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Stamford AFC host Long Eaton United in the Southern League

Stamford will have to overcome a potential goalkeeping crisis and a string of injury setbacks if they are to mark their penultimate home game of the season with a victory on Saturday.

The Daniels host already-relegated Long Eaton United at the Zeeco Stadium looking to keep their faint hopes alive of a top five finish in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

However, they are set to go into the contest without the three goalkeepers on their club books plus a quartet of injured players who have been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Will Glennon - who later ended up playing in goal - wins a header against Royston Town on Saturday. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Will Glennon - who later ended up playing in goal - wins a header against Royston Town on Saturday. Photo: Rob O'Brien

Number one Dan Wallis is currently sidelined while Michael Duggan is suspended following his sending off against Royston Town last weekend.

Dan Haystead remains registered with the club but he has been playing for Retford United for the majority of the season and they are currently pushing for a play-off place in Division One of the Northern Counties East League.

That leaves Stamford awaiting the outcome of an application to make an emergency loan signing as the registration deadline passed on March 31.

They will also be without Billy Bennett, Joe Burgess, Ollie Brown-Hill and Connor Bartle for the rest of the season due to injuries.

But manager Graham Drury is determined to rally his injury-ravaged troops for a strong finish to the season.

Seventh-placed Stamford are nine points adrift of the play-off berths but have two games in hand over Leamington who occupy the coveted fifth spot.

The two sides also face each other next weekend (April 13) but Stamford's two games before that fixture could have a bearing on the importance of that clash.

After Saturday's home match, they travel to champions-elect Needham Market on Tuesday night for a long rearranged midweek trip to Suffolk.

Boss Drury - who signed an extension to his contract to remain at the club last weekend - said: "Some of the sides around us are all playing each other on Saturday so, if we can beat Long Eaton, it looks like we've got a chance.

"There is still a glimmer and we will continue to go out fighting for everything to give it our best shot.

"Long Eaton have had some good results lately and, although they are down, they will be like a wounded animal.

"There will be pressure on them and, when that happens, you just go free-flowing. If we're not at it then we will lose a game of football.

"I don't see it as a negative for Long Eaton but a positive because the shackles are off now. They can just enjoy their football.

"That is no different to us though because we've got to win every game so we're just going for it."

Stamford have six matches of their season remaining with an away trip to Kettering on Tuesday, April 16, following the games against Long Eaton, Needham Market and Leamington.

Their final home game is against Hitchin on Saturday, April 20, before the campaign is completed a week later at Mickleover.

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