Daniels are unbeaten at new home but wait for first win

Stamford AFC battle with Skelmersdale United in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-141027-090631001
Stamford AFC battle with Skelmersdale United in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-141027-090631001

Stamford AFC remain unbeaten at their new Zeeco Stadium but they have also not enjoyed a win there either as a late equaliser from Grantham Town denied them victory on Boxing Day.

Lewis Carr gave the Daniels a lead until the 75th minute when Dan Cockerline’s free kick made it 1-1 between the derby rivals in front of another decent crowd of about 650 people.

Stamford drew their first game at the new ground in Ryhall Road 2-2 with Nantwich Town on December 13.

The Daniels should of had a chance to get their first win at Borderville on Sunday but the snow caused the game against Curzon Ashton to be postponed until March 24.

Despite the cold temperatures this week New Year’s Day trip to King’s Lynn was expected to go ahead as planned at they had not had the same bad weather.

Stamford manager David Staff said: “We are channelling all our energy into the two away games now.

“We were so dominant in that first half we should have been out of sight.

“We struggled to keep up that level of intensity in the second half which was a bit disappointing and to be fair they could have nicked it at the end.”

Despite Grantham coming into the game on the back of a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of FA Cup heroes Blyth Spartans it was the visitors who had the firsts effort at goal through Paul Grimes.

However Stamford began to build the pressure and Jorrin John had a chance to punish a poor clearance by the Gingerbreads’ goalkeeper Dan Halstead but he couldn’t control the ball and the chance came to nonthing.

Jordan Smith began to make his presence felt and had a shot saved by Halstead before having a second effort cleared off the line minutes later by Puricoe.

Stamford looked dangerous going forward and Josh Moreman and Nabil Shariff were combining well to create chances.

It was only a matter of time before the goal came but when it did it was somewhat fortuitous. Carr’s cross come shot avoided everyone and nestled in the back of the net.

Shariff and Smith both could have extended the lead which would have put Stamford out of sight at the break. As it was it took a fine save from Andy Stevens in the Daniels’ net to prevent Cockerline from giving the visitors parity at the break.

After an untidy start to the second half a Lawlor’s free-kick almost gave Stamford the lead but no one could connect with his inviting delivery.

Grantham began to have increasing influence on the match and a Danny Meadows’ shot struck the crossbar from distance before Stevens was again called into action to save a header from Cockerline.

Again Smith and Shariff had chances to give Stamford some breathing room but the strikers could not finish.

Stamford were given a warning when Stevens stopped a Meadows shot but he was soon picking the ball out the back of the net.

Ryan Clarke conceded a wide free-kick and Cockerline expertly curled the ball over Stevens and into the top corner for 1-1.

Tom Bachelor had a golden chance to win it for Grantham but could not keep his shot down and Halstead produced one more impressive save to prevent Moreman from converting what would have been an impressive goal after a winding run got him into position.

For the latest from yesterday’s game go online’.

STAMFORD: Andy Stevens, Ryan Clarke, Lewis Carr, Maxence Loose, Richard Jones, Tom McGowan, Dan Lawlor, Nabil Shariff (Charlie Sanders), Josh Moreman, Jordan Smith, Jorrin John (Jon Challinor). SUBS Unused: Robert Paratore, Dalton Bettles and Dan Swann.