Another home loss for struggling Daniels

Stamford AFC v Matlock Town. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-141118-101534001
Stamford AFC v Matlock Town. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-141118-101534001
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Another Stamford AFC home game another loss. It was the same old story for the Daniels last night (Tuesday) who went down 1-0 against the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s bottom placed side Belper Town.

Even more concerning the performance last night may have been the worst in a run that includes seven losses and one draw in all competitions at the Vic Couzens Stadium. The home fans have not celebrated a victory on home soil since August 25 when Stamford beat King’s Lynn 2-1 as part of their blistering five game winning start to the season which saw them top the league.

Those were heady days - now the Daniels are down to 16th in the 24 team league and at risk of slipping lower unless they can find some form at home.

Stamford failed to get a shot on target against Belper in the second half despite needing to chase the game having gone behind to a sloppy goal in the 18th minute when Ashley Burbeary found the bottom corner.

But the striker should never have been allowed the chance to shot. First Michael Towey should not have been given the room to cross the ball in during the build up and secondly Stamford should have cleared the danger more efficiently. Sadly all they could do was get it as far as Burbeary who finished well.

Stamford started the match well and could have scored a couple of goals in the first 15 minutes.

Lewis Carr pushed a shot wide after a surging run from Ryan Robbins. And it seemed Stamford’s leading striker was in a powerful mood early on, diving at the Belper goal from his own half but there was just too much to do and his shot was blocked by the scrambling visiting defence.

Pressure was mounting on the lowly visitors and only a fine double save by the Belper keeper James Martin prevented Nabil Shariff giving his side the lead and then Michael Build firing in from the rebound.

Belper gave Stamford early warning they had not travelled to Wothorpe Road to make up the numbers when striker Jogn Froggatt tested keeper Andy Stevens.

The action was end-to-end in the opening quarter and Shariff and Jon Chalinor passed their way through the Belper defence to give the midfielder a chance to shoot but the keeper saved well with his feet.

Then came the Belper goal and the end of the visitor’s ambitions as they shut up shop and bedded in for 72 minutes of defending.

Stamford dominated possession for the rest of the match but were unable to get the better of a brave and organised defence. The closest Stamford came for the rest of the match was a long range strike from Ryan Clarke which hit the crossbar and went out.

After the break Stamford feebly failed to get a shot on target. They will hope for a much better performance on Saturday when they welcome Rushall Olympic for the final game at Wothorpe Road to end a 118-year stay.

The Daniels will move into the Zeeco Stadium in Ryhall Road on December 13.

Stamford AFC : Andy Stevens, Ryan Clarke, Lewis Jackson (Will Bird), Lewis Carr, Joe Curtis, Dalton Bettles (Tom McGowan), Dan Lawlor, Jon Challinor, Nabil Shariff, Michael Built, Ryan Robbins.

Substitutes unused: David Thorpe, David Staff and John Feetham

Belper Town : James Martin, Liam Goulding, Aaron Pride, Ian Ross, Phil Watt, Richard Adams, Glyn Cotton (Robert Stevenson), Steve Warne, Jon Froggatt (Mark Ward), Michael Towey, Ashley Burbeary (Chris Jones).

Substitutes unused: Matthew Varley and Dave Ratcliffe.