Blackstones bounce back with victory double

Liam Harrold, Blackstones.
Liam Harrold, Blackstones.
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Blackstones boss Andy Lodge praised the bouncebackability of his side after they returned to winning ways with a victory double.

Lodge’s charges had shipped five goals in each of their last two outings as an FA Vase defeat at Histon was followed by a home league reversal against Pinchbeck.

However, Blackstones got back on track as an emphatic 9-0 derby drubbing of Oakham United last Saturday was followed on Wednesday night by a 4-1 extra-time victory over Huntingdon Town in the UCL Cup.

Lodge said: “I knew the character was there. We were just a little bit naive against Histon and Pinchbeck so it was good to see us bounce back with a reaction.

“We’ve got a really good dressing room and the lads are all up for it so, although I was pleased, I wasn’t surprised.”

Huntingdon had eight players booked and two dismissed in a fiery cup clash at the ALH Recruitment Stadium on Wednesday night.

The visitors had taken the lead midway through the first half, but Liam Harrold levelled for Stones a minute before half-time.

Despite having Ruben Rey dismissed in the second half for a bad tackle on Joe Papworth, Huntingdon held out to take the match into extra-time.

Christian Le was then red-carded in extra-time as Stones took the lead for the first time after 103 minutes through Danny Barker.

Jones de Sousa then put Stones in control with a third five minutes into the second period of extra-time before Harrold’s sixth goal in six games secured a home tie with Premier Division side Peterborough Northern Star in the second round.

Lodge added: “We should probably have finished the job in 90 minutes, but we played some good football, created chances and all our forwards scored goals.

“They are a physical side, but it’s just the way they play and it’s part of their game. There was nothing malicious. I expected them to have a go and try and turn us over.

“They go out to try and unsettle sides, but fair play to our lads for not reacting to it and the referee for dealing with it.”

Stones travel to face Long Buckby in a Division One clash on Saturday before making the short trip to face Deeping Rangers in the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy on Tuesday night.

Blackstones were on cloud nine after inflicting a record United Counties League defeat on visiting Oakham on Saturday.

Three goals in the first half laid the foundations for the success with Stones upping the ante after the break with a further six strikes to the delight of Lodge.

He said: “We were very good. We kept the ball really well and the players stuck at it.

“We were still pressing and trying to win the ball right up to the 90th minute.

“We put our chances away and it was a very professional performance.”

After a cagey opening, Stones took a 15th minute lead when Jones De Sousa’s cross was converted by Jake Pell at full stretch.

The lead was doubled three minutes later when a marauding run and cross from Danny Barker was converted by Liam Harrold.

Oakham goalkeeper Tom Bedford produced a string of fine saves to prevent Blackstones from increasing the lead, however, on the stroke of half-time Joe Papworth scored a third for home side.

The floodgates opened after the break with de Sousa dancing his way through the Oakham rearguard to score before Harrold chipped home an audacious effort from 25 yards.

An own goal added to Oakham’s woes before Scott Ginty was bundled over in the box and picked himself up to convert the resultant penalty.

Stones substitute Liam Buttery fired through a crowd of players to net an eighth before Barker completed the rout with virtually the last kick of the game.

Stones: Bellairs, Easson, Bates, Pell, Wilmer, Boome (Buttery), Papworth (Carter), Barker, Harrold (Butler), Ginty, De Sousa. Not used: French.