Stamford beat promotion chasing Buxton
Stamford AFC manager David Staff has always said anyone can beat anyone in the Evo-Stik NPL and on Saturday the Daniels well and truly proved him right with an impressive 2-1 win away at promotion chasing Buxton.
A goal in each half sealed the Bucks’ fate in a game where the league’s third place side never really got going.
Jordan Smith opened the scoring in the 31st minute before Dan Lawlor doubled the lead just after the hour mark.
Stamford were reduced down to ten men midway through the second half when goalscorer Lawlor was dismissed for two soft yellow cards.
The hosts scored from the penalty spot through Laurie Wilson in the 88th minute but it wasn’t quite enough to claw their way back into the tie and take at least a point from the encounter.
Stamford are now 16th in the league and 11 points clear of the drop zone fight below them and with Ryan Robbins, Shawn Richards, Gareth Jelleyman and Nathan Fox all expected back by the end of the month the Daniels will look to kick on and climb higher into the midtable zone.
On Saturday Jamie Green, celebrating his 100th outing in Buxton colours, created the first real chance of the game on 20 minutes when his free-kick from just outside the area was hit straight at the Stamford stopper Andy Stevens.
Until then the opening exchanges were scrappy and cagey with both sides taking time to get used to the heavy Silverlands pitch.
The next half-chance again came from the foot of Green.
This time his free-kick, which was further out, sailed well over the bar.
Stamford then took the lead against the run of play with virtually their first sniff of a goal-scoring chance.
A corner was initially cleared behind by Jonathan Williams and from the second set-piece Jordan Smith pounced from under the bar after Arron Jameson’s tame flap fell into his path.
The Bucks came out for the second half in determined mood and with Mark Reed entering the fray in place of Williams at the interval.
Liam Hardy’s free-kick was rifled straight at Stevens as the hosts ramped up the pressure.
Shaun Tuton then fired just wide inside the area, before his snapshot was hit straight at Stevens.
Stamford then went two goals in front on the hour mark when another Jameson error gifted them a goal.
A free-kick from 30 yards out was drilled home by Dan Lawlor.
Jameson managed to get a hand to the effort but it wasn’t enough to prevent the ball flying past him and into the net.
Buxton were handed a small reprieve soon after when Stamford were reduced to ten men after a second booking for Lawlor.
Derek Niven shot straight at Stevens as the hosts attempted to get back into the game before Greg Young then headed over.
The Bucks then won a way back into the game when they were awarded a penalty after handball by a Stamford man in the crowded area.
Wilson proceeded to drill the hosts back into the game from the spot and Buxton piled on the pressure but Stamford held on for the three points.
Stamford host Frickley Athletic at their new Zeeco Stadium on Saturday, 3pm ko, where there will be looking for their first win since moving to the Ryhall Road site.
Their first two games have resulted in draws.