Luke Barlone was the source of Stamford AFC’s downfall on Boxing Day.
The Barwell forward scored twice, including a 30 yard wonder goal, and was close to setting up another as his side condemned the Daniels to yet another disappointing Evo-Stik NPL defeat at the Zeeco Stadium, going down 2-1.
Stamford started well, Jason Field had a shot deflected for a corner and Jake Duffey fired wide.
But Barwell have got the mark on Stamford, having won their last six matches against the club, and they were very close to taking an early lead.
Barlone, wriggled and used his quick feet to dribble around inside the 18 yard box and eventually fired a low ball across the box to Owen Story who was free at the back post. However the hosts were given a reprieve when the assistant referee raised his flag for offside after he had scored.
The visitors didn’t have to wait long for their opener however as Barlone struck in the 13th minute with a quintessential goal on the break.
Stamford attacked down the right and fired in the cross. The ball was cleared, with the crowd shouting for handball, played down-field with a further four players, taking four touches between them, with the final touch coming from Barlone who ran to the front post to hit the ball under the body of Stamford keeper Ashley Timms.
Luck is not on Stamford’s side at the moment, and they have a right to feel aggrieved they did not get a penalty midway through the first half and that centre back Joseph Ballinger was not shown red.
Impressive winger Elliot Hodge burst clear of the Barwell defence and was pulled back by Ballinger, however Hodge fought on and while falling down got a shot away which came back off the post.
Ballinger was the last man so had referee Mr Pidduck given a foul he would have to have given the defender his walking orders.
However Stamford did level the scores in the 29th minute. Hodge drove down the right hand side and unleashed a shot which was saved by Barwell stopper Liam Castle, however the ball ballooned up into the air and big Greg Smith was the first to react, scruffily heading the ball into the net.
Just before the break tempers flared after Callum Woodward clattered into Ellis Myles with an ugly challenge which left him needing treatment.
On another day it might have been worthy of Woodward getting his marching orders but Mr Pidduck was in a festive mood.
With Myles off the pitch, Barwell took advantage to score a goal in stoppage time - and what a goal.
Barlone got the ball 30 yards out and after a couple of controlling touches fired a wind assisted rocket that dipped under the cross bar and over the helpless Timms.
In the second half Lee Beeson had a great chance to put the home side level when he was played in by Hodge. Beeson’s shot had Castle beaten but Woodward, the man who was lucky to still be on the pitch, hooked the ball off the line. Disappointingly Stamford drifted out of the game in the final quarter.
Timms did brilliantly to stop Anthony Carney making it 3-1 and Greg Smith had a late header to get something from the game but he could not generate enough power.
Stamford AFC: Ashley Timms, Ellis Myles, Jason Field (Jon Challinor), Tom McGowan (Ondrej Sobeslav), Tom Batchelor, Brad Gascoigne, Lee Beeson (Andre Johnson), Jake Duffy, Gregg Smith, Jordan Smith, Elliott Hodge. SUBS unused: Lewis Carr and Amos Kabeya.
Barwell: Liam Castle, Callum Woodward, Isaac Cooper, Declan Towers, Joseph Ballinger, Richard Lavery, Alex Tomlinson (Edward Nisevic), Nigel Julian, Luke Barlone, Owen Story (Brady Hickey), Anthony Carney
(Daniel Gaunt). SUBS unused: Scott Lower and Reece Hayes.