An inexperienced Blackstones side fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup on Saturday, losing their preliminary round 6-3 at higher league Godmanchester.
The opening minutes suggested a close encounter until Stones went behind in the sixth minute when Swales rushed out of his area to clear a long clearance and the goalkeeper’s header, aided by a strong wind curled to the feet of Jamie Blackwell who drove the ball into the empty net.
Within two minutes Blackstones found themselves two down. The Stamford side failed to clear a corner and Nicky Hurst drove the ball home past three players from close range.
Stones hung on to keep the score at 2-0 with a combination of stout defending and poor finishing. Late in the half Stones started to press forward and they were rewarded when Charlie Bowen put the ball in his own net three minutes before the break.
Stones’ revival disappeared in the 50th minute when Blackwell was fouled in the area and Jack Watson converted the resulting spot kick.
Godmanchester increased their lead in the 56th minute when sloppy defensive play allowed Callum Forster to make it 4-1.
Blackstones made their changes and began to pressurise Godmanchester, but pushing forward left them exposed to the counter attack and Blackwell grabbed number five.
Not down-hearted, Stones continued to press forward and were rewarded in the 81st minute when Ryan Brown won the ball only to be brought down for a penalty, which was converted by Danny Hotchkiss.
Four minutes later Sam Strange rounded off a brilliant run by scoring Stones’ third but with just seconds left sloppy defending allowed Godmanchester to increase their lead with Blackwell completing his hat-trick.
Blackstones: John Swales, Sam Bush, Nico Staffieri, Danny Hotchkiss, Andy Hattersley (Jordan Drury), James Curran, Matt Sharpe (Andy Boome), Giulano Staffieri (Ryan Brown), Andy Beech, Ashley Fleming, Sam Strange.
Blackstones host Bugbrooke at Lincoln Road on Saturday.