Daniels left frustrated by another home draw
Stamford AFC may have beaten top of the league Skelmersdale last weekend but they could not find a way to win against the side one place below them in the league on Saturday.
The Daniels dropped another two points at home after drawing 1-1 with Ramsbottom United at the Zeeco Stadium.
It means Stamford’s wait for a first league victory at their new £5m home goes on.
Things were looking good in the early stages of the match as new signing Dan Clements scored with just nine minutes on the clock.
But calamity struck just before the break when skipper and defensive leader Richard Jones was given his marching orders for a lunging tackle.
Despite being a man down the club’s top goal-scorer Ryan Robbins had a brilliant chance to put the game out of reach of the chasing visitors when he was awarded a penalty.
But the soon to be international footballer saw his shot saved by Grant Shenton between the sticks.
It took Ramsbottom until the 79th minute to get on level terms and it required an impressive hit from substitute Osebi Abadak and that was how it stayed despite a late goal-mouth scramble. Despite being 16th and 17th in the league both sides played some decent football early on and Clements’ goal had a touch of class about it.
The young striker took the ball from Gareth Jellyman after a nice dummy from Jordan Smith, before sliding the ball past Shenton into the visitor’s net.
For large portions of the first half Stamford kept United at arms length, the closest they came was a narrowly off-target effort from Donal McDermott. All that changed when Jones was dismissed in the 45th minute for his diving tackle on Christopher Baguley.
The players and fans were up in arms at referee Nigel Smith’s decision to flash a straight red but a video replay from the visiting team’s coverage shows that the Daniels skipper was off his feet and struck Baguley’s shin with his right foot.
He might have got lucky and just been given a yellow on another day but Stamford have not had a lot of luck recently.
Despite a second successive impressive performance Clements was pulled off out of necessity as Lewis Carr was brought on to shore up the defence.
With Stamford a man down their grasp on the game was much looser in the second half and play was end-to-end at time. Carr and Tom Batchelor combined to thwart a Ramsbottom attack and Stamford broke down-field at pace setting Robbins on a typical bursting run which led to the penalty. But not for the first time this season he could not convert from the spot and it would come back to bite the hosts.
Daniels keeper Andy Stevens could do little about the equaliser when it came. Abadaki unleashed a drive 30 yards out through a crowd of players and into the net.
In the dying moments of the game Stamford had a chance to snatch the victory with Dan Lawlor and Robbins both shooting during a scramble in the box but the closest they could get was the cross bar and the visitors held on for a point.
The Daniels have another chance to break their poor run at home on Saturday when they host Trafford in the league.
Stamford: Andy Stevens, Ryan Clarke, Gareth Jellyman, Tom McGowan, Richard Jones, Tom Batchelor, Jon Challinor (Nathan Fox), Dan Lawlor, Dan Clements (Lewis Carr) ,Jordan Smith, Ryan Robbins (Courteney Meade). Subs: Nabil Shariff, David Staff.
Ramsbottom United: Grant Shenton, George Bowyer, George Grayson, Kyle Harrop, Alex Frost, Lee Pugh, Tom Brooks (Osebi Abadaki), Jamie Rother (Matthew Burke), Lee Gaskell, Christopher Baguley Thomas Hartley), Donal McDermott. Subs: Luke Heron, Jordan Lazenby.