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Reaction from Stamford AFC manager Graham Drury after his side finish runners-up in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division



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It was a case of one down, two to go for Stamford manager Graham Drury after his side's three-goal home win over Carlton Town on Saturday.

The victory rounded off the regular season for the Daniels who recorded their ninth successive win to seal second spot in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division.

Despite missing out on the league title following Ilkeston's win at Wisbech, it means home advantage for Stamford on Tuesday night when they entertain Belper Town in their play-off semi-final.

Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244608)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244608)

A win for the Daniels would also see them at the Zeeco Stadium on Saturday against the winners of either Chasetown or Halesowen who meet in the other semi-final.

Drury said: "All we could on Saturday was our job which was to win the game.

"There are now two more jobs to do.

Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244610)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244610)

"I am disappointed that we not league champions, especially with the form we've been in since Christmas.

"But we lost a couple of two-goal leads before that run which has comes back to bite us.. They are now under the carpet though and they're long gone.

“I will ring Martin Carruthers (Ilkeston manager) to congratulate him and wish him all the best for next season.

Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244612)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244612)

“They are the champions and have deserved it because they’ve been more consistent. They might have stumbled across the line but that’s what good sides do.”

Goals from Tendai Chitiza, Harry Vince and Michael Frew secured Stamford's success on Saturday with the Daniels keeping their eighth clean sheet of the nine-match winning run against a Carlton side who went into the contest with an outside chance of making the play-offs.

Drury added: "We have kept another clean sheet which is two on the trot with a change of goalkeeper.

Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244614)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244614)

"We also made a change at centre-half but, whoever we play, they have a desire to keep the ball out of the back of the net.

"We got the first goal and perhaps should have scored a couple more in the the first half, but it could have been 2-2 after the first couple of minutes because it was that open and crazy.

"But, once we got to grips with their diamond shape, I felt we controlled the game and it should have been more than 1-0 at half-time.

Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244616)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244616)

"I thought we were electric going forward in the second half with the transitions once we got on the ball.

"We had pace, we were direct and had people breaking to get into the box which is the desire of the group and I am really proud of them again.”

Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244618)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244618)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244620)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244620)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244622)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244622)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244624)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244624)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244626)
Match action from Saturday's home win over Carlton Town. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56244626)


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