summer he signed Jason Field from the Daniels.
Despite Lincoln struggling in the league below Stamford, they are a team to be reckoned with and the recent return of striker Andy Hutchinson makes them a real threat.
Hutchinson has just returned to full fitness and after suffering from pneumonia and an ankle injury, and he was a large reason Lincoln are playing Stamford tomorrow having put in a dominant display in the Whites’ 4-0 win over Brigg Town in the preliminary qualifying round of the FA Cup.