Stamford AFC well beaten by Grantham in derby
Stamford AFC left it too late to show what they could do on Monday as they suffered their second defeat of the Christmas period at Evo-Stik NPL derby rivals Grantham Town.
Hosts Grantham, who were fighting to get out of the relegation zone themselves not so long ago, beat the Daniels 3-1 in front of a crowd of 457 who braved the biting wind at the Meres Stadium.
The home support was quickly cheered when Grantham took the lead in the fourth minute. A searching cross found Ben Saunders at the far post. He headed across the six yard box where Rhys Lewis nodded in past Daniels keeper Ashley Timms.
The Gingerbreads doubled their lead in the 22nd minute. Fans’ favourite Lee Shaw eluded the Stamford defence before somehow finding a gap between keeper and post to tuck the ball away with his left boot.
With nothing to lose, Stamford came at Grantham more after the break, and the home side allowed them too much time and space to do so.
The visitors continued to search for a goal to get back in the game and were finally rewarded with two minutes remaining. Substitute Chris Hamilton’s cross-cum-shot looked to be going out of play, but the wind kept the ball in and former Gingerbread Greg Smith headed in past Jake Turner.
Stamford sensed they could get something out of the final few minutes, including seven minutes of added time, but Grantham sealed the win with six of those minutes played. Substitute Stefan Bilyk broke away partnered by Michael Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth was halted in his tracks by Ellis Myles, but Bilyk carried on to slot past Timms.
The result sees Stamford remain second from bottom in the league on just 16 points at the turn of the year.
The only semblance of good news for the struggling Daniels is the teams around them at bottom of the table also failed to pull away from them, however the next four teams above them all had at least one match postponed by the heavy rain in the North.
Colwyn Bay (17 points), who are one place above Stamford lost 2-0 on Monday to Ashton United, and the final side sitting in the relegation zone Whitby Town (18 points) drew 1-1 against Frickley Athletic.
The first safe side in the bottom half of the table Skelmersdale United (23 points) lost 1-0 at Nantwich Town.
Liverpool-based Marine (23 points) had both their game postponed and Mickleover, extended the gap between the two sides with a 4-2 win away at Barwell and 1-1 draw with Ilkeston on Monday.
Stamford host Hyde United on Saturday next, kick off 3pm.
Stamford AFC: Ashley Timms, Ellis Myles, Jason Field (Lee Beeson), Jon Challinor (Chris Hamilton), Tom Batchelor, Bradley Gascoigne, Jordan Smith, Tom McGowan (Lewis Carr), Greg Smith, Jake Duffy, Elliott Hodge. Subs: Lewis Jackson, Andre Johnson.
Grantham Town: Jake Turner, Danny Meadows, Michael Emmott, Michael Hollingsworth, Sam Purcicoe, Ellis Storey, Jamie McGhee (James Cullingworth), Rhys Lewis, Lee Shaw, Ben Saunders (Stefan Bilyk), Jake Beckett. Subs: Lawrence Gorman, Jake Towers, Nick Eatough.