TOMORROW’S FA Cup tie at Kettering Road will be a huge test for the Daniels, and manager Graham Drury has called on Stamford fans to get behind his side and be the 12th man.
Stamford also face one of the pre-season favourites, Gresley, at home in the league on Tuesday and then Kidsgrove Athletic, again at home, in the FA Trophy the following Saturday, and Drury described the run as “three massive games”. But higher league Buxton in the FA Cup is the biggest of the three.
“It will be a big game for the club,” said Drury. “It will be a difficult game, perhaps the toughest yet.”
Stamford won their last match 1-0, beating Evesham United in the FA Trophy in front of a low crowd on Saturday, and Drury added: “It’s disappointing but gates are dropping everywhere. I really want the fans to cheer us on, on Saturday.
“It’s a massive game for us and a chance to see if the players we have brought in are good enough for the next level.”
The Daniels boss reckons that Saturday’s clean sheet also shows that the side is learning how to tighten up defensively.
He said: “We showed resolve. Everything I have asked of the players, they have given me. If it were not for the penalties we would not have conceded many.
“I do not care how ugly it is, but clean sheets get you through cup competitions and fans won’t be complaining if we get to play the bigger league sides.
“We have scored 18 goals in eight games and although my football philosophy is ‘short, sharp, neat and tidy’, I will adapt to play the wining way.”
Skipper Richard Jones admitted the fluent, passing style that the side wanted to play had been inconsistent, saying: “We have relied too much on Jordan holding the ball up and we need to shorten the ball up.
“I think the performances have left a little to be desired but we are winning, and we need to keep winning.
“We will have to be at our best but we are looking forward to Saturday’s game.”
Drury has no fresh injuries concerns and hopes to have midfielder Jack McGovern and striker Greg Smith back for selection.
Tomorrow’s game kicks off at 3pm and Tuesday’s league match starts at 7.45pm.
Stamford v Evesham
match report on page 118