Strollers Squad: Bill Whittle GK, Chris Keirl, Paul E Beard, Will Barrett, Tim Marsden, Steve Adcock and Paul Blakemore
Stamford Strollers v Chesterfield was our opening fixture in the pouring rain in the Midlands League. Strollers started brightly with some real quality passing and movement creating space when we had the ball. This pressure created a number of chances for Strollers and midway through the half Will hit a low shot past the Chesterfield keeper. Strollers' confidence grew and further chances were converted with goals being added by Steve, Tim, another from Will, and Paul Beard making the score 5-0 at half time. Paul Blakemore came on for the second half and Stamford continued to press whilst having to defend well as Chesterfield created a chance or two of their own. A quickly taken free kick allowed Will to hit a drive past the Chesterfield keeper for his hat-trick and then Paul Blakemore added another before the final whistle. Stamford win 7-0.
Stamford Strollers v Matlock, the rain continued to fall as both team started strongly. Paul Beard had a goal disallowed for running after a few mins and then an ill-timed dangerous tackle (on Paul Beard) resulted in a Matlock player being sent off after just 5 mins. Strollers made a change (to avoid a poss Sin-Bin) brought Will back on. The rain continued to fall as did Strollers' frustration as they could not find a way to score past the Matlock GK who had a stormer of a game and managed to stop every shot with pretty much every part of his body!
The second half was no different and as the clock ticked down Matlock were starting to look dangerous having the odd attack. Whilst Strollers did lose their shape at times, full credit should be given to the 5 Matlock players (incl. GK ) who kept a clean sheet. Stamford drew 0-0.