Stamford AFC manager Graham Drury said his side’s 1-1 draw against Wrexham today (Saturday) in the FA Cup was a “missed chance” to make a bit of history for the club.
The Daniels have never made into the main draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup, but they were a pair of good saves from Wrexham goalkeeper Shawn Jalal from getting there today.
Stamford came back from going behind to a fifth minute goal from Shawn Harrad, to score from the spot after the break through Lee Beeson.
Either side of Beeson’s penalty man of the match Jevani Brown, and then half time substitute Ryan Robbins had chances saved with just the Red Dragons goalkeeper to beat.
In the end the Daniels were left disappointed not to have beaten a team which plays three divisions above them in the Vanarama National League.
Drury said: “All credit to the players I thought they did superbly well but I am disappointed we have not won the game.
“We had two one-on-ones and I think they will be pleased with the replay more than what we are.
“That’s encouraging. I think we gained a lot of respect today, from the Wrexham fans and from the players even. [Sean] Newton, their captain, has come up to me and said all credit to you today, you deserved to win that game. So that’s good but we didn’t do it.
“So the bottom line is if you don’t take your chances you don’t win football games.”
“So it’s a chance missed but we go again, we’ve had two replays in this cup already and we’ve won them. So can we go and do it a third time?”
Drury surprised everyone in the record 1264 crowd at the Zeeco Stadium by starting big centre back Tom Batchelor up front for the first time in his Daniels career.
The manager said: “It was a total different tactic. My philosophy is normally short, sharp, neat and tidy football but we felt that we could perhaps put ourselves upon [Kai] Edwards at the back,
“We played a certain way in training, we got it out our feet and got it up there, we tried to mess them up a little bit and we tried to play second phase and drive it a bit.
“Batch battled well up there but it was time to put a forward on and Ryan [Robbins] has come on, been a nuisance and got a penalty and Bees has put it away.”
Robbins replaced Batchelor at half time, bringing an immediate improvement to the homeside.
Wrexham came into FA Cup fourth qualifying round match without a manager after Gary Mills was sacked on Thursday.
On the day the Welsh side were lead by head of youth football Andy Davies, youth coach Joey Jones, and coach Dean Keates.
Keates, who used to play for League One side Peterborough United just down the road from Stamford, described his side’s performance as “a tale of two halves.”
He said: “I think we were in control without causing too many chances first half, obviously we got the chance, we took it and were on top then.
“And then second half Stamford were the better team and I think towards the end we kind of held on and thank god for our goalkeeper, he pulled off two or three decent saves.”
The replay at the Racecourse Stadium will be on Tuesday night, 7,45pm ko, by which point Stamford will know who they could face in the next round with the draw taking place at 7.10pm on Monday love on BBC 2 and BT Sport.
The draw will see 48 teams from the lower two divisions of the English Football League, including the likes of Posh and Sheffield United, in the hat along with the 32 winners from the fourth round qualifying.