Newcastle Town 4 Stamford 0

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Stamford made their first visit to Newcastle Town knowing it was going to be a tough challenge facing a team in fourth place.

The dozen or so supporters who made the trip watched the game looking down over a banked cycled track which runs around a pitch with a big slope across the pitch. Jamie Clarke missed the game so the Olivers were the strike partnership.

Newcastle started strongly and the opening minutes were played in the Stamford half. The first chance though went to Stamford when Dean Oliver brought the ball down well but his quick shot was straight at Daniel Read in the Newcastle goal.

A superb long ball from John Sheldon set up Alan Naginton but, under pressure from Miles Chamberlain, his shot was straight into the arms of Chris Wright. His quick long throw released Lee Beeson and he carried the ball forward before playing a good ball for Ryan Oliver but a defender was sharp enough to get a foot to the ball first.

Jordan Johnson delivered an excellent free kick which was only half cleared to Naginton with his follow up shot blocked by Matt Evans. On 39 minutes Newcastle were awarded another free kick but this one looked very harsh. Johnson took it again and delivered another perfectly weighted ball which Stamford could only half clear. This time Matthew Bell fired the ball in off the post.

Stamford responded and Dean Oliver worked hard to win the ball and cut inside but he then dragged his shot wide. In the last minute Beeson won the ball and played it between the two Olivers. Dean was first to the ball and turned and shot quickly but again his shot went wide.

It was 1-0 at half time but that was harsh for Stamford especially coming from a free kick which clearly surprised the Newcastle players as well as annoyed those from Stamford. It was soon to get worse when Paul Malone missed a long ball allowing Naginton to get behind him. He pulled the ball back to Johnson who only had to side foot the ball home.

Right on the hour Stamford had a superb chance to pull one back when a deep cross from Harry Deane, on for the injured Dean Oliver, came to Beeson unmarked on the six yard line. Needing just a touch past the keeper, the ball was blasted way over the bar. Another great cross from Deane went just over the head of Ryan Oliver.

At the other end, Wright couldn’t hold a fierce shot from Dan Skelton but reacted sharply and bravely to win the ball back from the feet of Skelton.

Johnson was always dangerous and he played a quick one two with Naginton but Malone did enough to force his shot wide.

With ten minutes to go Newcastle played another long ball into the Stamford area and then both sides looked amazed when the referee awarded a penalty claiming the ball brushed the arm of Nick Jackson. Chris Wright guessed exactly where the ball would go but Johnson had hit it far too hard for Wright to get near before it was in the back of the net.

Wright had to be sharp to turn away a curling shot which would have gone in at the far post. From the corner, Michael Douglas headed home to complete Stamford’s misery. Stamford weren’t finished and in injury time Read had to stretch to get fingertips to a shot from Ryan Oliver and steer the ball just past the post.

Stamford will look back at two harsh decisions which cost them two goals. Although Stamford created chances, Newcastle were well organised and always had more control of the game.

Stamford: Chris Wright, Matt Evans, Nick Jackson, Andy Toyne, Miles Chamberlain, Paul Malone, Lee Beeson, Liam Parker, Ryan Oliver, Dean Oliver (Harry Deane 55), Dan Cotton (Adam Millson). Subs not used: Seth Burkett, Ben Sedgemore, Dave Frecklington.