Derby day deadlock for Daniels
Daniels boss Graham Drury felt that being disappointed with a derby draw at Spalding United on Saturday was a measure of his side’s progress and expectation this season.
Stamford were left frustrated by a second successive goalless stalemate away from home after a tricky Tulips test.
The point helped keep Stamford in the Evo-Stik South play-off places and Drury felt there was different emotions in the respective camps at the final whistle of a dour derby duel.
He said: “Spalding played for a point and they were over the moon with it and credit to them for holding out.
“But I said to the lads afterwards how many other teams relish taking points off us and our lads deserve credit for that.
“I’m a bit disappointed and a little bit frustrated, but we keep clocking up the points and we’re still on target.
“It’s another clean sheet and a point away from home and, if we can follow that up with three points at Corby on Wednesday then we’re averaging two points a game which is not too bad.
“Nothing really fell for us. It was a really scrappy game on a horrible pitch - it was a typical derby.
“We have tried everything. We had the better chances and, apart from their long throws into the box, Dan Haystead hasn’t really had a save to make.”
Drury was forced to make one change to the Stamford side that had been so impressive seven days earlier with club captain Jordan Smith absent for family reasons.
Callum Ball came into starting line-up while striker Kieran Wells was missing from the Stamford squad after leaving the Zeeco Stadium to drop down to the Central Midlands League with Sherwood Colliery.
Wells, who joined the Daniels from champions-elect Basford, made his debut for the Mansfield outfit on Thursday and scored a 12-minute hat-trick after coming on as a substitute.
Drury explained: “Kieran decided to play for Sherwood Colliery on Thursday night as he wasn’t enjoying his football with us and I don’t want players to feel like that.
“There’s no bad feelings and I think he’s made the right decision for himself. His confidence got knocked after leaving Basford and, dropping down a couple of leagues, will get him refreshed again for next season.”
Stamford made a sluggish start to proceedings at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field with a couple of crucial challenges early on from Mike Armstrong denying Spalding a sight of the visitors’ goal.
Ball came close to taking advantage of some confusion in the home box while Rob Morgan saw a shot deflected wide after a strong surge forward.
Spalding went closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period as James Hugo rattled the crossbar with an effort from an acute angle.
Stamford responded more after the break and looked the more likelier of the two sides to snap the stalemate.
Henry Eze headed just over from a corner while an excellent crossfield ball from Eliot Putman found Brad Wells in space, but the ex-Spalding striker saw his effort blocked with Morgan’s rebound squirming just wide of the far post.
Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson then saw a half chance blocked by a stubborn Spalding rearguard before substitute Jon Challinor brought a decent block out of Tulips goalkeeper Michael Duggan after an astute pass from Morgan.
Stamford used all their three substitutes in a bid to try to prise an opening but, despite the switches, Spalding stood strong to claim a second draw of the season against the Daniels.
Spalding: Duggan, Miller, Hugo, Varley, Humble, Spafford, Marshall, Brooks, King (White), Davison (Lockie), Acar. Not used: Stainfield, Smith.
Stamford: Haystead, George (Adams), Putman, Armstrong, Gordon, Eze, Morgan, Duffy, Ball (Challinor), Fortnam-Tomlinson, Wells (Brown-Hill). Not used: Burgess, Peasgood.