Stones left unrewarded against high-flying Huntingdon

Blackstones pushed high-flying Huntingdon, taking the lead twice, but were ultimately left with nothing to show for their efforts at Lincoln Road on Monday evening.

The visitors have risen to fourth in the United Counties League Premier Division on the back of three straight wins ahead of Mondays match; Blackstones meanwhile have slipped down the table with a run of eight without a win.

Yet it was the hosts who took the lead, with a deflected Ben Porter cross going in off a defender to put Stones in front after 22 minutes.

Huntingdon levelled 12 minutes later when Niks Savalnieks lobbed the ball over the advancing Lee Crockett but Stones stunned their visitors with a second first half goal, six minutes before the break. Sam Strange met Andy Beech’s pass to put the Stamford side back in front.

In the second half Huntingdon showed their superiority although their second equaliser came from a hotly disputed penalty ten minutes into the half. Declan Rogers converted the spot kick and the visitors went ahead for the first time with 21 minutes remaining. Enol Ordanez and Savalnieks combined to set up Rogers to score.

Substitute Stuart Eason made it four shortly afterwards and Rogers completed his hat-trick with a tap in six minutes from time.

Addie Staffieri pulled one back for Blackstones in the final minute but all their excellent first half had been undone.

Blackstones boss Dave Stratton said: “I thought the lads battled their hearts out. We matched them in the first half.

“Huntingdon were on top in the second - they played some nice football - but their penalty was the softest I have ever seen. It shouldn’t have made the difference but heads dropped after the penalty.

“If we had played all season like we played in the first half we would not be in the position we are.”

Stones are one point above second-bottom Sleaford who have one game in hand. Blackstones travel to Long Buckby on Saturday, knowing a win would lift them above the Northants side on goal difference.

Blackstones: Lee Crockett, Billy Oliver (Tom Stocks), Ben Porter, Luke Avis, Danny Hotchkiss, Jake Pell, Declan Carr (Chris McRoyall), Chris Down, Addie Staffieri, Andy Beech (Jordan McLeod), Sam Strange.