Match report: Daniels solidify top four position with 4-2 victory at Sutton Coldfield

Have your say

Stamford strengthened their position among the top trio with four more goals and three more points at Sutton Coldfield on Tuesday evening.

The Daniels were not at their fluent best on Coldfield’s artificial pitch but they still proved too strong for their hosts, winning an often scrappy encounter 4-2.

Danny Brooks gave Stamford a 13th minute lead with a low 25 yard drive into the bottom right-hand corner and Jack McGovern volleyed Stamford’s second high into the net from close range to convert a Paul Mayo free kick.

But in between those goals, The Daniels were guilty of conceding the first of two sloppy goals to Coldfield’s number nine, Matthew Gardner.

Gardner’s first came following a poor clearance from Tom Batchelor which left goalkeeper Matt Finlay horribly exposed on 24 minutes.

McGovern restored Stamford’s lead six minutes later but another defensive howler, this time from skipper Richard Jones, allowed Gardner in again just before half-time to squeeze a shot inside Finlay’s near post.

Just three minutes after the break, Sam Mullarkey put the Daniels ahead for the third time, scoring from inside the box at a poorly cleared corner.

The Stamford striker cracked a shot wide of the hosts’ upright from the edge of the box soon after Finley held onto a shot from close

range and pushed a cross-shot wide at the other end. But decent chances were few at a premium.

Daniels boss Graham Drury brought on Greg Smith for Louis Hamilton, who had faded after a bright early start and Smith made an instant impact.

After jostling his marker at the back of the area, he wheeled around to the near post and headed in Brooks’ free kick with his first touch of the ball.

It wasn’t a classic by any means but the Daniels now boast the best away record in the division with five wins and a single draw on their travels and sit third after 10 matches, with a game in hand of second-placed King’s Lynn.

Stamford now face a run of four home matches, beginning with seventh-placed Market Drayton on Saturday. Kick off is at 3pm.

Stamford: Matt Finlay, Michael Jacklin, Paul Mayo, Tom Batchelor (Joe Hopewell), Richard Jones, Danny Brooks, Louis Lamilton (Greg Smith), Jack McGovern (David Staff), Gary King, Sam Mullarkey, Andy Hall.