Blackstones boss predicts a busy pre-season after relegation

Blackstones manager Dave Stratton expects a busy summer as the club responds to last weekend’s relegation from the UCL Premier Division.

Stones’ fate was sealed when Kempston Rovers beat Sleaford Town 5-0 to move above Stones in the table.

Blackstones had finished their fixtures a week earlier and the result at Kempstone came as no surprise to the Stones boss.

“I expected it,” he said. “Sleaford sent reserves because they had a cup final and Kempston could sign two or three players from sides who had finished their matches.

“But, without a shadow of a doubt, I think we’ll bounce back.”

Stratton expects a few players to move on but hopes enough will stay as he rebuilds a squad for the first division.

“I have spoken to a few players and know they will stay.

“It’s all down to whether we can get sponsorship and we are trying to sort out some fundraisers.”

He added: “Most managers can chill out for a few week now but I will be straight at it so we can strengthen for next year.

“It will be difficult but I know what we have to do.”

l Oakham United ended their season with a 2-1 loss at Leverington on Saturday but still look likely to finish in the top five.

United sit fourth in the Peterborough and District League’s top flight after their final game but Peterborough ICA have a series of delayed games to play. Crowland have one game in hand but would have to beat Parson Drove by a wide margin to leapfrog United.

Joint manager Pat Johnson said: “Sixth is the very worst we can finish and if, at the start of the season, you had said that is where we’d be, I’d have taken it.

“But we need a more settled side and we need to attract more players. We only had three players on Saturday who began the season. Myself and Karl Seagrave had to play. We’re both in our 40s - so to lose 2-1 wasn’t bad.”

Nathan Arkle pulled one back for Oakham who trailed 2-0 at the break.