Daniels manager David Staff hopes his side’s exit from the Doodson Sports Cup at the hands of lower league Carlton Town on Tuesday will act as a ‘wake up’ call to his players.
Carlton, who play one league below Stamford in the Evo-Stik First Division South, were 3-1 winners at the Vic Couzens Stadium.
Staff said: “The loss might just have been the wake-up call that we needed.
“It was a warning that we are not good enough to just turn up and win. We have to really work for it every week.”
Both sides went into the match on the back of five-game unbeaten streaks meaning someone was going home disappointed.
With the Daniels resting several key players, the visitors were in control for much of the match and finished with the spoils.
Carlton took the lead through Joe Brothwell in the 26th minute.
After the break, Ruben Wiggins-Thomas notched a second for the Millers before Stamford gave their fans a ray of hope.
In the 69th minute Ryan Robbins won a penalty.
The striker picked himself up to score the rebound after Carlton keeper Jonathan Viscosi brilliantly saved his penalty at the first attempt.
However, the revival was short-lived when Courtney Hasting scored his first goal for Carlton on his full debut, in the 73rd minute.
Stamford kept pushing and Robbins saw a powerful low free-kick rebound off the post before being cleared.
But the Millers held on to book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time.
Staff said: “It is disappointing to be out of the cup but in fairness to Carlton they deserved to win on that performance
“We had 16 chances to score. We hit the post and they were getting bodies in the way and they were really up for it. It seemed they cared about it a bit more than we did.
“The cup is not as important to us as the league. I am not being bitter because I wanted to win and we probably had the chances to win, but we didn’t deserve anything from it.”
Stamford’s Evo-Stik Northern Premier league match away at Buxton was cancelled on Saturday because of a water-logged pitch.
Tomorrow the Daniels host mid-table Matlock.
Staff said: “This game is as important a game as any we have played this year.
“We tend to struggle to these mid-table sides but we need to keep the run going in the league because you can’t count on anyone to beat anyone in this league.”
Stamford will be without Jack Ashton who is out with a hamstring injury for a couple of weeks but otherwise should be at full strength.
Stamford AFC team: Will Jones, Shawn Richards, Liam Richardson, Jack Ashton (C), Lewis Carr, Alvin Jarvis, Ashley Robinson, Charlie Binns, Nabil Shariff, Josh Ling, Ryan Robbins.
Substitutes: Ryan Walker, Richard Jones, Daniel Lawlor, Alex Walton, John Feetham
Carlton Town: Jonathan Viscosi, Aaron Weldon, Billy Bennett, Alexander Troke, Jordan Vilums, Courtney Hastongs, Josh Thornton, Daniel Elliott, Ruben Wiggins-Thomas (c), Joseph Brothwell, Ben Flynn.
Substitutes: Kallum Keane, Tom Tyler