Late Goal Denies Daniels
A 90th minute equaliser denied the Daniels a third successive league victory after the spoils were shared in a 1-1 home New Year’s Day draw with Pontefract Collieries.
Ryan Seal’s first-half strike had put Stamford in control of the contest at the break, but a strong showing from the in-form visitors in the second period ensured they netted a point to continue their fine run of form.
The Yorkshire side had arrived at the Zeeco Stadium on the back of a six-match winning run which had taken them up to third place in the Evo-Stik League Division One East standings.
Stamford, on the back of successive 1-0 victories in their last two outings, went into the contest without centre-half Kern Miller due to a family bereavement which handed Academy graduate Harry Peasgood his first league start of the season.
And Daniels boss Graham Drury felt it was a steady point for his side after taking everything into consideration.
He said: “Pontefract are a good side and they were always putting pressure on us by going forward.
“I thought we did a good job in the first half. We were good with the second ball and looked quite strong.
“We could have nicked a second goal at the end of the half to go 2-0 up, but we were on the back foot in the second half.
“Their goal was perhaps coming. They had some chances and it showed they were desperate for a goal because they were rushing it and panicking rather than having that composure.
“But six teams haven’t been able to do what we did. We’re three games unbeaten, taken seven points from nine, so if we can take maximum points from Saturday then this will be a good point.
“All credit to the lads who stepped in especially for anybody looking at the league table and the shake-up with Kern not being here which forced us to make a couple of changes.
“When you’re at home, 1-0 up with only a few minutes to go, you want to win the game, but overall with what’s gone on it’s a steady point.”
Stamford stuttered slightly in the opening exchanges as they failed to clear their lines on a couple of occasions which saw Eli Hey twice go close for Collieries.
However, the Daniels grew into the game and broke the deadlock after 15 minutes as Seal continued his home scoring spree.
Jon Challinor beat Pontefract goalkeeper Ryan Musselwhite to a ball into the box and teed up Seal who, after seeing his initial effort blocked, smashed home the rebound to give Stamford the lead.
Clear-cut chances were at a premium for the rest of the first half with Gavin Rothery shooting wide for the visitors after a neat inter-change of
passes with Connor Smythe.
Pontefract then took the initiative at the start of the second half as they piled forward in search of an equaliser.
Spencer Clarke put the first of a series of good headed opportunities wide of the home goal before Rothery cut inside only to see his effort
Nick Guest headed another good chance over before Rothery failed to connect properly with another decent opening for the visitors.
Guest hooked an effort over from close range before substitute Chris Jackson planted a free header wide of the Stamford goal.
As Pontefract pushed more men forward in search of an equaliser, Stamford looked dangerous on the break following the introductions of Ollie Brown-Hill and Liam Adams.
A strong run and shot from Adams saw his shot blocked by a covering defender before Brown-Hill saw a well-struck effort diverted from goal from Adams’ cross.
Another mazy run from Brown-Hill saw his shot again blocked as Pontefract needed some last-ditch defending to prevent Stamford from doubling their lead.
The visitors still created the more clear-cut openings with Jackson putting another headed effort wide when well placed.
Just as it looked like it might be Stamford’s day, the visitors struck in the 90th minute as Dan Haystead produced a smart stop to palm away a header from Jake Picton, but Rothery reacted first to pounce on the rebound and rifle home the late leveller.