Brigg Town 3
STAMFORD ended their third consecutive away trip the same way as the other two – losing by the odd goal.
Ben Sedgemore returned playing just in front of the two centre backs and Stamford started strongly. The early minutes were played in the Brigg half and the pressure paid off when Stamford took the lead after seven minutes.
Tony Battersby turned, leaving three Brigg defenders standing before playing the ball to Lee Beeson. He moved it forward quickly to Andy Toyne who used his strength to hold off a defender before laying the ball off to Jamie Clarke who took the ball a couple of yards and then drove the ball under Robert Zand in the Brigg goal.
Brigg struggled to get in the game and 15 minutes had gone before they threatened the Stamford goal, and only then with a long range effort from Anthony Bowsley which went straight in the arms of Chris Wright.
Gradually Brigg grew into the game and Wright had to be sharp to beat Paul Grimes to a good through ball diving at his feet to hold the ball.
The home side pulled level on the half hour when Grimes’ low, hard cross was turned in by Andrew Holt.
They were close to taking the lead minutes later when Grimes was set free by a long ball but Wright just beat him to the ball.
Stamford lifted the pace with Cotton and Beeson both having chances. Beeson, completely unmarked, side-footed the ball over from 12 yards.
The misses proved costly and with almost the last ball of the half, Ryan Paczpowski slipped the ball past Wright to give Brigg a 2-1 lead at half time –but one they owed to two good saves from their keeper.
Neither side took control in the early stages of the second half but a bizarre incident on the hour allowed Brigg to increase their lead.
A hard low cross came off Miles Chamberlain and ended up with Paul Malone on the far post. He seemed to nudge the ball for Wright to clear but he picked up the ball instead. The referee indicated an indirect free kick a yard off the Stamford goal line and despite having almost every Stamford player on their line, Bowsley smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
The referee was surrounded by protesting Stamford players and that led to a red card for Lee Beeson which was a serious blow to Stamford. After tormenting ex-Daniel Dan Barrett in the first half, Beeson had done the same to Tommy Spall who had already been booked.
Stamford had to push forward and Simon Clark brought on Simon Mowbray and Ryan Oliver, and with two minutes left, Oliver got on the end of a through ball from Millson and smashed the ball home.
In the final minute, Toyne finished off a strong run with a fierce shot but although Zand spilled the ball he managed to stick out a foot to push the ball away from Mowbray.
In injury time Stamford were handed a lifeline – a free kick for a Brigg back pass to the keeper 12 yards out. But it ended with the ball sailing over the Brigg cross bar.
Brigg are fourth in the league, 11 places above Stamford but there was little difference between the two sides. Stamford will look back at their first half misses, saves by the Brigg keeper and the dismissal of Beeson as reasons for the defeat but they need also to look back at the first two Brigg goals which were scored too easily.
Stamford: C Wright, M Evans, N Jackson, B Sedgemore (A Millson 45), M Chamberlain, P Malone, L Beeson, A Toyne, T Battersby (R Oliver 72), J Clarke (S Mowbray 72), D Cotton. Subs not used: S Burkett, J Walton.
Man of match: Matt Evans