FOOTBALL: Striker Greg Smith leaves, goalkeeper Paul Bastock and defender Ollie Luto injured

Action from Stamford AFC v Scunthorpe United EMN-160714-153619001
Action from Stamford AFC v Scunthorpe United EMN-160714-153619001

Stamford AFC have suffer a week from hell as their pre-season preparations have been hit on all fronts.

Daniels manager Graham Drury has been hit with the news that he will have to start the season without three players who looked likely to be first choice XI.

First full back Ollie Luto fractured his wrist when he hit the deck in an innoxious coming together against Northampton Town XI, a game Stamford won 9-1.

Then came the shock news that striker Greg Smith will leave the club to join National League North side Boston United.

Smith has looked in superb form in pre-season, looking fitter, faster and sharper than ever. The powerful striker came off the bench against Northampton to score two goals on Wednesday night, the second a real touch of class, and had one scrubbed off for off-side against The Pilgrims when the two sides drew 3-3 at the Zeeco in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Last year’s top scorer for Stamford obviously did enough to impress the watching visitors at the weekend and will now line up for them this season.

The news got worse today as veteran goalkeeper Paul Bastock’s routine operation on a tendon in his shoulder has turned out to be a much more significant injury and he is now expected to be sidelined for four months.

If anyone thought Stamford’s journey to try and win promotion back into the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League was going to be easy, it’s time to think again.