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Stamford AFC and Spalding United share the spoils in BetVictor Northern Premier League South East Division derby day draw




Stamford saw an early two-goal lead slip away as Spalding struck back to earn a share of the derby day spoils in Saturday's BetVictor Northern Premier League South East Division clash at the Sir Halley Stewart ground.

Olly Brown-Hill had given the Daniels a dream start by firing them into the lead within the opening 30 seconds of the clash.

Tom Siddons then doubled the Daniels' lead after 20 minutes, but a defensive error from the visitors was punished by Lewis Brownhill who halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time.

Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordFirst half. Stamford opening goal (20698544)
Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordFirst half. Stamford opening goal (20698544)

Spalding then took full advantage of the lifeline by equalising through Jamie Jackson's second half penalty after an incident which saw Daniels defender Cleveland Taylor red-carded.

Stamford were then thankful for a crucial goalline clearance from Jordon Cooke and a fine late save from goalkeeper Dan Haystead which preserved a point much to the frustration of manager Graham Drury who was unhappy with his side's management of the game.

Drury said: "We haven't managed the game well at all.

"When you're 2-0 up away from home, you don't need to be taking quick throw-ins, having your full-backs going bombing on or trying to play it out from the back two minutes before half-time.

"It's about managing games and teams like Shaw Lane and Basford that went on and won titles did that. They would wait until the 80th minute to get the third and fourth goals when teams are squeezing up and gambling.

"We've given them a lifeline with a poor mistake from ourselves and it's from experienced players as well which is frustrating.

"I think then we've crumbled. We went down to 10 men and I still believed we could win the game, but we didn't find the right areas of the pitch and you have to give Spalding credit.

"They responded after we gave them a lifeline. We made a mistake which gave them a lift so we had to raise our game more but we haven't done that. We just sunk.

"We've invited the pressure on and they've definitely deserved the point. They could have had all three in the end so could feel quite hard done by.

"We've gifted them not just a point but a foothold in the game to take all three and we're lucky to have taken that point.

"I can't defend them. The lads have been brilliant and they get the praise when they're doing well, but they've also got to understand that, to be the best and to achieve what you want to, you've got to take the rough with the smooth."

Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordFirst half. Stamford opening goal (20698552)
Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordFirst half. Stamford opening goal (20698552)

Stamford were unchanged from the side which had drawn 2-2 away at Halesowen Town in Tuesday night's FA Trophy tussle.

And it took the Daniels just 30 seconds to break the derby deadlock through the in-form Brown-Hill.

Brown-Hill exchanged passes with Cosmos Matwasa on the edge of the Spalding area before curling home a fine finish beyond Alex Smith who was replacing the injured Michael Duggan in the home goal.

Stamford could have added a second goal just minutes later, but Brown-Hill stabbed his shot wide with just Smith to beat.

After Ben Richards had failed to connect with an inviting Kegan Everington corner, Stamford did double their lead after 20 minutes.

Top scorer Siddons latched onto James Blundon's clearing header before cushioning the ball into his path and lobbing home a sublime finish over the advancing Smith.

Spalding came more into the contest as the half wore on and George Zuerner blazed over from an inviting cross from Jamie Jackson.

Jackson did then provide the assist which saw Spalding halve the deficit on the stroke of half-time.

He robbed Blunden of possession as the Daniels defender slipped collecting a pass from goalkeeper Dan Haystead before teeing up Lewis Brownhill to slide home the Tulips' opening goal after 44 minutes.

Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordFirst half. Spalding goal (20698592)
Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordFirst half. Spalding goal (20698592)

This gave Spalding the lift they needed and the Tulips started the second half on the front foot.

It took a magnificent double save from Haystead to maintain Stamford's lead as he firstly blocked Kevin Bastos' close range effort before flinging himself at full stretch to turn away Zuerner's header.

His opposite number Smith then made an excellent stop with a vital block as Olly Brown-Hill burst clear onto Tendai Chitiza's through ball

James Hugo made a vital tackle to thwart Siddons as he prepared to shoot following a neat interchange with Brown-Hill before the Tulips got back on level terms with 20 minutes remaining.

Jackson felt the slightest of touches from Taylor in the box and went down with referee Gareth Davis awarding the hosts a generous penalty before further compounding Stamford's woes by sending off the Daniels defender.

Jackson maintained his composure to slot home the resultant spot kick with Spalding then looking to build on their momentum in the latter stages.

Cooke was perfectly placed to keep out a goalbound effort from Spalding substitute Joel Brownhill which had beaten Haystead before the Stamford custodian produced a superb finger-tip save in injury-time to deny Jackson a winner for the Tulips.

Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordSecond half. Red card followed by goal from penalty spot (20698636)
Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordSecond half. Red card followed by goal from penalty spot (20698636)

The point sees Stamford in seventh spot in the league table and keeps them seven points behind league leaders Carlton Town with two games in hand.

Boss Drury added: "The positives are that we're six games unbeaten and we've come to what is a hard place for ourselves for some reason and got a point.

"We've made it hard work for ourselves the last three games we've been here after putting ourselves in controllable positions.

"There were two great goals and unbelievable finishes from Olly and Tom who are in really good form, but we should be 2-0 up until the 80th minute and then win the game by three or four."

Stamford defender Jon Challinor also left the ground on crutches after a foul from Lewis Brownhill who was booked for the tackle.

Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordSecond half. Goalie denies twice (20698608)
Sir Halley Stewart Field - Spalding United v StamfordSecond half. Goalie denies twice (20698608)

Drury continued: "I think the referee has made some really bad decisions.

"The intent in a challenge on Tendai in the first half was two-footed, whether he's got the ball or not. If he had caught him then Tendai would have been in serious trouble just like Chally was.

"I don't think the referee has been very strong with some of the challenges. I don't think he's had a really bad game, but I do think that some of the big moments with the challenging could have been red cards instead of yellows."

Spalding: Smith, Floyd (Withers), Hugo, Zuerner, Richards (Greenwood), Hare, Bastos (J Brownhill), Everington, Jackson, L Brownhill, Acar. Subs not used: Hart, Brooks.

Stamford: Haystead, Taylor, Challinor (Luto), Vince, Cooke, Blunden, Chitiza, Morgan, Siddons (Hicks), Brown-Hill (Armstrong), Matwasa. Subs not used: Wright, Mwanyongo.

Attendance: 267.


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