Blackstones aiming to cause FA Vase upset

Joe Papworth goes up for a header against Irchester on Saturday.
Joe Papworth goes up for a header against Irchester on Saturday.
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Blackstones are bidding to pull off an FA Vase giantkilling on Saturday.

Andy Lodge’s side travel to face Eastern Counties Premier Division outfit Histon in the first qualifying round.

The Stutes have fallen back down the non-league pyramid in recent seasons after reaching the National League play-offs in 2009.

That memorable season also saw the Cambridgeshire outfit knock Leeds United out of the FA Cup. They were eventually beaten by Swansea City after also accounting for Swindon Town during their run.

However, boss Lodge believes that history counts for nothing as his side set their sights on a higher level scalp in the opening round of the competition.

He said: “People expect us to lose because of the history of their club. They are a good side and it will be a tough game, but if we play our best then we’re quite hard to stop so there’s no reason why we can’t win it.

“There’s no pressure on us and we’re expected to go out, so we’ve got to go there and give them a game and do what it takes on the day to try and win. If we play to our best then you just never know.”

Stones go into the Vase match after losing their unbeaten start to the United Counties League Division One season last weekend.

They were beaten 2-0 at home by Irchester who made Lodge’s men pay the price for missing a hatful of chances.

Lodge commented: “It was my most frustrating game in management. We won’t be the better side every week, but we were on Saturday and I was disappointed we didn’t finish our chances off.

“We created seven or eight good chances, hit the bar, had a goal disallowed while their keeper made some really good saves – it just wasn’t our day.

“We should have won, but that’s football. You can be the width of the post away from being successful so it’s up to us to make sure we put the ball the right side of the post.”

The visitors defended well to deal with the danger of lively Stones frontman Jones de Sousa and gradually grew in confidence after Matt Simpson had hit the bar following a corner.

Indecision in the home defence allowed Jared Harewood to pounce and fire home past Aaron Bellairs in the home goal.

Irchester were happy to defend their one goal lead in the second period while trying to catch Stones on the break.

Andy Boome had an effort ruled out for offside before Stones were punished from their own quick kick as the ball struck a defender and fell kindly for the Romans to break and Tom Gordon doubled Irchester’s lead.

Stones: Bellairs, Bates, Wilmer, Pell, Simpson, Boome, Porter, Piergianni (Harrold), de Sousa, Ginty, Papworth (Carter). Subs not used: Easson, French, Stone.

Stones are also in action on Wednesday night when newly-promoted Pinchbeck United are the visitors to Lincoln Road for a Division One clash (7.45pm).