DUMPED out of the FA Cup last weekend by rivals Grantham Town, the Daniels go into tomorrow’s tie at Newcastle Town without skipper Chris Gray.
Gray, who joined during the summer, left the club this week to join Evo-Stik rivals Coalville Town. Work and travelling commitments were blamed for his departure.
Winger Dan Cotton has also left the club following discussions with Stamford boss Simon Clark on Tuesday. Cotton scored almost 50 goals in his time with the Daniels and is considering interest from a club closer to his St Ives home.
The departures followed last weekend’s defeat at Grantham Town, which Clark admitted was disappointing.
He said: “We defended resolutely and there was more than a hint of offside about their goal.
“But the disappointing thing is that we did not stand up to their physical attributes.”
Gio Carchedi’s first half strike was enough to settle a tie that saw a player from each side dismissed in the second half.
It was a poor game but Grantham were the better of two sides that struggled to play any football. Players from both sides failed to make allowances for the wind and constantly playing the ball out of play.
Stamford made a number of changes with Robbie Maddox replacing Danny Barrett, who was absent with a with a groin problem, and Gary King replaced Dean Oliver for his first league start. A favourite from the past, David Staff, has re-joined the club and was on the bench.
The first chance went to Grantham after four minutes when Lee Beeson lost the ball and it was played quickly to Tristram Whitman. His shot went through several legs but Mario Ziccardi, despite seeing the ball very late, dropped quickly to hold the ball.
The wind played a major part in the game and it very nearly contributed to an opening goal for Grantham when a huge clearance from Rob Murray in the Gingerbreads’ goal carried through to Ziccardi. He watched the ball all the way and as it was dipping under the bar stretched to tip it over.
Stamford had a half chance when a Jake Gibson cross caused confusion in the Grantham defence but Murray recovered to beat Sam Mullarkey to the ball.
With 23 minutes gone, Stamford lost the ball on the halfway line and it was played quickly to Whitman. He seemed a couple of yards offside but the flag stayed down and he took the ball forward. Ziccardi was quick to clear the ball but it went straight to Carchedi, who had time to pick his spot and put Grantham ahead.
The referee had twice spoken to Simon Clark but Grantham joint manager Wayne Hallcro must have said something worse because the referee didn’t even talk to him before sending him off.
The second half was poor and 63 minutes had gone before either side created a chance, and it was the best chance of the game for Stamford. A Beeson corner went straight through the Grantham defence but bounced off a surprised Mullarkey and out for a goal kick.
A niggling tussle between Maddox and Whitman resulted in Maddox being shown a red card; and a minute later, Whitman received his red card for elbowing Jacklin.
Stamford could complain about the legitimacy of the goal but they had done little to win the game.
Stamford: M Ziccardi, M Cook, R Maddox, C Gray, M Chamberlain, M Jacklin, L Beeson, D Brooks (D Steadman 61), G King (D Oliver 73), S Mullarkey, J Gibson (D Cotton 61). Subs not used: S Burkett, A Toyne, D Staff.