Daniels return to winning ways

Stamford AFC v Northwich Victoria.'Photo: MSMP171212StamfordAFC2
Stamford AFC v Northwich Victoria.'Photo: MSMP171212StamfordAFC2
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Stamford and Northwich Victoria served up another incident-filled clash with eight goals and two red cards at Kettering Road on Saturday.

When the two sides met on the opening day of the season, Stamford won 4-3 and had their goalkeeper at the time, Elliott Shilliam, sent off. On Saturday the sides beat both tallies with an eight goal aggregate and two dismissals.

After a sluggish start, Stamford were brought to life by Alex Taylor’s opening goal for Northwich, a simple close range finish after Joe Bunney was given too much space in the middle of the Daniels half.

But after falling behind in the opening minutes, The Daniels ran up a 5-1 lead with five different goal-scorers before shipping two goals as they began to coast late on.

Jake Gibson levelled after 11 minutes, firing a low shot past Ryan Robinson from the edge of the box after James Ozmen’s shot came back off Gary King for Gibson to lash home.

Stamford were soon two up, with Danny Brooks sweeping in a freekick from the left.

Both sides were reduced to ten men in the first half after an off-the-ball incident between Northwich centre-back Jack Duggan and Stamford striker Gary King.

Duggan floored King who was dismissed for a retaliation he strongly denied but as the game became tetchy others could easily have joined the two red-carded players. One challenge took out Stamford’s James Ozmen, who had to be substituted soon after, and Ricky Miller found himself a target on several occasions.

Daniels boss Graham Drury made a tactical switch following the red cards, replacing Stamford’s first goalscorer, winger Jake Gibson, with Greg Smith to keep two up front against Northwich’s reduced defence.

Tom Batchelor made it three with a close range header after another Brooks free-kick was deflected onto the bar.

Ricky Miller whose direct running at the visitors’ goal was a threat throughout, added the fourth soon after the break and Miller teed up Smith for the fifth.

Kevin Leadbetter and Joe Bunney pulled two back for Northwich who finished the game the stronger side as Stamford eased off.

The victory was Stamford’s first in three games and keeps them in second spot in the Evo-Stik First Division South.

Stamford’s next match is a Doodson Cup tie at Mickleover Sports tomorrow evening when David Staff will be in charge following the resignation of Graham Drury this morning.

Their next home game will be at home to Kidsgrove Athletic on Boxing Day.