On a very windy day, Blackstones suffered their third defeat of 2014 in a 2-1 loss at Northampton ON Chenecks.
Stones started well with Adam Scotcher, wearing the captain’s armband in Andy Boome’s absence, twice out sprinting the home defence in the first 20 minutes, only to drive a well-hit shot over the bar and then squirting a close range effort just wide.
However, it was the home team on their first proper attack who took advantage of some loose defending, allowing Adam Hancock to drive in from close range.
After 30 minutes, Chenecks captain Calvin Budd slipped his marker and made it two.
Always looking dangerous on the break, the home team took the upper hand but a shell-shocked Stones held firm until the interval.
Stones started the second half the livelier with new signing Gerrard Evans taking advantage of a home defence who had left their concentration back in the changing room, and put Stones back in the game with a determined drive down the left. He cut in on the 18-yard box and beat the keeper.
The game then entered a period of end-to-end breaks with both defences holding firm but it was Stones who applied sustained pressure for the last 15 minutes.
Scotcher hit the post and another new signing, Matt Barber, muscled through the defence and shot just wide.
At the final whistle there was disappointment for Stones who battled to recover from early defensive lapses.
Next Saturday Stones are at home against top of the table Oadby.
With the return of missing players through injury and work commitments, manager Gary Peace and his team will hope for a full match with the second half commitment of this one.
Blackstones: L Crockett, J Curran, K Kefford, D Carr, C Lenton, G Staffieri, S Strange (K Arthur), G Evans, A Staffieri, A Scotcher, M Barber. Subs unused: O Uglow, J Swales.