STAMFORD 0 BARWELL 1
A GOALKEEPER at the top of his game stood between the Daniels and points when Stamford played the league leaders on Tuesday.
Stamford lost 1-0 at the Vic Couzens Stadium but deserved to take something from a game in which they created the best chances.
Liam Castle saved the Evo-Stick League’s First Division South leaders on several occasions, denying Lee Beeson and Andy Toyne with sensational saves.
Speaking after the final whistle, Daniels boss Simon Clark said: “He has pulled off three or four excellent saves. Against any other keeper we would have won that game.”
The Stamford boss was bitterly frustrated by the manner of Barwell’s goal, scored by Jamie Towers.
Stamford’s players felt the tall striker fouled Daniels goalkeeper Chris Wright before sliding the ball into an unguarded net. But while Wright was on the floor, Towers played to the whistle and scored the only goal of the game.
Clark said: “I spoke to the referee after the game. Our keeper, Wrighty is convinced he was fouled.
“It’s the kind of decision that changes a game. We went from a positive 0-0 position to one-down against the league leaders. Until then we had played a lot of good football.
“All the back four played well, my strikers worked hard and Andy Toyne put in another good performance. He’s becoming a good player.”
It was Stamford’s fourth defeat in five games and it was a harsh result for the Daniels who grew in stature during the opening period.
Beeson and Dan Cotton had threatened on the wings and recent recruit Matty Evans combined well with Beeson, pushing Barwell back with attacking runs and providing penetrative crosses from the right.
Goalscorer Towers had the first attempt on goal after seven minutes but it wasn’t long before Stamford bore down on the visitors’ goal.
Beeson curled a free kick wide on 11 minutes and soon after he tested the Barwell defence when he cut inside along the edge of the box only to pull his shot to the right of the goal.
The Daniels used the width of the pitch well and a deep cross from Evans was met firmly by Beeson only for Castle to produce top-class save, somehow getting the ball over the bar.
Wright was largely untroubled at the other end although Barwell should have capitalised better from a corner when three visiting players appeared suprised at being unmarked and wasted an opportunity.
Another great Evans cross was met by Jamie Clarke only for Castle to deny the Daniels as half time approached.
Early in the second half Seth Burkett set up Beeson for another chance but soon after, Barwell grabbed the lead. The ball was hit long in a swift counter attack and while Wright claimed the ball had been knocked from his hands, Towers tucked the ball into net and wheeled away in celebration.
Toyne had a superb volley from the edge of the box tipped over five minutes later but gradually Barwell closed the game down and chances became fewer.
Ryan Oliver came on for Adam Millsom as Stamford were forced to throw more bodies forward but they could not find a way through.
l The Daniels are back on the road tomorrow with a trip to Leek Town. Their next home game is against Sutton Coldfield Town on March 12. Both games kick off at 3pm.
Stamford: Chris Wright, Matty Evans, Seth Burkett, Andy Toyne, Miles Chamberlain, Paul Malone, Lee Beeson, Adam Millson, Simon Mowbray, Jamie Clarke, Dan Cotton. Subs: Jake Walton, Ben Sedgemore, Ryan Oliver, Tony Battersby, Richard Stainsby.
Man of match: Lee Beeson