Tom Batchelor wasn’t 100% so Sam Saunders moved to centre back with James McGovern dropping back to right back. That left room for Ricky Miller to come into the starting eleven. Romulus would have been pleased that getting on for 40 made the trip from Stamford making up more than half the spectators.
Romulus had the better of the early play but wasted their chances. First Jermaine Clarke pulled his shot wide from the edge of the box and then Tyrone Amory hit a fierce shot straight at Matt Finlay. Finlay’s clearance was played straight back to Amory and it needed a smart challenge from Richard Jones to deny him a shot. The resulting corner led to a scramble in the Stamford area and an attempted clearance from Jones was deflected straight to Liam Francis but his shot was another wasted effort going well wide of the far post.
Stamford’s first chance came on the half hour when a Jordan Hempenstall long throw was cleared only to Andy Hall on the edge of the box but he joined in the wastefulness shooting well over the bar. Hall had the next chance but his shot took a deflection and straight into the arms of Lewis Exall.
With five minutes left of the first half, Stamford had their best move of the game with first Hall beating two defenders before crossing to Hempenstall. He twisted past three defenders but his shot was deflected for a corner. From the corner, Hempenstall’s header was cleared off the line by Cameron Lee.
It had been a poor first half with little to excite the sparse crowd. Manager Wayne Hatswell must have had a strong half time team talk because it was a much more determined Stamford in the second half and they took the lead after 55 minutes. Ricky Miller took a good ball from Hempenstall and a typical quick turn drew the foul. 20 yards out and on his left foot, it was the perfect place for Danny Brooks and the ball barely left the ground as it flashed past Exhall.
Straight from the kick off it looked as if Amory had beaten the Stamford defence but Jones got back to hook the ball over his own bar.
Stamford started to stretch Romulus and another good ball from Hempenstall set up Miller but his shot hit the side netting. Next Ben Saunders headed the ball on for Hempenstall but he was denied by the feet of Exhall. Hempenstall had the next chance on the edge of the box but side footed the ball over the bar.
The chances for Stamford were building and Saunders flicked on a long clearance from Finlay for Miller to turn past his marker but his shot took a deflection and crept past the post. Miller then turned provider first robbing a defender of the ball and then pulling it back for Andy Hall unmarked six yards out but he smashed the ball wide. Miller wriggled past two defenders and looked certain to score but Exhall managed to get a foot to his shot. Hall turned defenders inside out before his shot just cleared the bar.
In between all the Stamford action, Romulus went down to ten men when Luke Keen managed to get himself dismissed picking up his first yellow card for dissent and then less than a minute later another for clattering Brooks
It was deep into stoppage time before Stamford managed to increase their lead when Exhall saved a Saunders shot but Saunders side footed the loose ball home.
In the end it was a comfortable win for Stamford but another game where the score line didn’t reflect their dominance. Brooks picked up booking number 10 and so will miss two games.
Stamford: Matt Finlay, Jack McGovern, Adam Hewitt, Sam Saunders, Richard Jones, Danny Brooks, Jordan Hempenstall (Barry Deacon 88), James Ozmen (Dan Marshall 83), Ben Saunders, Ricky Miller, Andrew Hall. Subs not used: Tom Batchelor, Tom Atkins, John Swales.
MoM: Richard Jones