Drury pleased with points return from tough run of fixtures
Daniels boss Graham Drury praised his side’s healthy points return after a tricky run of fixtures culminated in a goalless draw at home to promotion rivals Alvechurch on Saturday.
Stamford have faced table-topping Basford, second-placed Bedworth, high-flying Alvechurch plus a difficult away match at Kidsgrove during the past four weeks.
And, after seeing his side take 10 points from a possible 12, Drury believes his charges are on track to remain in contention for promotion from the Evo-Stik League Division One South.
He said: “We set ourselves a target before the Kidsgrove game of picking up seven points from the three games and we’ve achieved that.
“That followed on from beating Basford so to get 10 points from that run of fixtures is a great return which I’m sure any manager would be happy with.”
Stamford shaded the better opportunities of a close contest with Alvechurch on Saturday as two well-matched sides largely cancelled each other out.
Drury commented: “It was a very congested game in the middle of the park and neither side really had the chance to make use of the width.
“We started very well, but then we had three poor corners in the first half and two chances to get our shots off which we didn’t take.
“The second half was more in the balance, but we are learning from each game. We want to start on the front foot and then manage the game as it goes on.”
Drury admitted he had been faced with some difficult decisions over his starting line-up following the acquisition this week of striker Brad Wells.
The former Gainsborough and Spalding frontman was one of two changes to the Stamford side from the previous week’s win at Bedworth with Liam Adams also coming in at the expense of Jon Challinor and Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson.
Drury explained: “I had some touch decisions to make with my team selection, but I want all the players to stay positive and be patient.
“We will be rotating players so everyone has got to stick together and believe in what we’re doing because I’m proud of all of the boys.”
Stamford started strongly in front of a bumper crowd of more than 400 and quickly showed their attacking intent with Kieran Wells rifling an early effort over the crossbar inside the opening 30 seconds.
Brad Wells was then crowded out after good work from Jake Duffy had created an opening before the two Wells brothers combined with Kieran’s header from Brad’s cross being collected by Alvechurch goalkeeper Charlie Price from under his crossbar.
Adams then saw an effort cleared off the line after finding himself in space with the Alvechurch rearguard quickly scampering back to scramble away the rebound with Kieran Wells waiting to pounce.
Duffy fired a well-struck effort wide before the visitors started to come into the game after weathering the early Stamford storm.
Goalkeeper Dan Haystead had to be alert to palm away Tom Turton’s free-kick while Dave Bellis blasted wide when well-placed.
Stamford responded and a good move involving Eliot Putman and Adams saw the latter’s cross pick out Brad Wells but he was unable to find a true connection and Price was able to gather comfortably.
Alvechurch then had the better of the opening exchanges in the second period as Turton fired a free-kick straight at Haystead while Luke Yates blasted an effort over after being teed up by Aaron Lloyd.
Visiting defender Andy Parsons then diverted an Alvechurch corner narrowly wide before Stamford changed their shape with Challinor coming on to replace Brad Wells.
The switch seemed to spark new life back into Stamford and they enjoyed the better opportunities at the half progressed.
Rob Morgan brought a stunning save out of Price who showed great agility to turn away his rasping drive before Stamford came the closest of either side to breaking the deadlock when Delroy Gordon headed Duffy’s corner against the crossbar.
The visitors then broke and Joshua March forced a good save from Haystead to ensure Stamford kept their 16th clean sheet of the season in all competitions.
With the two sides above them - Bedworth and Frickley - both drawing, the points keeps Stamford in the thick of the promotion mix ahead of what promises to be an exciting finish to the season.
Stamford: Haystead, George, Putman, Armstrong, Gordon, Eze, Morgan, Duffy, K Wells (Smith), B Wells (Challinor), Adams (Fortnam-Tomlinson). Not used: Ball, Brown-Hill.