Staff sets Daniels a two-win target

Stamford AFC v Marine. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140331-103752001
Stamford AFC v Marine. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140331-103752001

Stamford AFC manager David Staff says his side need two more wins to be safe this season as a loss at the weekend saw them slip dangerously close to the relegation dogfight in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier league .

An error-strewn performance from the Daniels saw them sunk 4-2 by struggling Marine.

Staff said: “In most leagues you are safe with this number of points but that is not the case in this league.

“I think we need two more victories to be safe this season and, looking at our remaining fixtures, there are definitely two more wins outs there.

“It is a time when the teams at the bottom are looking over their shoulder at other sides’s results but it is still in our hands and I still have faith.”

On Saturday the Daniels made an impossible task for themselves by going two down in the first 15 minutes after Marine’s Joe Fowler gave the visitors the lead before Matthew Monaghan made it 2-0.

To be fair to the Daniels, their defence was first breached by a touch of class. Fowler curled a beautiful free kick from the edge of the box over Stamford’s wall and past stranded Stamford keeper Will Jones to nestle in the net after just three minutes.

Stamford Substitute Lewis Carr pulled a goal back with a neat header after the break but Marine soon had a two-goal margin again when Neil Harvey punished a defensive error.

Ryan Robbins, who looked dangerous throughout but was well shackled for most of the afternoon, finally beat the Marine defence from the spot after he was fouled for a peanlty.

Any hope of a Stamford recovery was sunk by Aaron Rey to give the Merseyside club something to celebrate on their long journey home.

Staff said: “It was a disappointing day for us. It was several mistakes which caused our downfall at the weekend.

“Three of the four goals should have been avoided. Conceding a goal in the first five minutes makes it difficult and it took us time to get into our stride by which time we were down by two goals.”

If Stamford are to earn the six points that manager Staff says they need they are going to have to do it the hard way, starting a run of three away games at Skelmersdale United tomorrow, before hosting top of league FC United of Manchester at the Vic Couzens Stadium on April 19.

Staff said it would be a tough game at the weekend but he was looking forward to visiting a side in the top half of the table who are not in a good run of form. Skelmersdale have gone six games without a win in the league, with just a draw at King’s Lynn Town.