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Reaction from Stamford AFC manager Graham Drury after his side's derby defeat to Spalding United




Manager Graham Drury wants his Stamford side to learn lessons from Tuesday night's derby defeat at Spalding United.

The Daniels looked to be well on their way to recording a seventh successive victory when goals from Cameron Johnson and Cosmos Matwasa put them in control of the Northern Premier League Midlands Division contest.

However, three enforced changes saw the pendulum swung back in the Tulips' favour as Gabriel Zakuani's side stunned Stamford with a sensational late fightback.

Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51017027)
Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51017027)

Chris Assomblonga halved the deficit with six minutes remaining before Glenn Yala brought Spalding level in injury-time.

Bailey Baker then headed home the winning goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to send Stamford to their second league loss of the season.

It left the Daniels boss to look back to his side's pre-season programme where they conceded leads against both Harrowby United and Kettering Town.

Drury said: "I thought that we was brilliant for 75 or 80 minutes.

"It was fantastic with our rotation to get on the ball and dropping into pockets with Cameron Johnson stretching them at the back.

"We deserved the lead and the second goal but then the three changes have killed us and they were forced upon us.

Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51016988)
Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51016988)

"We had to take all three off and, if we hadn't replaced Cameron, then we were still putting them under pressure from the front with Cosmos Matwasa on the press while Ed Cook was heading the ball away.

"Unfortunately we have made the same mistakes twice in pre-season against Harrowby and Kettering where we sat on the 18-yard box and haven't been high enough up the pitch to press the crosses which have come into the danger zone.

"The three goals they scored were fairly identical by us trying to defend the 18-yard box and not being high enough to press or squeeze to stop the balls coming in.

"Credit to Spalding because they slung it in there and got the rewards. They have played the percentages and we have been naive not to press it and allowed them to do it and they got their just rewards.

"I thought they looked a really good side for the first 15 minutes. They looked good in possession of the ball and it took us a little while just to get the right formation sorted and where to press and how to get our rotation to find the pass.

"When we got that, from 15 minutes to the 80th minute, we've been in control so I'm disappointed to lose a 2-0 lead and not learn the lessons from what we've said over the course of pre-season so it doesn't happen in the league."

Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51017045)
Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51017045)

Stamford had been without defensive duo Connor Bartle and Stacey Freeman for the derby duel while goalkeeper Dan Haystead made his first start of the season with Dan Wallis sidelined with ankle ligament damage sustained the FA Cup win over Redditch.

Drury added: "There's a lot of scenarios to it but the bottom line is that, if you try and defend your 18-yard box, it's the most dangerous thing to do whether you're 2-0 or 10-0 up.

"Goals will be scored by ricochets or losing your man or switching off through tired minds because anything can happen.

"The positives are that it's the best we've played in possession of the football and we've carved open a side with two great goals but we've just got to learn those lessons.

"Fatigue when we've been stretched as a squad and putting players through minutes when they should have been resting has took its toll.

"There's no sour grapes from me though but it's just frustrating that we haven't learned those lessons.

Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51017050)
Derby action from Spalding United's home clash with Stamford. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51017050)

"My concern is that been they've been once and twice and it's still happened for a third time.

"It's now time for me to react to that because, if they're not doing what I want and it's costing us, then we have to deal with which I will."

Stamford now face a double bill of home action in the league as they host Bedworth on Saturday before entertaining Chasetown on Tuesday night.



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