NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Stamco ready to ride the hard road

Stamco, a small but ambitious club from Hastings, will have to do it the hard way if they are to reach the last 16 of the FA Vase. They entertain Tiverton Town, the formidable Devon side who have only lost one league game in the last two years, in the fourth round on Sunday.

Formed in 1971 as the works team of the Sussex Turnery and Mouldings Company, Stamco have risen rapidly to reach the First Division of the Unijet Sussex County League, in which they lie second. Their experienced squad includes Brian McDermott, the forme r Arsenal winger, Jimmy Gilligan (once of Watford), the former Brighton defender, Steve Gatting, and Mike Trusson, a midfielder with over 400 League appearances for Sheffield United, Rotherham and several other clubs.

The club's ground, The Firs, is next door to Hastings Town, whom they hope to be joining in the Beazer Homes League next season. The company behind the team is now Stamco Timber, who currently employ five of Stamco's players.

"The club and the company are mutually supportive," Leon Shepperdson, the football club's chairman, said yesterday. "The timber trade is something for our young players to fall back on." He is also proud of the hard-working role his side's more experienced men play in coaching the youngsters that are the future of this impressive club.

n Chris Kinnear, who had been in charge since November 1985, has been dismissed as the manager of the GM Vauxhall Conference club, Dover. The player-coach, Nigel Donn, and the team captain, David Leworthy, have become joint caretaker managers.

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