Wonderful hat-trick of away wins ensures NPL future
Stamford’s win at Droylsden means that their Northern Premier League status for next season is secure.
The Daniels were all but safe going into the game but this win dispelled any lingering doubts as to the future.
It also put the finishing touches to a remarkable week at the start of which they faced three away games. They won them all - starting with that brilliant 1-0 success at Skelmersdale. Then came the 3-1 victory at a feisty Stocksbridge Park Steels and now this triumph against luckless Droylsden whose home form, however, had shown recently that they would be no pushovers.
Stamford's current points haul of 58 is an excellent achievement in such a tight league - and one which boasts a number of heavyweights. Just look at FC United and Chorley whose 2-2 draw last Tuesday night was played out in front of over 4000 fans.
All credit for an excellent season must go to manager David Staff who has more than delivered on his main objective - to bring NPL football to Stamford’s new Borderville ground next season.
Staff said: “Well done to all the players for their contributions this season and the club as a whole in how they have gone about things. We’ve produced some good performances and really shown good resilience, especially since December. That form bodes really well for next season."
He continued: “In what was always going to be a difficult first season in a new, strong division I was confident from day one we'd survive and, with 58 points to date, we can class the season a success. Last season we finished fourth and were 16 points behind the winners Kings Lynn, so after getting up through the play-offs it was going to be tough and we were under no illusions of that."
Staff has kept a good core of players this season and he puts that down as a key factor of the success: “It is important to have a stable side. Players learn each other’s style of play and that has helped.”
Keen to keep the same nucleus of players. He continued: “We are in discussion with players as we look to at next season,” Staff revealed.
Jordan Smith, Nabil Shariff and Shawn Richards were the Stamford goalscorers at Droylsden as they made it a hat-trick of away wins and completed three doubles.
Just as Staff had predicted, the bottom placed side played some good football: “They were really good. They liked to play across us and played some good football. Although we were under pressure, we looked comfortable with it and, with them committing men forward, it always gave us an opportunity of a counter attack.”
Smith indeed broke forward and slotted home on 21 minutes and 12 minutes later Shariff made it three goals in two games as he latched onto a Dan Lawlor throughball to cut in from the left and finish under the goalkeeper.
Droylsden had a real go in the second half and were denied by a couple of smart saves from Will Jones. The Daniels managed to get a foothold in the game and midway through the half Richards latched onto a through ball by Jon Challinor to finish.
“Probably, for the second match in a row, we have been wasteful in possession and Will kept them out with a couple of good saves," added Staff.
DROYLSDEN: Craig Dootson, Malachi Slaven, Ben McNamara, Ged Murphy, Ben Heneghen, Sam Freakes, Keano Deacon, Jake Parker, Sefton Gonzales, James Horan, Sam Madeley. SUBS: Dan McLoughlin, Oliver Martin, Ian Bold, Ryan Hibbert, Aeon Lattie,
STAMFORD: Will Jones, Lewis Carr, Jon Challinor, Paul Malone, Richard Jones, Alvin Jarvis (Emeka Nwadike), Nabil Shariff (Matt Cotton), Dan Lawlor, Jordan Smith (David Staff), Charie Binns, Shawn Richards. SUBS Unused: Jason Field & Ryan Robbins.