Stamford keep unbeaten streak alive ahead of cup derby clash

Nabil Sharaff celebrates his goal for Stamford Daniels against Nantwich Town. Photo by Geoff Atton
Nabil Sharaff celebrates his goal for Stamford Daniels against Nantwich Town. Photo by Geoff Atton

Stamford’s leading scorers came up big again on Saturday to keep the Evo-Stik Premier side’s growing unbeaten streak alive.

Stamford drew 2-2 with Nantwich Town at the Vic Cousins stadium thanks to Ryan Robbins’ 15th goal of the season and a strike by the inform Nabil Shariff.

However the home side would have come away with nothing if not for the late heroics of their goalkeeper Alex Lynch, who had to be at his shot-stopping best to stop Nantwich snatching the result in injury time.

The Daniels are now unbeaten in their last four, with two wins and two draws, to show for their good form.

The eight points, from a possible 12, has taken Stamford out of the relegation zone and they now have their sights set on climbing the table to improve on their current 18th position.

The Daniels got off to the perfect start on Saturday. Robbins gave Stamford the lead in just the first minute of play, converting a penalty he won after being brought down on a powerful drive into the box.

And it was from the penalty spot that Nantwich levelled the scores.

Aaron Burns was brought down in the area but got back up to score in the 36th minute.

Stamford rode their luck after the break. The visitors were a shade of paint away from taking the lead when Max Harrop smashed the ball against Stamford’s crossbar from a long range free kick. But Lynch was not as lucky moments later when Steve Foster emphatically put the ball high inside the Stamford keeper’s post, from a poorly defended cross.

However Shariff came to the Daniel’s rescue in the 83rd minute, completing a cynical move down the left hand flank which opened up the visitors.

With neither side sitting back in the closing moments Stamford left themselves vulnerable at the back and it took the quick reactions of Lynch to stop Ben Deegan’s low strike with just seconds left to play.

Tonight Stamford’s attention switches to the cup when they face local rivals Spalding United at home in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup.

Lower league Spalding are 13 points clear in the UCL Premier Division and come into the game having only tasted defeat twice this season in competitive matches.

The high-scoring Tulips, who have had heavy investment this season in a promotion bid, are averaging nearly four goals a game in the league.

Spalding come into the quarter-final match-up having beaten Boston Town FC in the first round and Holbeach United in the second.

Tonight’s match will be Stamford’s first game in the competition this season, qualifying for the latter stages of the cup through their higher league status.

Deeping Rangers also compete in the quarter-finals, at home to Grantham Town on Tuesday next week.

Stamford kick off tonight at 7.45pm.