Southern League Premier Division Central action as Stamford AFC entertain Leamington
Manager Graham Drury is demanding a 'big reaction' from his Stamford side as they return to Southern League action this weekend.
The Daniels host Leamington on Saturday in a Premier Division Central clash at the Zeeco Stadium (3pm).
They go into the contest after bowing out of the FA Trophy at the weekend following a 1-0 away defeat at City of Liverpool.
It was the second time this season that Stamford had been knocked out of an FA competition by lower level opposition following their FA Cup defeat at Harborough.
And Drury is looking for a response from his seventh-placed side against a Leamington team who were relegated from the National League North last season.
He said: "We need a reaction - and a big one at that.
"The players need to take responsibility on the pitch because I've felt this season that we've limped out of both cup competitions.
"I'm not taking anything away from the opposition but I don't think we've played to our potential in both ties.
"Every game is a priority to me and it's perhaps hurt me more than anyone else because I love a cup run.
"It might benefit us in the long run because the bigger picture this year is about stabilising in the league at this level but I'm not going to accept that and there is a lot of frustration there from me about what happened on Saturday."
The defeat in Bootle was Stamford's third loss in the last four competitive games.
And manager Drury was disappointed at his side's display after a long trip to Liverpool who netted their winning goal towards the end of the first half.
The Stamford boss said: "We weren't brave enough to get on the ball in the first half and our passes were going too long which they could deal with.
"Too many players were off it, especially in the first half, and I've had to give them a rocket at half-time which was really disappointing for myself considering how far ourselves and the fans have had to travel.
"It wasn't about flying into tackles or anything like that but expressing ourselves and trying to be that short, sharp, neat and tidy side that creates chances.
"The journey might have taken a bit out of us but that shouldn't be an excuse. The preparation was good but, for me, we just didn't put enough effort into the first half to deserve to get something from the game.
"We had a bit more possession in the second half and better quality but we didn't work the keeper enough and weren't inventive enough.
"I felt we let the club and fans down because, if we had played the Stamford way nine times out of 10, then I believe we would have been in the next round of the cup."
Saturday's visitors Leamington are just a point and two places behind Stamford in a tightly-packed Premier Division Central table.
The Warwickshire side are managed by the experienced Paul Holleran and could include a striker who Peterborough United paid a million pound to sign.
Tyrone Barnett was the first seven-figure purchase in Posh history after joining from Crawley Town for £1.1 million in February, 2012
However, the move didn't work out for the now-38-year-old who went on to have spells with Ipswich, Bristol City, Oxford and Shrewsbury.
Drury added: "Leamington are a very big club at this level. They didn't have the best of starts but they're doing pretty well now.
"Paul's a manager who knows this level inside out and will know how to set up against us.
"We've got to have a plan to make sure that, first and foremost, our work-rate, commitment, desire to get on the ball and quality of our football is all up and then, come the end of it, the result is on an up.
"That's the bottom line and there's no beating about the bush or hiding behind anything and I'll be amazed if I don't get a reaction on Saturday because they know I won't put up what happened at the weekend."
Stamford's home match with table-topping Mickleover Sports on Saturday, November 18, has been postponed due to the Derbyshire side's involvement in the FA Trophy.
The Daniels will instead travel to Long Eaton on November 18 for a fixture which was postponed earlier in the season.