Daniels Produce Performance For Fans
By Richard Curtis
Stamford answered manager Graham Drury's call to produce a performance to repay their fans by claiming a terrific 2-0 home victory over play-off chasing Tadcaster Albion at the Zeeco Stadium on Tuesday night.
Drury had apologised to the Daniels faithful for his side's sorry showing in the 3-0 home defeat against Marske United on Saturday.
But they responded in style on Tuesday night to snap their six-game winless streak with an all-action display as a goal in each half from Joe Burgess and Jon Challinor blew the Brewers away.
Drury said: "We owed the fans massively because Saturday was such a disappointment.
"The whole team showed that we owed the fans it and that was my only chat before the game.
"We needed a performance and it was Stamford back to what we can be. It's just frustrating that it's not been case week in, week out this season.
"We can compete, we know that, and we know we're not far off, but it's been a really frustrating season when we know that we can produce these type of performances.
"I wanted us to sit in behind the ball, let them have the ball in front of us so we could then press and have pressure points.
"The press was good all over the pitch and the work-rate and energy was superb. There was a lot of enjoyment out there."
Stamford had shuffled their pack with Ollie Brown-Hill coming into the starting line-up in a wide wing-back role which saw Rob Morgan on the other flank.
Liam Adams was also handed his first start since returning from a loan spell with United Counties League Premier Division side Pinchbeck United and produce a man-of-the-match performance which delighted Drury.
He added: "It just all worked for us. I felt moving Rob Morgan and Ollie Brown-Hill into the wide areas gave us good pace and width.
"We had Liam's pace in there and Ryan Seal finding pockets with Gregg Smith being a nuisance.
"I was really chuffed for Liam. There must have been stages of this season when he's really hated me, but he's a young lad who has understood now that he doesn't want to be in the United Counties League so he's come back to earn his place.
"I believed in him at the start of the season and I still believe in him now. With performances like that, he's capable of doing it.
"He made a massive difference with his running and his outlet. He wants to be playing at this level and we've told him to use that loan spell as a springboard. And, to be fair to him, he's put in a great performance along with many others.
"There was a lot of walking wounded in the second half. Joe Burgess has had to come off which was a massive blow because he's had a fantastic season.
"But we had Rob Morgan to put in there with energy and Jon Challinor who could naturally drop into the right-hand side and Teddy Bloor has come on into midfield and showed he can press and work hard in there. It gives me another good option."
Stamford had made a spritely start to proceedings, but it was the visitors who threatened first with Mike Armstrong making a crucial headed clearance from a dangerous Casey Stewart cross before Aiden Savory shot over after creating space in the home box.
The Daniels also created a couple of decent openings of their own with Brown-Hill just failing to find Adams with a low cross after being set free by a fine pass from Seal before Smith sent a header just over.
The deadlock was broken just past the half-hour mark when Harry Coates produced a vital header to deny Smith but, from the resultant Jake Duffy corner, Burgess glanced home his 11th goal of the season.
The influential midfielder was then forced off with an Achilles injury just moments after the second half had restarted.
But his replacement Challinor quickly took over the goalscoring baton by linking well with Morgan down the right before slotting home past James Hodges in the Tadcaster goal just six minutes after coming on.
Tadcaster responded with Armstrong making another important header to divert a Joe Lumsden effort onto the home crossbar while Adams continued to threaten for the Daniels with a couple of decent efforts that were either narrowly wide or well saved by Hodges.
Dan Haystead had to be alert to make a smart stop from Lumsden who had raced clear onto a Peter Davidson through ball as Tadcaster threw extra men forward in search of a way back into the contest.
But this left them exposed to Stamford's lightning-quick counter-attacks and in injury-time Morgan showed tremendous energy levels with a lung-busting burst into the box from the halfway line before being fouled.
Smith stepped up to take the resultant spot kick, but his well-struck effort was straight at Hodges who was able to block.