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Stamford AFC travel to Long Eaton United in the Southern League Premier Division Central

Stamford will be aiming to continue their impressive away form when they travel to Long Eaton in the Southern League Premier Division Central on Saturday.

The Daniels have lost just once in their eight away league games this season, having recorded five wins and two draws.

It has enabled Graham Drury's side to remain within just two points of the play-off places in their first season back at step three of the non-league pyramid.

Manager Graham Drury celebrates Saturday's success at Hitchin. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Manager Graham Drury celebrates Saturday's success at Hitchin. Photo: Rob O'Brien

They face a Long Eaton side on Saturday who were also promoted last season but have struggled since winning the Northern Premier League East Division play-offs.

The Derbyshire side - who have ex-Stamford defender Ed Cook in their ranks - have won just one of their 14 league games so far this season but Stamford manager Drury is warning his side against complacency.

He said: "It doesn't matter at this level whether you're playing top, middle or bottom because they will all give you a good game.

"We've had Long Eaton watched and we can't under-estimate them. They're no mugs and we have tended to struggle against the sides near the bottom this season.

"We have got to have the right mentality and right desire to go and back up what we achieved last weekend."

Stamford's latest away success came last Saturday with a 2-1 away win at in-form Hitchin Town thanks to goals from Lee Shaw and James Blunden.

It was Stamford's second victory of the season over the Canaries, having won at Top Field in the FA Trophy earlier this term.

Drury added: "We did really well.

"I had used a bit of kidology on the players beforehand in terms of the formation we played as they had really given us a good hiding in the second half of the Trophy game.

"I believed that, if we started the game well, then we could win again and we went for the jugular straight from the off.

"I really wanted to take the game to them and it showed the players that I believed we could beat them.

"We got the two goals and then stayed rigid and compact and looked the more dangerous side on the break as well.

"It worked pretty well for us and I was pleased because Hitchin had been on a really good run and had got themselves up into second spot.

"We knew that they're a really good side and it would be a tough game so all credit to our dressing room for what the lads did."

Saturday's match at Long Eaton will move Stamford closer to having played every side so far this season.

And boss Drury is content with how his side have adapted to the higher level of football after winning promotion, along with Halesowen Town, last season.

He commented: "We're nearly on the turn-around now of seeing everybody and I'm pretty pleased with how it's going.

"Both ourselves and Halesowen started well but teams have worked us out and we're both trying to work a lot of other clubs out.

"Most of the sides in this league have only got to work an individual team out but we've got to do that with 19 or 20.

"It does catch up with you because your momentum is good at the beginning and teams under-estimate you.

"I'm pleased that we're sitting where we are points-wise, although there's no doubt that we could and should have more in terms of the ones we've dropped."

The fitness of captain Rob Morgan is being assessed this week after he was forced off with a calf strain in the weekend win at Hitchin,

Billy Bennett will return to the squad this weekend while the experienced duo of Michael Frew and Jon Challinor have joined United Counties League Premier Division North side Wisbech Town on loan for a month.

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