Saturday, 28 January 2012

Stamford AFC 3 v Sutton Coldfield Town 2 - Evo-Stik NPL - First Division South

Saturday 28th January 2012, at the Premier Kitchens' Arena
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League - First Division South
Stamford AFC (1) 3
Bruno Holden 30, 76, 78
Sutton Coldfield Town (1) 2
Mark Bellingham 32, Joel Fuller 67
Admission £8, Programme £1.80, Attendance 184
In which 5th placed Stamford AFC, entertained the Royals of Sutton Coldfield Town, who were 6th in the table and 2 points behind the Daniels prior to kick off.
Left click image for larger view

Stamford AFC get their nickname 'the Daniels', from Daniel Lambert, who it is claimed, is the fattest man in British history (they haven't measured me yet though).
He died in Stamford and is buried in St Martins churchyard which is close to the ground.
Daniel Lambert 1770-1809

You might choose to believe that I'm making all of this up, much the same as all the other fiction you read on THE66POW, but it's on Wikipedia, so it must be true ...
If anybody knows which local tailor he used, I'm on the lookout for a new pair of trousers for best.
On the subject of 'Big Dan', a reputable internet source states:
In 1809, suddenly while on tour in Stamford, aged thirty-nine, with of a waist measurement of 9 feet, 4 inches, and weighing 739 pounds, Lambert died of an unknown cause.
The wall of the inn where he was residing had to be dismantled to allow his body to be removed for burial.
His coffin had to be supported on wheels and it took twenty men to lower it down a ramp to the grave.
So now you know!
St. Martins in the background, one of many churches on the Stamford horizon

"Two shit teams!"
Not my post match assessment, but the 'appraisal' of a Stamford AFC regular I was talking to as we left the ground.
It would be fair to say, two evenly matched sides cancelled each other out all over the pitch for the majority of the first seventy minutes, which was akin to watching a slow (very slow) moving, strategic game of chess.
But it burst into life on 67 minutes, when Joel Fuller wound Stamford's centre forward Bruno Holden up, by putting the visitors 2-1 ahead.I see a lot of Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Premier Division teams in action ... and in all honesty, I can't see either of these two play off contenders causing many ripples in the next tier up, if they win promotion at the end of this season.
But, going by his performance today, Bruno Holden is definitely capable of making the step up.
I'll hold my fire at this juncture however, because it wouldn't be right to judge Stamford or Sutton Coldfield Town on the strength of having watched just one game they've played in this season.
In fairness, Nathan Watson and Danny Brooks both put in decent shifts for the home side too.
Today's victory consolidated 5th place (the last play off berth), for Stamford.
Hucknall Town and Loughborough Dynamo both leap frogged over Sutton Coldfield in the table, who dropped to 8th, with Leek Town snapping at their heels, 2 points adrift in 9th, but with 4 games in hand.
The Daniels were in front after half an hour, when some neat passing play down the left flank released Holden, who opened the scoring from 12 yards out.
The Royals attacked from the restart and pretty soon they were lining up a direct free kick just outside the Stamford area.
Mark Bellingham made no mistake and he planted the ball just inside the left hand post beyond the reach of the Daniels keeper Ross Whalin's reach.
An onlooker on the terrace cruelly shouted out to Whalin: "You would've caught that if it was a pie!"
Have you noticed how the sort of people who indulge in this kind of 'wit' are usually several pounds heavier than the victims of their verbal brickbats?
Ross Whaling ... Whoops! I mean Whalin

A bit of a stalemate ensued either side of half time and I was really glad of the company of a couple of good mates I was at the game with, to help break the tedium.
Clear cut chances were at a premium and this cagey, uneventful game seemed to be teetering slowly (painfully slowly), but surely towards a draw.
In the 67th minute, Stamford failed to deal with a speculative high ball into their box ...... and moments later Joel Fuller was charging away celebrating his final touch, which had put the visitors back in front.
While the Stamford back line argued amongst themselves about who was at fault.
Thankfully for the home fans - who I have to say were a friendly and welcoming bunch, with one or two oddities thrown in for good measure (you expect that kind of thing when Daz Bailey is around) - Sutton Coldfield's second goal, acted as a wake up call and Stamford sprang into life.
On 76 minutes, a 30 yard shot from Luke Garton cannoned back into play off of the Royals crossbar, the ball fell into the path of Bruno Holden, who buried the equaliser past Niall Cooper.
You have a good pick mate, nobody is watching :-O

Almost immediately, Stamford regained possession and were on the attack again.
Matthew Isamene and Scott Mooney combined well on the right hand side of the box and found Bruno Holden in space.
The Daniels number 9 gratefully completed his hat trick.
Obviously Bruno Holden was in a confident mood today. Prior to the game he had commented on Twitter: "On way to football ... Fancy a few goals today ...!!"
Until the final 20 minutes or so, the game had been a turgid affair, bereft of much incident worthy of note, but it finished on a high note.
Inside the last five minutes, the impressive Danny Brooks fired narrowly wide and bruised the side netting of Cooper's goal.
Though Stamford had (possibly) shaded a fairly evenly balanced and at times rather dull game, by upping their game towards the end, they didn't really merit more than the narrowest margin of victory ... and so it proved to be.
Final score: Stamford AFC 3 Sutton Coldfield Town 2.
Bend it like Brooks

I'll be taking in some more action in this division soon.
Hopefully, today was just a one off and isn't typical of the standard that is the norm in the First Division South at present.
Next up:
Harworth Colliery Institute (first team) Tuesday and Mansfield Town (Under 19's) Wednesday, both weather permitting.