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Stamford AFC well-beaten by Blyth Spartans

By Rob Byrne

Stamford 2 Grantham 0 Lincs Senior Shield 17-02-15
Stamford 2 Grantham 0 Lincs Senior Shield 17-02-15

There is no shame in losing to FA Cup run heroes Blyth Spartans this season, the club who reached the third round of the cup competition, extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a 4-1 victory over Stamford AFC on Saturday at Croft Park.

Blyth opened the scoring through Matthew Wade on the half hour mark before one of the worst more comical own goals you will see for some time put the game effectively beyond Stamford after an hour. Daniels defender Lewis Carr laid the ball back to his keeper Andy Stevens but the ball hit a rivet and the Stamford stopper hit only air as he went to kick it and the ball bobbled into the net.

Michael Richardson extended the lead five minutes later before Dan Clements quickly replied for the travelling side.

Dan Maguire added gloss to the victory with a goal eight minutes from time.

The result means the Daniels are 17th in the Evo-Stik NPL.

Spartans started the game well and their opening goal had a touch of quality to it. Carr headed cleared an initial cross but only as far as midfielder Wade who scored with a right foot volley from 20 yards out which Stevens could only watch.

Ryan Robbins had a golden opportunity to reply in the 35th minutes. The club’s leading scorer this season was one-on-one with Spartans keeper Nick Thomson who was quick off his line to block the shot with his chest.

Carr was having an eventful day for Stamford and survived a penalty shout when he pulled down Dan Maguire in the box but despite the appeals referee Simon Clayton waved play on.

After the break Stevens was soon called into action to save after from Jarrett Rivers after he had beaten three defenders. Then calamity struck with the bloopers reel own goal.

In the 65th minute Blyth had the ball in the back of the net again and there was no luck involved in. Full back Dan Hawkins crossed to the far post and Richardson was in the right shop to direct the ball in from a tight angle.

However Clements denied Spartans a clean sheet with a superb individual goal. He broke down Spartans’ left and cut inside, evading the attempted tackle of Hawkins, before firing past the dive of Thomson.

But Hawkins showed his attacking prowess once again with an inch perfect cross behind the Stamford defence for Maguire to chip Stevens.

In the final moments of the game Stevens denied Spartans captain Robbie Dale with a brave block to keep some respectability to the score.

Stamford face relegation candidates Marine at the Zeeco Stadium on Saturday, still searching for their first league victory at their new home.

Spartans: Thomson, Nicholson, Mullen, Watson (Hawkins 46), Hutchinson, Stp Turnbull, Richardson (Stv Turnbull 83), Dale, Maguire, Wade (Hooks 70), Rivers

Subs not used: Wearmouth, Lynch

Stamford: Stevens, Clarke, Fox, McGowen, Carr, Batchelor, Challinor, Lawlor, Fitzgerald (Meade 58), Clements, Robbins

Subs not used: Bettles, Staff, Gould

Referee: Simon Clayton

Attendance: 462


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