Veteran goalkeeper Paul Bastock has his best display in a Stamford AFC jersey on Saturday to keep the score respectable as the Daniels were defeated 2-0 by Workington AFC.
This was a battle between two sides having very different seasons in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division, and with very different ambitions. Stamford remain second from bottom of the league, fighting to avoid relegation, while Workington are second from top, battling to earn an automatic promotion place.
The gulf between the two sides was evident as the hosts dominated much of the match, despite some brave and defiant play from Stamford and Bastock who made save after save to frustrate the high flyers. His heroics could prove to be vital come the end of the season if positions in the incredibly tight battle at the bottom goes down to goal difference.
Remarkably no one really capitalised on Stamford’s defeat once again and the Daniels remain five points from safety, a position they have found themselves in for several weeks now.
The problem is they now have just 14 games to complete the great escape and travel to Ilkeston tonight (Monday).
Bastock was busy from the start, saving two early efforts from Conor Tinnion, who then wasted a third chance.
The goa-scoring was open by early substitute Matt Tymom. He had replaced Sam Smith in just the 25th minute after he was concussed in a collision with big Daniels striker Greg Smith. But one man’s loss was another’s gain and six minutes later Tymom was turning to celebrate his goal, scored after Tinnion had weaved past three Stamford defenders before playing in his team mate to finish.
However Stamford did not lie down after going behind and Greg Smith was desperately unlucky not to level the scores but his header hit the foot of the post and strike partner Jordan Smith was unable to tuck away the rebound.
Stamford were still chasing the game early in the second half and had some success. Greg Smith deflected a shot just wide of the posts and then Jake Newman had a shot at a tight angel saved by Workington keeper Jonny Jamieson.
At the other end Scott Allison was keeping 45-year-old Bastock busy. The Stamford stopper denied Allison a hat-trick of chances.
However McGee added a second for Workington in the 73rd minute, after another nimble run from Tinnion had opened up the Daniels’ defence.
Bastock defiantly stood strong and prevented Allison getting on the score sheet late in the day when he tipped his effort onto the post in the final moments.
Workington: Jonny Jamieson, Jake Simpson, Gari Rowntree, Kyle May, Sam Smith (Matty Tymon, 25), Josh Calvert, Phil McLuckie, Rob Wilson, Scott Allison, Joe McGee (Kingsley Grandison, 75), Conor Tinnion.
Substitutes unused: Rob McCartney, Liam Studholme, Robbie Hebson.
Stamford: Paul Bastock, Curtis Hartley, Oliver Luto, Paul Malone, Sam Hill, Tom McGowan (Jon Challinor, 33), Lee Beeson (Jack Wightwick, 69), Jake Duffy, Greg Smith, Jordan Smith, Conor Green (Jake Newman, 46).
Substitutes unused, James Jepson, Ricky Lovelace.
Referee: Mr Mark Brown