Next Stop… Stamford

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover will hoping for change in their recent away form in the Southern Premier league Central, when they visit Stamford on Tuesday night.

Off the back of three consecutive away league defeats, they face a Stamford side, now seventh after a 2-2 draw at Berkhamsted last Saturday.

Stamford were 3-0 winners in their last home game against Halesowen but have a mixed season overall so far.

Graham Drury has managed the “Dannies” since November 2015, his third spell in charge of the club. After 2 ½ years he left initially to join Corby Town in 2008, came back for six months in 2012 and finally rejoined for his current spell  after three months at Boston Utd and three years out of the game.

First choice goalkeeper Michael Duggan was signed from Spalding Utd in September, after spending more than 10 years with the “Tulips.” 

Dan Wallis had been first choice, but has had back injury problems. He was a Junior at Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, before moving to Matlock and Gainsborough. He same to Stamford in August 2021, but returned to Matlock a few months later. Then after a short stay at Macclesfield, he came to our hosts in March 2022.

Dan Haystead camE out of retirement to help the injury crisis. He left Stamford in July 2022 after five years service. An ex Sheffield Utd Junior, he played for Hinckley Utd, Sheffield FC, Ilkeston, Hucknall, Boston Utd and Belper Town too.

Centre back Ashton Offler started at Matlock Town, before joining Sheffield Utd. After a loan at Guiseley he returned to Matlock two years later, but moved again to Sheffield FC after three months. His next stop was Grantham, spending six months with the Gingerbreads, before signing for Stamford pre-season.

Joe Burgess was a Junior at Peterborough Utd. A right back, he joined Histon following his release, but quickly moved on to Ilkeston. After a loan at Fleetwood he moved to Boston Utd and first came to Stamford in August 2017. Two years later he moved to Corby and returned to Stamford in July 2020.

Left Back Connor Bartle came from Grantham in July 2020. He was a Notts County Junior and played for Carlton and Basford too.

Midfielder Harry Vince is in his fifth season with the club, having come from Matlock in July 2019. He started at Boston Utd and was loaned to Matlock and Grantham before his permanent move to the Gladiators in 2018.

Fellow midfielder Will Glennon came from Rushden & Diamonds in October. He has also played for AFC Hackleton and Bugbrooke St.Michaels.

Brad Munns is a midfielder too, who arrived from Grantham during the Summer. 

Centre back James Blunden arrived during pre-season for 2019/20, having previously been at Lincoln Utd, CGB Humbertherm and Grimsby.

Michael Armstrong is a defender too, he was signed from Belper Town for the 2017/18 season and played his Junior football at Long Eaton.

43 year old Jon Challinor has a vast amount of experience, having been with the “Dannies” since Mat 2014. He started out Stamford before joining Cambridge City in 2001. St.Albans, Aldershot, Rushden & Diamonds, Cambridge Utd, Forest Green, Mansfield Town, Newport, Kettering and York City followed, before returning to Stamford in August 2013.

He left to join Halifax six months later, before rejoining our hosts for the third time. He has played in League Two of the EFL too.

Midfielder Jack Duffy came from Quorn in summer 2020. He previously had a spell at Long Eaton and represented English Universities, during his time at Nottingham Trent.

Striker Ollie Brown-Hill is in his third spell with the club, after returning from Ilkeston pre-season. He left initially to join Rushden & Diamonds in 2017, then had sixth months at Corby before returning in January 2018. 

He then went to Ilkeston, but returned on loan, before making it permanent last July.

Tendai Chitiza arrived in  August, after spending last season at Coalville. A striker, he started at Leicester Nirvana, before a spell at Gresley Rovers preceded a move to Serbia, with CSK Pivara Celarevo and TSC Backa Topola.

On his UK return he joined Stamford in July 2019, before moving on to Coalville three years later.

Lee Shaw is another striker who was signed pre-season from Grantham. He started at Grantham, but has also played for Guiseley, Chesterfield and Alfreton.

Ex Kings Lynn, Grantham and Sleaford striker Tom Siddons, returned to Stamford in the summer, having been in and out of the squad for the last five years.

Midfielder Rob Morgan first signed for our hosts in 2017/18. After a brief spell at Barwell he returned in 2019 and has been captain this season. He played for Corby Town too earlier in his career.

Billy Bennett is a fellow midfielder who came from Ilkeston in October last year. He also had a spell at Welling Utd.

Trey Charles came from Rushden pre-season after a spell  at  St.Neots too. A former Luton Town Junior, he had played for Arlesey Town, Bedford Town, Colney Heath, Leverstock, Hitchin,  Northwood, Braintree, Hendon, Biggleswade, Berkhamsted and Kempton Rovers too.

Winger Tiago Nassunculo only arrived at the Zeeco stadium, two weeks ago, after starting the season at St.Ives. He came through Grantham’s Academy, before joining Boston Utd. Peterborough Sports, Redditch, Spalding and Barwell were his next stops.

Kick off at the Zeeco Stadium is 7.45pm. 

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