Unlucky Stamford AFC get no reward for great effort at Whitby Town

Stamford AFC v Barwell. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140411-103825001
Stamford AFC v Barwell. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140411-103825001
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Stamford AFC lost 3-0 away at Whitby Town in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League on Saturday.

The Daniels will wonder how they ended up losing the game at the weekend. They battered away at the Seasiders and striker Nabil Shariff was named man of the match despite not scoring as Stamford were caught on the break after they were forced to chase the game in the second half having gone behind early on.

Daniels striker Ryan Robbins said on Twitter: “Bad day at the office. Definitely not a 3-0 game. Thank thank you to the fans who travelled to support. We go again on Tuesday, we won’t stop.”

Stamford are away at Coalville Town tomorrow night (Tuesday) in the Doodson Cup.

On Saturday Whitby started the better of the two sides and took the lead after just 16 minutes.

A well-constructed passing move saw Matthew Waters play in Matt Brown on the right-edge of the penalty area and the Whitby midfielder fired a first-time shot across Andy Stevens between the Stamford sticks and into the far corner of the net.

However Stamford are a dangerous side on the road an in recent weeks have had more success on their travels than on home turf at Kettering Road. In fact Stamford are NPL’s second most dangerous away side behind only the leaders Skelmersdale.

And just two minutes after going behind Shariff almost levelled the scores with a good 12-yard strike which forced Whitby keeper Shane Bland into a good save.

Whitby went close again but were just off target with their shooting and Lewis Carr almost made the home side pay for it.

The marauding defender raced up-field and beat Bland in the Whitby net but his shot was also off target.

Just before the break the Seasiders almost doubled their lead when Steven Snaith’s diagonal shot flew just wide.

Stamford came out for the second half in determined fashion and could have not only levelled the scores but even taken the lead if they had been more clinical in front of goal.

In the 52nd minute Jordan Smith, soon to depart for international duty with Antigua and Barbuda, raced clear of the Whitby defence but Bland saved his shot with his legs.

Daniels’ captain Richard Jones was then desperately unlucky not to get his side back on level terms when he was first to a dangerous cross from the right, but his header struck the base of the post and bounced out to safety.

Stamford were now putting real pressure on the host’s goal and the Seasiders’ defenders had to be alert to block shots coming in from the edge of their box.

Smith was again denied by Bland, but it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the Stamford striker was pulled back for offside.

After holding out against the pressure Whitby scored against the run of play. Stevens struggled to punch away a Robinson cross because he was being challenged in the box by Snaith and Gardner hit a first-time 20-yard half-volley that flew into the net.

It was another quick break which undid Stamford. Mason burst down the right wing, before finding Waters on the edge of the box.

Despite the physical attention of Carr the striker hit a low shot beyond Stevens.

Despite suddenly being 3-0 down Stamford continued to battle away and Shariff went close with a 25-yard blast on the turn but Bland acrobatically pushed the shot over the cross bar.

Shariff was proving to be a handful for the hosts and the goalkeeper was again called into action to stop him scoring.

The Daniels were having success feeding their attacking players and substitute Tom Mann hit a deflected shot into the side netting.

Smith finally beat Bland but his goal-bound header was cleared off the goal-line by Shepherd.

Despite being on the losing side the impressive Shariff was named the sponsors’ man of the match and had the final significant efforts of the match; first shooting wide from 25 yards and then weaving his way in from the touchline into the box, but he could only hit a weak shot which Bland was equal too.

The result means Stamford dropped two places to 16th in the NPL table.

Stamford: Stevens, Clarke, Jelleyman, Challinor, Jones (c) (Staff 83), Carr, Lawlor, Shariff, Fox (Bettles 52), Smith, Robbins (Mann 75). Sub not used: Gould.

Whitby Town: Bland, Hassan, Robinson (c), Bullock, Pell (Gardner 20), Mason, Brown (Doran 66), Hopson, Waters (Farrell 82), Snaith, Shepherd. Subs not used: Williams, Campbell (GK).