FOOTBALL: Stamford AFC beat Bourne Town to lift the Wilf Notley Trophy
Stamford AFC lifted the Wilf Notley Trophy on Monday night with a comfortable 4-0 win over lower-league local rivals Bourne Town.
The Daniels play several divisions above UCL Division One side Bourne so were heavy favourites coming into the game at the Abbey Lawn, especially having beaten League Two side Grimsby Town in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup on Wednesday.
On Saturday Spalding United, who play in the same league as Stamford now - the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South, beat National League North side Boston United 1-0 with a last minute goal to set-up a semi-final between the two sides. Rees Longville-Daley – who came on as a substitute on the hour mark – poked home the only goal.
Stamford wasted no time taking the lead at the Lawns on Monday thanks to the impact of attacking midfielder Elliot Sandy who scored twice early on.
Sandy opened the scoring for Stamford after just five minutes, turning and firing on the edge of the box after the ball fell to him from a cross.
Despite the scoreline there were plenty of positive performances from the Wakes, with goalkeeper Alex Brown catching the eye with a couple of decent saves to keep the scoreline down. One such save denied Greg Smith a goal as the keeper sprung to stop a shot heading into the top corner.
However Brown could not prevent Sandy scoring his second of the evening moments later after the former Rushden and Diamonds player put away the rebound after the Bourne stopper had made an initial save from a header towards his goal.
Just before the break Greg Smith scored the Daniels’ third of the night, chipping the home goalkeeper with a nice piece of skill to put them 3-0 up at half time.
Stamford will need to improve their finishing if they are going to challenge for the league title and promotion as everyone expects of them.
There was just a single goal in the second half and that went to Niall Mather, shooting from distance through a crowded box to wrap up the result late in the game. However that did not tell the whole story as substitute Jordan Smith and John King had both hit the woodwork with shots in the second stanza.
Bourne did have a couple of chances against a strong looking Daniels defence. Zak Munton, who trialed with Stamford earlier this summer, showed glimpses of his talent but was reduced to trying his luck with pot shots from distance.
The best effort of the night from the home team came from new signing Tom Gosling, signed from Holbeach United, who chipped a shot just wide of the mark late in the day.
Brown finished his strong showing with a top notch double save to keep out substitute Ryan Robbins and then King.
Stamford are back in action tomorrow (Wednesday) when they take on Northampton Town at the Zeeco Stadium, kick off 7.30pm, before facing Boston United at home on Saturday (3pm ko).
Bourne play ULC Premier Division side Sleaford Town on Saturday.
Stamford AFC: aylor McMillan, Curtis Hartley, Tom Cooney (Ollie Luto), Sam Hill (Jordan Lemon), Tob Batchelor (Niall Mather), Jon Challinor, Andy Hall, Elliott Sandy, Greg Smith (Jordan Smith), Sam Mulready (Ryan Robbins), John King
Bourne Town: Alex Brown, Jack Corby (Jack Botterill), Robbie Relf, Dan Smith, Kev Elgar, Andy Moss (Aarn Jesson), Max Avory (Tom Gosling), Scott Collins (Dan Mason), Glenn Spearink, Zak Munton, James Zealand (Max Cooper)