Defeated Daniels have to learn from their mistakes
Daniels boss Graham Drury wants his side to learn from their mistakes after missing out on a Premier Division place for next season.
Stamford suffered a 2-1 away reversal at Bedworth United on Saturday in a dramatic Evo-Stik League Division One South play-off final.
The Daniels took the tie into extra-time after snatching an equaliser in the sixth minute of injury-time.
However, the hosts grabbed an 109th minute winner to scupper Stamford’s hopes of a return to the Premier Division.
And, although devastated by the defeat, Drury felt his side’s slip-ups during their campaign was ultimately their downfall rather than Saturday’s setback.
He said: “It just wasn’t to be on Saturday. I would have backed us to go on and win it if we had got ourselves in front.
“But we hit the post and the crossbar at 0-0 when it was really cagey. We had ridden our luck in the semi-final at Frickley on Tuesday night and must have used it all up.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and get ready to go again next season and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.
“We started the season slowly and struggled for goals early on and then we failed to beat a lot of the lower sides which really cost us a higher finish. That was the real reason why we didn’t get promoted.”
Drury admitted that his player recruitment plans for next season are currently ‘in limbo’ while the Daniels await confirmation on which Evo-Stik League division they will be playing in.
Unofficial league line-ups suggest that Stamford will be in the 20-team Division One East next season.
This would mean losing games against the likes of Corby, Chasetown, Leek, Market Drayton and Newcastle Town in favour of playing Wisbech, Tadcaster Albion, Pickering and Pontefract Collieries plus lengthy trips to Marske and Morpeth.
Drury commented: “All of last season’s squad will be invited back, but we’ll have to wait and see what division we are in first.
“The change in travelling might be too much for some players so we’ll just have to wait and see.
“Players rarely commit straight away so, with everything up in the air at the moment, we are in limbo.
“A lot of managers are in the same position, but it’s very frustrating. There will also be sides after our players but, hopefully those that we have helped put on the map this season, have enjoyed it and will want to commit for another season.
“Ideally I want to keep the nucleus of the squad together and bring in four or five new faces, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Stamford should receive notification next week of what division they are playing in, but that will not be confirmed until the Evo-Stik League annual meeting at Blackpool on June 16.