Stamford surge back into play-off places after six-goal bonanza
Stamford stormed back into the Evo-Stik League Division One South play-off places after an emphatic 6-0 home win over Gresley on Monday night.
The Daniels showed no mercy on the struggling Derbyshire side who had been hit by a mass player exodus following the departure of manager Damion Beckford-Quailey after their league survival had been secured last week.
They fielded just two first team regulars in a side that included reserve and Under 18 players and were ruthlessly dispatched by a dominant Daniels display as Stamford sought their own redemption following a horror show at Romulus last weekend.
Manager Graham Drury admitted afterwards that he had been ‘disgusted’ by his players’ attitude in the weekend defeat and was relieved to get their season back on track.
He said: “Gresley deserve a lot of credit after what’s happened to them. They never stopped and kept going right until the end.
“We couldn’t feel sorry for them though because we have our goals to get to and, although we have improved our goal difference, it could have been even greater.
“We know what we want to achieve this season and we’ve got another game to do that.
“We made sure we were at it, dominated right from the first minute and scored some fantastic goals.
“I was disgusted with the attitude of the players when they turned up at Romulus on Saturday. They just expected to turn up and win.
“I didn’t have to say much to the players before the game on Monday. They know what it is expected of them. They needed to show a reaction and we got a reaction.”
It took Stamford inside 40 seconds to break the deadlock when Ollie Brown-Hill slotted home the first of his hat-trick haul after Henry Eze had flicked on Jon Challinor’s long throw.
Stamford looked eager to add to their tally and went close on several occasions with Jordan Smith’s being denied by the on-rushing Callum Hawkins followed Brad Wells’ flick on.
Wells was then thwarted from close range by Hawkins wwho was in the right place at the right time to clutch a goalbound effort on his line.
Brown-Hill headed narrowly wide from an Eliot Putman cross before Stamford doubled their lead after 24 minutes with Eze getting in on the goalscoring act himself when he headed home a Jake Duffy free-kick.
Two became three eight minutes later when defensive powerhouse Eze was bundled over in the box and Brown-Hill converted the resultant spot kick.
Hawkins made a good save to deny Smith following another excellent delivery from Putman before the Moatmen created their best opening on the stroke of half-time only for Kane Lee to fire over when well placed.
Stamford continued on the offensive after the break and took just eight minutes of the second period to increase their lead when Eze blasted home from Rob Morgan’s cross.
Substitutes Kieran Wells and Callum Ball then combined within minutes of their introduction to Stamford’s fifth goal just past the hour mark.
Wells harried the Gresley defensive ranks and his persistence saw the ball drop into the path of Ball who finished with aplomb for his first goal since joining the club.
Hawkins made another excellent save to block a well-struck effort from Kieran Wells before Ball fizzed a cracking strike just over.
A ferocious first-time shot from Putman was also inches away while Eze was denied his hat-trick when Hawkins safely gathered following a shot on the turn.
The rout was fittingly sealed by Brown-Hill who completed his hat-trick in the last minute when he coolly converted after unselfish play from Duffy had created the chance.
They then had another effort ruled out as Ball was flagged offside after finishing well as Stamford equalled their best league win of the season.
They now need just a point from Saturday’s final league game of the season at home to Cleethorpes to secure their play-off place.
Stamford: Haystead, George (Gordon), Putman, Challinor, Armstrong, Eze, Morgan, Duffy, Smith (Ball), B Wells (K Wells), Brown-Hill. Burgess, Peasgood.
Gresley: Hawkins, Hughes, Harrison, Branch, Hemingway, Hill, King (White), Payne, Lee (Atkin), Ward (Evans), Pott.