Stamford 5 - 1 Lincoln United
DANIELS boss Graham Drury has praised the “unsung heroes” following Stamford’s 5-1 demolition of Lincoln United on Tuesday evening.
The victory was Stamford’s first home game of the league season and they maintained their perfect start to the campaign, building on Saturday’s 4-3 win at Northwich Victoria.
Andy Hall scored a hat-trick which included two spot kicks won by Jordan Smith, who in turn headed home Stamford’s fourth. Skipper Richard Jones headed Stamford’s second, which gave the Daniels a 2-0 lead deep in first half stoppage time.
Despite Hall’s hat-trick, Smith won the man-of-the match award, and Drury, who isn’t usually one for picking out individuals said: “There were a couple of unsung heroes. Sam Mullarkey was always creating space; he put in a lot of running. Gary King played deeper than he’s used to and did very well. Jack McGovern continually passes the right balls; simple passes in midfield, and Danny Brooks has looked good. His deliveries can be deadly.”
But Drury wasn’t impressed by the way his side started either half and said his side still needs to tighten up defensively.
“We did not come out the traps very well,” he said. “Lincoln started at a much better tempo. We scored against the run of play but as soon as we scored the goal, it was as if the game had turned on its head.
“I had a real go at the lads at half time.”
He added: “We are scoring goals but we have conceded four in two games and if we carry on like that we’ll let in 88 goals at this rate. The whole team needs to defend a little better.”
Lincoln looked strongest early in each half. Elliott Shilliam tipped over Scott Coupland’s fiercely struck free kick after just five minutes, and Lincoln’s goal came equally early in the second half, with a strike from Joe Butler.
That goal pegged the Daniels back to 2-1 but once Stamford had restored their two goal lead, the visitors, who lost 6-2 at home to Sheffield on Saturday, looked increasingly demoralised.
Stamford finished strongly and by the end could have scored more. Man of the match Smith, Mullarkey and substitute Jake Gibson could all have added to the tally.
Early on however, Stamford were guilty of overhit passes but ten minutes into the game, Smith turned Dave Hone and as he burst into the Lincoln box was clipped by the defender and Hall slammed the resulting penalty in off the right hand post.
Hall was instrumental in the build-up to Stamford’s second goal. It was his run that ended with a foul and Brooks’ free kick was met at the far post by Jones. Mullarkey slammed the ball into the back of the net - possibly before the ball crossed the line - but it was the Stamford skipper who wheeled away to claim the goal.
Stamford’s third goal, which came on the hour, was a carbon copy of the opening goal with Smith bundled over in the box. Hall buried his second spot kick low to the keeper’s right.
Smith’s close range header made it 4-1 with quarter of an hour remaining and Hall slammed a low shot across the goalkeeper into the far corner for the fifth.
It’s early days, but after two games, Stamford are one of only four teams in the Evo-Stik League First Division South to have won both their opening matches and they are top on goal difference.
After tomorrow’s FA Cup tie, the Daniels return to league action with a trip to Kidsgrove Athletic on Bank Holiday Monday.
Stamford: Elliott Shilliam, Robbie Maddox, Joe Hopewell, Tom Batchelor, Richard Jones, Danny Brooks, Gary King, Jack McGovern, Jordan Smith, Sam Mullarkey, Andy Hall. Subs: Jack Cotton, David Staff, Jake Gibson, Greg Smith, Richard Stainsby.
Match Sponsor: DISC