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Stamford AFC host Carlton Town in the final match of the Northern Premier League Midlands Division season



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Manager Graham Drury feels his Stamford side have given themselves a 'puncher's chance' of being crowned champions on what promises to be a dramatic final day of the season on Saturday.

The Daniels go into their last match of the regular campaign with an outside chance of still winning the Northern Premier League Midlands Division title.

They need league leaders Ilkeston to lose at Wisbech and second-placed Chasetown to drop points at Spalding if they are to take the title as long as the Daniels win against play-off chasing Carlton.

Jubilant manager Graham Drury after his side's 3-0 away win at Yaxley. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Jubilant manager Graham Drury after his side's 3-0 away win at Yaxley. Photo: Rob O'Brien

If other results don't go Stamford's way on Saturday then a victory for the Daniels would guarantee a home tie in Tuesday's play-off semi-final.

A victory would also extend a sensational run of form that has seen Stamford win 14 and draw one of their last 17 league games.

They are currently on an eight-match winning streak going into Saturday's game against a Carlton side who can snatch the last play-off spot off Belper if they defeat the Daniels and the Nailers lose their home match against Corby Town.

Boss Drury said: "You have to give so much credit to this group of players for what they have achieved since the new year. They have been fantastic and have worked really hard.

"The amount of goals that we have scored and the few we have conceded is a team that deserves to be champions.

"It's a long shot and it still a long way off because Carlton are fighting to be in the play-offs, but we have given ourselves a puncher's chance.

"Unless we do our job though, you might as well not enter the ring because we know that Carlton are a good side and will come with all guns blazing so we have to just stay relaxed, calm and enjoy the afternoon and hopefully get the right result.

"We can't do anything about other results but pressure is a strange thing and Ilkeston have stumbled over the line in the last few weeks.

"It's really important for us though that we win our game on Saturday to get home advantage in the play-off semi-final and that's all we will be concentrating on."

The Stamford fans were out in force at Yaxley on Monday. Photo: Rob O'Brien
The Stamford fans were out in force at Yaxley on Monday. Photo: Rob O'Brien

Stamford have attracted a healthy turn-out of support for both home and away games in recent months and manager Drury is appealing for the town to get behind his players.

He said: "Stamford have had some great crowds this season and the fans have always turned out in the past for our big FA Cup and FA Trophy games.

"I am begging every person in the town to come out and support us on Saturday because these boys really deserve it from what they have gone through from day one at the start of the season with all the injuries we have had.

"They have dug in and showed their mentality and quality and they really deserve a big crowd.

"The support at Yaxley and Loughborough was unbelievable. They have got behind us all season because of the entertainment which we have given them."



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