Daniels almost safe after two big wins

Stamford Daniels skipper Richard Jones. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140904-181004001
Stamford Daniels skipper Richard Jones. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140904-181004001

There is delight in the Daniels camp this week as two wins in the last six days almost certainly means that Stamford will once again be playing in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier next season.

Stamford AFC won 3-1 at relegated Stocksbridge Park Steels on Tuesday night to move the Daniels 11 points clear of the drop zone with just four league matches remaining.

Stamford are now in 15th position with 55 points.

Relegation rivals Frickley were beaten 2-1 by Witton Albion last night and now look destined for the drop.

Nabil Shariff scored twice for Stamford and Ryan Robbins added his 26th goal of a brilliant campaign after extending his contract with the club earlier this week.

On Saturday the Daniels won 1-0 away to Skelmersdale United thanks to a goal from skipper Richard Jones.

Stamford manager David Staff said: “The lads have been great all season and they were great last night. At half time there was a bit of frustration from players because we were 1-0 down but I told them that if they kept creating chances like we were it would go our way.

“We created 16 chances and we put three away and we were the better team last night.”

Just as Stamford’s rocky route to league safety has not been easy, the Daniels did not have it all their own way on Tuesday and were behind until midway through the second half after a blast from Stockbridge’s Janni Lipka 35 minutes in put them behind.

Stamford rode their luck with the home side twice crashing shots into the woodwork. But the already relegated side could only hold back the red tide for so long and on 65 minutes Jon Challinor, back from Halifax Town, wove into the Stocksbridge six yard box to set Robbins up for a tap in.

After the breakthrough the goals flowed and Robbins turned provider, setting up Shariff to slot past the keeper.

The striker added his second of the match in the final moments to seal the win, all three points and start the celebrations.

Staff said: “We have got new targets now and I think we will be able to play more freely as a bit of the pressure is off us now.

“We can look up the table now and we have a winnable game at Droylsdon at the weekend.

“It was a relief to win and hopefully if we can win again this weekend we will go in on a high and on the back of a little run when we take on FC United of Manchester when they come here next week.”

Stamford’s opponents tomorrow, Droylsden, only have one win this season and are already preparing for life in a lower division.