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FOOTBALL: Daniels blown away in first half at Romulus

By Rob Byrne

Stamford are not going to be in the top eight come Christmas as manager Graham Drury wanted.

In fact at this rate they are not even going to be in the top half of the table in the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South.

On Tuesday night Romulus, who are currently in eighth, were too good for the confidence-short Daniels in the first half; blowing them away with three goals inside the opening half hour. The game eventually finished 4-2.

The fact it was only 3-0 at half time was only because goalkeeper Sam Donkin, perhaps the one real gem in this current Stamford side, was on top form once again.

After the break the Daniels got into the game more and Olly Brown-Hill and Delroy Gordon pulled goals back for the travelling side. But the mountain was too high to climb at that point.

Things could have been very different if Stamford’s finishing was better, with more than a dozen shooting chances created.

Brown-Hill twice fired wide in the early moments but neither effort was on target.

Romulus were more clinical, a Mark Branch corner was delivered onto the head of the unmarked Cameron Lee who buried it in the back of the net in the 11th minute.

Five minutes later and Nathan Waite scored the first of a double, capitalising on a mistake from Gordon.

The Daniels did respond, Grant Ryan had the ball in the net but the offside flag denied him.

Donkin was then required to the make the first of a series of great saves, denying Jordan Francis on this occasion.

But Yohan Rutty-Smith’s volley into the corner was too fierce for the keeper to get to in the 26th minute.

Romulus were full of confidence and it took outstanding saves from the young keeper to restrict Francis and Malachi Farluhuharson from increasing the lead.

Drury introduced Jevani Brown and Jake Duff for Jamie McGhee and John King early after the break and it got results with Brown-Hill pulling a goal back thanks to a deflection.

Brown had a shot saved by Rhys Bills, while at the other end Donkin saved from Jean Michel-Gueyes.

With 10 minutes remaining Waite netted his second of the match to make the result certain. Stamford never gave up and three minutes later Gordon scored with a volley from the edge of the box.

Stamford were mounting more and more pressure and in the closing minutes new signing Josh Nodder, and Jake Duffy both went close.

It doesn’t get any easier for Stamford on Saturday when they host fourth place Sheffield FC at the Zeeco Stadium.

Romulus: Rhys Bills, Chad Degville-Cross, Mark Branch, Cameron Lee, Ricky Hill (Kyle Burke), Malachi Faroluharson, Jean Michel-Gueyes, Joroain Masidi, Nathan Waite (Liam Hailey), Yohan Rutty-Smith, Jordan Francis. SUBS unused: Dexter Walters, Heoilberto Vilela-Santos and Jake Donnelly.

Stamford AFC: Sam Donkin, Lee Beeson (Elliot Sandy), Ollie Luto, Sam Hill, Delroy Gordon, Chris Salt, Jamie McGhee (Jake Duffy), Josh Nodder, Grant Ryan, Olly Brown-Hill, John King (Jevani Brown). SUBS unused: Curtis Hartley and Jon Challinor.

Referee: Scott Robertson

Attendance: 105


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