FA CUP: Hartlepool free kick goal the game changing moment says Stamford AFC manager Drury

Action from Stamford AFC's 2-1 win over Chasetown at the Zeeco Stadium. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-161025-144907001
Action from Stamford AFC's 2-1 win over Chasetown at the Zeeco Stadium. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-161025-144907001

Stamford AFC manager Graham Drury said the 3-0 scoreline against Hartlepool United today (Sunday) does not reflect the whole story of the game as his side were knocked out of the FA Cup in First Round.

He said he has no regret gambling with a more attacking formation after going down to a free kick goal from Nicky Deverdics in the 67th minute, which proved to be the key moment of the match.

Drury said: “I would rather go out of the cup having had a go, and had a blow at it, rather than finish 1-0.”

Reflecting on the achievement of reaching this stage of the competition for the first time as a club, Drury said: “It’s been great for the town and the players as well. For many of them it’s the biggest game they will ever play. I am disappointed with the scoreline obviously, but I thought we held them really well for 60 minutes.

“The goal, the free kick, we gave away a couple of free kicks just before that, and with that wind and the quality of what they have got, it’s always dangerous and it was a great free kick.

“The goal changed it. And the lads know that it is an uphill task then. They know that it is going to be really difficult but I thought we stuck to our guns. We had a game plan and we let them play in front of us pretty well, we didn’t let them get in behind us too much and then as we grew in confidence in the last 15 minutes of the first half we had a few chances.”

But Stamford couldn’t put them away, with Kern Miller, Sam Hill, Jev Brown and Delroy Gordon all having half chances.

Drury continued: “I take part of the responsibility for the scoreline because I gambled. But we were out of the FA Cup on 80 minutes so I had to go 3-5-2 and obviously that ended up with them scoring two.”

Stamford conceded an own goal through Delroy Gordon in the 82nd minute and then substitute Billy Paynter scored a diving header three minutes later to wrap up the result.