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Stamford AFC visit Halesowen Town in a crucial Northern Premier League Midlands Division match



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Manager Graham Drury wants his Stamford side to be fully focussed from the first whistle as the Daniels face a massive match this weekend in their quest for promotion.

Drury's fifth-placed side travel on Saturday to Halesowen who currently occupy second spot in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division table.

The two sides are separated by seven points and shared the spoils in a 2-2 meeting at the Zeeco Stadium in September.

Manager Graham Drury. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Manager Graham Drury. Photo: Rob O'Brien

Stamford had to overturn a two-goal deficit in that match and Drury feels his side needs to be 'at it from dot one' this weekend.

He said: "It's a game that I'm really looking forward to because they're a good footballing side who play on a good surface.

"I thought on the day that we perhaps deserved to win the home game, but you can't give those sort of sides chances to be 2-0 up.

"We have to make sure that we're in the game from the off and not give them that slender lead which they had at our place so we have to play catch-up. We have to be at it from dot one."

Stamford will be boosted by the return of Mike Armstrong to their squad while their defensive ranks have been bolstered by the loan signing of centre-half Jamie Chisholm.

Chisholm is a former Mansfield Town youngster who spent time on loan with National League North side Kettering during his time with the Stags.

Jamie Chisholm, right, is pictured playing for Anstey Nomads against Deeping Rangers earlier this season. (54243523)
Jamie Chisholm, right, is pictured playing for Anstey Nomads against Deeping Rangers earlier this season. (54243523)

He has been playing for United Counties League Premier Division North title challengers Anstey Nomads this term and impressed against the Daniels in a pre-season friendly.

Drury explained: "Jamie played against us in pre-season and I thought that he was outstanding.

"He's a big lad who talks well and he's strong in a one-on-one. With Stacey Freeman leaving, we felt we needed to strengthen."

Frontman James Hicks is set to return to training this week after a lengthy spell out injured following the departure of Cameron Johnson who has joined Northern Premier Division side Gainsborough Trinity.

Drury commented: "It was time for Cameron to move on and we wish him all the very best. I would like to thank him for all that he has done for the club and Gainsborough is the perfect fit for him."

Johnson's final match in a Stamford shirt came at the weekend where the Daniels defeated Sporting Khalsa after an epic comeback at the Zeeco Stadium.

Cameron Johnson has joined Gainsborough Trinity. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Cameron Johnson has joined Gainsborough Trinity. Photo: Rob O'Brien

They twice trailed by two goals before Rob Morgan's scored a penalty with the last kick of the game to seal the 4-3 win.

Drury added: "It was a strange one because I was still very frustrated after the game even though we won in the last minute.

"I thought we were so good for the first 25 minutes as we kept our shape and discipline and played to the game-plan.

Rob Morgan celebrates his last-gasp winner against Sporting Khalsa. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Rob Morgan celebrates his last-gasp winner against Sporting Khalsa. Photo: Rob O'Brien

"But, for some unknown reason, players swopped positions and sides and all of sudden our press became non-existent and they went 2-0 up and looked like they were world-beaters.

"The players went off their own backs unintentionally to change positions and I let them know that at half-time.

"But, after the words were said, the players deserve massive credit because they realised what had happened.

"They were determined to put it right and it shows the quality of the side that they have rallied and the tactical change helped get the penalty for the winner."



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