FOOTBALL: Daniels to face Kidsgrove

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STAMFORD will face Kidsgrove Athletic in the next round of the FA Trophy after beating Evesham United 1-0 at Kettering Road on Saturday.

Andy Hall scored the only goal of the pre-liminary round tie against the Evo-Stik Southern League division one side.

Hall’s fourth minute strike was an early reward for a bright start by Stamford who spurned a good chance in the second minute when Jordan Smith was put through by an inviting ball from Gary King but screwed his shot tamely wide.

King was back in the starting line-up in place of Sam Mullarkey as Stamford lined up in a 4-4-1-1 set-up with Smith the out-and-out striker, and it was Smith who pulled the ball back across the box for the game’s only goal.

Smith turned in the box, tight against the goal-line and although his pass was behind King, it reached Hall who was racing in from the right. His shot rifled up and across the goal to give Stamford the perfect start.

Evesham’s first chance came soon after but Nathan Hicks’ shot was an easy stop for Matt Finlay on his Daniels debut.

Evesham barely tested the new keeper and the best chances of the half fell to Stamford.

King and Jake Gibson combined to play in left-back Paul Mayo on the break, but the ball ran a little too far allowing Evesham keepr Dean Coleman to force Mayo wide midway through the half.

Minutes later Smith and King both had chances in quick succession with Smith’s blocked in the six-yard-box and King’s diverted wide for a corner. And approaching half-time David Staff burst through but fired high over the bar.

Stamford were quieter up front in the second half with the visitors forced to push forward for an equaliser but Finlay could not have asked for a more gentle debut as he was barely tested all game.

Stamford’s best opportunity to add to their tally after the break came when Gibson beat the offside trap. King, in support, had to hesitate to remain onside and Gibson’s cross-shot was wide of the goal but too far ahead of King to double the Daniels’ lead.

Stamford play Kidsgrove Athletic at home in the next round on September 29. Before that Stamford host AFC Buxton in the FA Cup on Saturday and then face Gresley in the league, at home, on Tuesday, September 25.

Daniels: Matt Finlay, Robbie Maddox, Paul Mayo, Jack Cotton, Richard Jones (c), Danny Brooks, andy Hall, David Staff, Jordan Smith, Gary King, Jake Gibson. Subs: Dean West, Joe Hopewell, Tom Batchelor, Sam Mullarkey, Richard Stainsby.