Stamford AFC exit FA Cup at the hands of Grantham Town

Stamford Daniels v Grantham action from Wothorpe Road. EMN-140927-171523009
Stamford Daniels v Grantham action from Wothorpe Road. EMN-140927-171523009

There will be no repeat of Stamford AFC’s historic FA Cup run of last season after the Daniels were kicked out of the competition by derby rivals Grantham Town, losing 2-1 at the Vic Couzens Stadium on Saturday.

Playing in the shadow of the famous trophy, which was at the ground thanks to the Lincolnshire FA, a series of errors cost Stamford the game against their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League rivals.

Last season Stamford went on their best run in the competition for 40 years reaching the fourth qualifying round.

Despite having the better start to FA Cup qualifying second round tie on Saturday Stamford went behind in the 35th minute when Grantham striker Alex Simmons stuck the ball into the net after several unsuccessful attempts at clearing it by the Daniels’ defence.

After the break Stamford’s standout performer Ryan Robbins scored a beautiful goal, four minutes into the second half. The striker curled the ball into the net from 25 yards out to give Dan Haystead no chance in the Gingerbreads’ goal.

But just ten minutes later Stamford were behind again following another defensive mix-up. This time skipper Richard Jones was caught on the ball and Ben Fairclough went through one-on-one with Daniels’ keeper Richard Knight and clinically won the duel, firing the goal high into the net.

Stamford searched for an equaliser to send the game to a replay, just as it did last season when the two sides met in the first round of the competition before going on to win 3-2 in a replay in one of the five times they met last term. However it was not to be on Saturday and substitutes Shawn Richards, Dan Lawlor and Ellis Myles could do little to change the outcome.