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FOOTBALL: Daniels waste their chances to earn victory over top four side

By John Evely

Stamford AFC scored two goals at home on Saturday against Sheffield FC however one of them was in the back of their own net as missed chances saw them draw 1-1.

Theses are two sides in contrasting places in the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South and in contrasting form as well.

The draw ended a run of three defeats for Stamford, who are in 18th, while the point extended fourth placed Sheffield’s unbeaten run to 13 games.

But for large sways of the game at the Zeeco Stadium on Saturday the Daniels looked the better of the two sides, and had their chance to win the game on a couple of occasions.

Winger Jake Duffy had the first chance of the match after getting into a dangerous position but he failed to get his shot off.

Soon after Josh Nodder had an effort from distance saved easily by Sheffield keeper Christopher Butt, who then kept out Ryan Grant from a corner.

However the Daniels could well have been behind at the interval as Adam Johnson thumped a shot into the woodwork, fortunately for the beaten Stamford stopper Sam Donkin, the ball bounced into safety.

Sheffield had the first chance of the second half but after the initial scare Stamford came on strong, with only a brilliant save from Butt keeping out a Nodder shot which took a heavy deflection.

But in the 57th minute Ryan scored a goal of real class. Jevani Brown crossed the ball into the centre and the striker hit the ball firmly on the half volley to beat the visiting keeper.

Stamford really should have extended their lead shortly after, Jordan Smith, who made a surprise return to the Daniels after leaving the club less than a month ago, had two great chances to double the lead.

First he had a shot from an Ollie Luto cross saved by Butt and then the keeper gathered a header from the striker.

Ryan and Luto also had shots saved by the visiting keeper. And Stamford’s inability to score came back to haunt them as a counter-attack from Sheffield finished with Curtis Hartley putting the ball in the back of his net in the 74th minute.

Stamford: Sam Donkin, Curtis Hartley, Ollie Luto, Sam Hill (Jon Challinor), Delroy Gordon, Chris Salt , Jordan Smith (c), Jake Duffy, Grant Ryan, Jevani Brown (Ollie Brown-Hill), Josh Nodder (Elliot Sandy). Subs: Lee Beeson, Jamie McGhee.

Sheffield: Christopher Butt, Ben Turner, Thomas Rose, Patrick Lindley, Hafeez Hamzat, Damian Magee (Ross Goodwin), Matthew Roney, Sam Finlaw (c), Adam Johnson, Alec Denton, Mohammed Hamid (Kieron Watson). Subs: Liam Doyles, Jason Foster, Daniel Haystead.

Referee: Andrew Dallison

Attendance: 292


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