Shropshire Star

Stamford vs Telford - Match preview

AFC Telford United return to action with a ‘tough’ away trip to fellow play-off chasers Stamford in the Southern Central Premier.


Telford were without a game last weekend following their early exit from the FA Trophy, giving them two weeks to prepare for Saturday’s trip to Lincolnshire.

And fresh off that fortnight break, Bucks boss Kevin Wilkin has challenged his players to pick up where they left off.

“It’ll be a tough game on another 3G surface, and I think that does provide an advantage to those who play on them as a home pitch,” he said. “I’ve watched them within the last month, so I know what they’re about, they’re a hard working side that are having a decent season.”

Wilkin added: “Like most games, it’ll be as tough as we make it – if we play to the level we’re capable of I’m pretty confident that we’ll give them a good game.”

Despite the advantages of playing regularly on an artificial surface, it is Stamford’s away form that has kept them in the promotion hunt.

With a record of two wins, three draws and three defeats at home, Stamford know an upturn in form on their own patch could kick them on even more.

“It (home form) is something they’ll be looking to address and something we’ll be looking to exploit,” Wilkin commented. “We’ve proved that we’re very capable on 3G surfaces so hopefully we’ll impose ourselves on the day.”

The weekend presents Telford with one of their longest travels of the season, over two hours from ground to ground.

But Wilkin believes those long journeys offer players some vital bonding time.

“I always enjoy the journeys; Saturday is football day,” he said. “We try to bring local players to the club so they can get the bus to away games, but there are a few that have to travel a fair distance to games.

“Getting on the bus and spending that time with each other is part and parcel of what it is to be within a football side.”

The Telford boss also made sure to heap praise upon his team’s supporters and is hoping to see as many of them as possible in the away end on Saturday afternoon.

“We’re always well supported; we’ve got some of the best travelling fans in the division,” Wilkin said. “I know that they’re passionate about their club and will always be behind the team and as I’ve said in the past it’s very much appreciated by everyone at the club.”

He added: “If we can go there and pick up a result it should make for a good afternoon.”

There is positive news on the injury front too.

Fraser Kerr is under consideration for a first-team spot after returning from injury, and so is Twariq Yusuf after two months away from the first team.

It means, Byron Moore aside, Kevin Wilkin has a full squad to pick from – a rarity in what has been a season hampered by injuries for the Bucks.