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Stamford AFC travel to face Shepshed Dynamo in a Northern Premier League Midlands Division match

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Manager Graham Drury doesn't want it to be a case of After the Lord Mayor's Show for his Stamford side as they return to league action on Saturday.

The Daniels drew plenty of praise from all quarters for their performance in Saturday's FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at National League side Stockport County.

The Hatters had hit the front in the opening period before a contentious penalty with 18 minutes remaining effectively put the tie out of Stamford's reach.

Manager Graham Drury and assistant Luke Hipwell in the dug-out at Stockport on Saturday. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Manager Graham Drury and assistant Luke Hipwell in the dug-out at Stockport on Saturday. Photo: Rob O'Brien

They now turn their attention back to the main goal of gaining promotion from the Northern Premier League Midlands Division.

And eighth-placed Stamford - who are five points outside the play-off spots with two games in hand - face a tricky trip on Saturday to Shepshed Dynamo's Dovecote Stadium.

Drury said: "We've just got to look forward now. I had a lot of frustration in me on Sunday and Monday after I had watched the penalty decision back.

"It was our only chance at 1-0 because we'd had a couple of decent counter-attacks but, once they got their third, it should have been more if it hadn't been for Dan Wallis in goal.

"We're not naive to think that we were really unlucky because at the end of the day they put their foot on the gas and their second goal killed any hope we had.

"It's gone now and we've got to move on - from a beautiful surface and great surroundings at Stockport to going to the sort of grounds where league titles can be won because you have to go and pick three points up.

Goalkeeper Dan Wallis. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Goalkeeper Dan Wallis. Photo: Rob O'Brien

"It's always a tough place to go and there's quite a few players who have connections with both clubs.

"I know Shepshed will want to beat Stamford so it's a really tough fixture and it can't be a case of After the Lord Mayor's Show for us.

"We have got to go there and do a professional job and try to get the three points because we desperately need them.

"If we win our games in hand then we can sneak into the play-off areas but we have to capitalise on them and try and push ourselves into that area.

"We need to be performing week in, week out and getting back to the Stamford way of wanting to win games of football."

The Daniels will welcome back Jake Duffy and Zayn Hakeem into their squad after the duo were cup-tied for the Stockport match.

Jordan Smith (52502774)
Jordan Smith (52502774)

Shepshed are likely to include former Stamford players Jordan Smith, John King and Reece Morris in their squad and Drury is looking forward to facing his old charges.

He said: "Jordan's still a top-notch player and a great lad. I always look forward to seeing him, just like Reece and Kingy.

"They are all fantastic lads and have been a pleasure to work with. We've just got to hope that we can shake hands at the end of the day having come away with three points."

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