Daniels aim to cap fine season with a trophy

Daniels v FC of Manchester. Daniels lost 3-2
Daniels v FC of Manchester. Daniels lost 3-2
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Stamford AFC can add sparkle to a successful first season following promotion to the Evo-Stick Northern Premier League in their final matches of the season today (Saturday) and on Tuesday.

Blyth Spartans are the visitors to the Vic Couzens Stadium this afternoon, when The Daniels will be looking for a rousing performance.

Then on Tuesday, Daniels have the chance to bring home some silverware when they travel to Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank stadium to play Brigg Town in the final of the Lincs Senior Trophy.

The Stamford players got a taste of the big occasion last Saturday, when FC United of Manchester came to town.

A big contingent of Manchester supporters swelled the crowd to more than 1,200 - the biggest for the Daniels in decades - and the home side contributed to an exciting game, which they were perhaps unfortunate to lose 3-2 from a late decider.

Michael Norton swept home his second of the game to seal the win for the visitors six minutes from the end. But it was the Daniels who were twice in front. Ryan Robbins gave them the lead after three minutes before Norton headed an equaliser on 36 minutes.

Stamford restored their lead on 44 minutes through Nabil Shariff but FC levelled when a free kick crept inside the post two minutes after the restart and Norton then grabbed their winner.

Manager David Staff said: “It was a good day for us and we were a bit disappointed not to get something out of it. But they are a good side and could still win the title.”

Staff was less happy with the performance in Monday’s 2-1 defeat at King’s Lynn.

A late strike from King’s Lynn forward Sam Mulready settled the derby defeat on Monday. The striker headed home George Thomson’s cross 11 minutes from time.

Kings’ Lynn broke the deadlock after a lack-lustre opening 30 minutes when Andy Hall’s shot took a deflection and beat Stamford keeper Will Jones.

The Daniels’ equaliser came out of nothing on the stroke of half-time when Ryan Robbins pounced to convert Shawn Richards’ centre for his 22nd goal of the campaign.

Staff said: “We were very flat and some players let themselves down.

“We set a target of 60 points for the season and we can achieve that in the game against Blyth Spartans.”

The cup final is a chance for Staff to secure his first trophy as Daniels manager and Stamford will fancy their chances, but Brigg, who play in the league from which Stamford were promoted last year will be keen to put one over their higher ranked opponents.

Jason Field is set to return from injury for Saturday’s game. Ryan Robbins (ankle injury) is also likely to feature.