Stamford AFC manager Graham Drury praises the response to his club's virtual matchday ticket scheme
Daniels boss Graham Drury has praised the 'fantastic' support that the club has received despite their terrific FA Trophy run ending this week.
Stamford bowed out of the competition on Tuesday night after a 2-0 home defeat against National League North side Hereford in their fourth round clash at the Zeeco Stadium.
The match was played behind closed doors due to the current coronavirus restrictions but Stamford put on a free live streaming service.
They also launched a virtual matchday ticket scheme where supporters could pay £10 to the club to help cover the costs of staging the game.
And Drury admitted he had been 'blown away' by the response which saw Stamford smash their target for ticket sales.
He enthused: "I want to thank everyone who has bought a ticket because I don't think people understand how much it has helped us.
"It's paid for two live streamings and the match officials and it means so much to this football club that we've got fantastic support.
"The fans are really proud of these players and that has been earned by what they have done at the club.
"The support from the ticket sales has blown me away. I didn't expect anywhere near the number we have sold let alone going well past the target we had set.
"It's fantastic and brilliant from everybody who watched the game and bought a ticket.
"I hope that people enjoyed it. It's the stage where this club needs to be. We are trying to build towards that and, although we know it won't happen overnight, we will dust ourselves down and, when we can, go again."
The FA Trophy defeat means that Stamford will now return to the sidelines as their brief 'elite' status has ended with their Northern Premier League South East Division campaign currently suspended until March 6.
Tuesday's match was their first outing since mid-December with Hereford hitting a goal in each half to secure their place in the next round despite finishing the match with nine men after having two players sent off in the second half.
Drury added: "We have got some great fans and it is just a shame that we don't know if we will get the chance to play in front of them again this season.
"It was a little bit disappointing to lose on Tuesday night because we are usually so prolific, but it does show the difference in standards.
"It would have taken a lot for us to do what we did against Kidderminster, but the lads performed and we perhaps had more possession.
"Hereford made it difficult for us and worked really hard to close us down to make sure that we were not a threat in front of goal.
"We still kept going, trying and believing after the second goal and you could see a side which hadn't lost a game for nearly a year and that is credit to the players.
"It's been a fantastic cup run and we've beaten some good sides. It's sad that it is over because it could be the end of our season now."