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Stamford AFC are beaten by Grantham Town in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup



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Stamford fell at the first hurdle in this year's Lincolnshire Senior Cup as Grantham overturned an early deficit to claim the pre-season bragging rights at the Zeeco Stadium on Tuesday night.

Jack Duffy had given the Daniels an early advantage in the first round clash before Jonathan Wafula levelled shortly afterwards.

Ashton Hall then put the Gingerbreads ahead before Sisa Tuntulwana sealed their success after the break.

Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403255)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403255)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403257)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403257)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403259)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403259)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403261)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403261)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403263)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403263)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403265)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403265)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403267)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403267)

Former Stamford goalkeeper Dan Haystead then made a couple of fine saves late on to deny the Daniels a comeback and earn his new club a trip to last year's beaten finalists Gainsborough Trinity in the last four.

A lively start between the near neighbours saw Stamford have the better opening exchanges and they deservedly took the lead.

Cameron Johnson had seen a deft shot deflected for a corner and, from the resultant setpiece, Duffy pounced to rifle home a finish into the bottom corner.

The goal seemed to kick-start Grantham into action and they levelled shortly after when Harry Wood floated over a free-kick and Wafula soared above the Stamford defence to head home.

Grantham - with the strong breeze at their backs - then created the better openings of the rest of the half despite losing centre-half Charlie Jemson to injury.

They took the lead when Kieran Hayes' low cross was turned home by Hall as both sides continued to trade chances.

Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403269)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403269)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403271)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403271)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403273)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403273)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403275)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403275)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403277)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403277)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403279)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403279)

Dan Cocks and Mike Armstrong both fizzed efforts over at either end before the ball dropped invitingly in the Grantham box for Rob Morgan who dragged his shot wide.

Matt Tootle then drilled over a cross that fellow left-back Matt McBride was unable to convert before the lively McBride tricked and teased his way into the Stamford box but there was no Grantham player on hand to convert his centre.

Grantham started the second half the stronger of the two teams and it needed a last-ditch challenge from James Blunden to deny Cocks a decent opportunity.

Tuntulwana then robbed Connor Bartle of possession but home goalkeeper Ben Heath was equal to his low drive.

Stamford again came back at their visitors and it needed a timely tackle by Hall to prevent Duffy from breaking clear.

Bartle saw a stinging shot safely gathered by Haystead before Jonathan Margetts dragged a shot narrowly wide.

Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403281)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403281)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403283)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403283)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403285)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403285)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403287)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403287)

Both sides then started to make a raft of substitutions with seven permitted in the county competition and, just after Stamford had made five changes, Grantham scored their clinching third goal just before the hour mark.

A corner was whipped in and, as the ball rebounded around the six-yard box, Tuntulwana got the slightest of touches to turn it home.

Stamford's changes then started to take effect as they looked for a way back into the contest with Will Mellors-Blair seeing a shot deflected wide after a teasing run.

Former Grantham player Tom Maddison then whipped in a dipping effort that Haystead was grateful to turn to safety before the Gingerbreads goalkeeper made a fine save to thwart Mellors-Blair at point blank range.

The seven minutes of injury time then gave Stamford extra impetus to stage a comeback with Mellors-Blair having another effort blocked and Jon Challinor flashing a shot over.

Rodrigo Goncalves then tried his luck with a well-struck low shot, but Haystead was again equal to the effort to send Stamford to a second successive reversal following their 5-0 defeat at Worksop at the weekend.

Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403289)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403289)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403293)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403293)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403295)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403295)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403298)
Action from Stamford's county cup clash with Grantham Town. Photo: Alan Walters (58403298)

The Daniels complete their pre-season programme on Saturday when Northern Premier League East Division side Cleethorpes Town visit the Zeeco Stadium (3pm).

Stamford: Heath, Wright, Bartle, Armstrong, Freeman, Blunden, Morgan, Vince, Duffy, Margetts, Johnson. Subs all used: Currie, Challinor, Furey, Mellors-Blair, Coppola, Goncalves, Maddison.

Grantham: Haystead, Tootle, McBride, Munns, Hall, Jemson, Wafula, Wright, Hayes, Wood, Cocks. Subs: Used: Townrow, Johnson, Tuntulana, Brettoner, Miller, McCrory. Not used: Cole (GK).

Attendance: 265.



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