Drury backing his players to respond in FA Trophy tussle

Mike Armstrong returns to the Stamford ranks for Saturday's FA Trophy tie with Droylsden.
Mike Armstrong returns to the Stamford ranks for Saturday's FA Trophy tie with Droylsden.
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Daniels boss Graham Drury is backing his players to respond to his demands when they hit the FA Trophy trail again on Saturday.

Stamford entertain Evo-Stik Division One North side Droylsden in a second qualifying round clash at the Zeeco Stadium.

Despite maintaining their unbeaten home record with a 2-2 Division One South draw with Sheffield last weekend, Drury was far from happy with his side’s performance.

They conceded a 92nd minute equaliser against a 10-man visiting side and Drury is expecting his side to right their wrongs this weekend.

He said: “We were sloppy from the off last Saturday and too many players were playing within their comfort zone.

“One or two were probably not mentally straight and that rubbed off on four or five others. We were not right when we walked into the building.

“We needed to make a strong start, but instead set off in first gear. I wasn’t happy from the first minute.

“We’ll be putting a little bit more pressure on them to perform this Saturday. They are an honest group and we will get a response.”

Stamford entertain a Droylsden side who sit in seventh place in the northern section of the Evo-Stik Division One.

The Bloods are in a rich vein of form though and haven’t tasted defeat in any competition since a 3-0 league loss at Trafford on September 23.

And Drury expects his side to face a tough test as their Manchester visitors look to protect a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

He said: “They will be a strong side. I’ve had them watched and they are a really good outfit who are in good form. They’ve got Ciaran Kilheeney who is a quality striker so we’ve got to be at our very best.

“They haven’t been beaten for a while and they will be a big, strong outfit. If we are below par or perform like we did against Sheffield on Saturday then we will have an uphill task.

“It’s going to be tough. They will be a typical northern side. They will be direct and be prepared to dig in so we have to be up for the battle.

“They won’t under-estimate us. They will have done their homework, but the FA Trophy is an important competition and I want us to do our best in it.

“It’s important we get a good crowd and people realise how big this game is for us.

“We want to maintain our unbeaten record at home and get the chance to take on the big boys when they enter the competition.

“I want to do well in the league, but I’ve also got my eye on the cups as well and it would be good to have a good crowd to get behind us.

Midfielder Mike Armstrong will return to the Stamford squad after missing last Saturday’s draw, however, attacker Elliot Sandy has joined Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division side Banbury on dual registration.

Sam Hill has gone on loan to Stamford’s league rivals Peterborough Sports in a bid to gain match fitness after a spell on the sidelines injured.