Tough run will give Daniels a challenge

Dan Cotton celebrates after scoring against Quorn
Dan Cotton celebrates after scoring against Quorn
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THE Daniels face their toughest spell of the season with back-to-back trips to four sides in the top half of the table, starting with second-placed Kidsgrove tomorrow.

That match is quickly followed by matches at Goole, Glapwell and Brigg in the next 11 days and Stamford’s young side will have to call on all the spirit that shut out Quorn at the Vic Couzens on Saturday.

“It’s a big challenge for a young side,” said Daniels boss Simon Clark, adding with more than a hint of irony: “The fixture list has been kind to us.

“I saw Kidsgrove at Shepshed (where they won 4-1) on Tuesday and they are a good, powerful side with two big men up front. But I have ideas about how we will play them.”

He was encouraged by the performance on Saturday, in which Dan Cotton scored the only goal of the game to ensure Stamford took three points for the first time at home since October.

Clark said: “I was absolutely delighted with the result. I would not say we played with fluency but they never really hurt us.

“Supporters expect us to play well in most games but against some teams you have to grind out a result and there are a lot of positives to take from a 1-0 win when we have only played at 80 per cent.”

He praised his defence, for whom Matty Evans made a Daniels debut at right back.

“My back four were 18, 19, 20 and 23,” said the Daniels boss. “If we can keep hold of these players where will we be in a couple of years’ time? It’s heartening to see how they develop and work together.

“It’s great to work with these kids. They work so hard and stick to their task.”

Evans, who was signed from Spalding, was previously with Rushden and Diamonds, and Clark believes he will be great asset to his squad.

But one of Clark’s recruits who will not be playing tomorrow is Nathan Adams, who is suspended after his sending off at home to Goole.

Lee Beeson returned from his hamstring injury to start on the bench against Quorn on a day when gusty conditions made attractive attacking football difficult.

It was far from a classic game but Stamford will be happy with the three points, a clean sheet and a win at home.

Match report on page 118