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Porter released as Wilson-Rhiney is recruited

Blackstones' impressive home record will face one of its sternest tests of the season on Saturday when much-fancied Melton Town visit the ALH Recruitment Stadium.

Stones have taken 22 points out of a possible 27 on home soil this season and are currently sixth in Division One of the United Counties League.

Visiting Melton are two places above Stones in the standings with the same amount of points from the exact number of games and ran out convincing 5-0 winners in the League Cup clash between the two teams earlier in the season.

And joint Blackstones boss Lee Clarke believes his side will need to be on top of their game after a free weekend last Saturday following their impressive 3-0 home win over Irchester in their last outing.

Jezz Goldson-Williams (left) (5850416)
Jezz Goldson-Williams (left) (5850416)

Clarke said: "Melton came out on top easily in the League Cup tie, but we're going into the game on the back of our most complete performance of the season.

"There is always room for improvement, but we came out of the traps flying which gave us confidence.

"It was slightly annoying we didn't have a match last weekend to follow it up with, but it's given a couple of players a chance to rest knocks after having quite a few games in a short space of time recently so it wasn't the worst timing.

"Melton are a good side. They've had a couple of indifferent results recently, but they've got goals in their side and a lot of quality players.

"We know that we've got to be right at it from the off and not take time to bed ourselves into the game.

"We have been strong at home all season. We have got a good home record and we want that to continue, but we know it will be a tough game."

Ben Porter (5850413)
Ben Porter (5850413)

Stones are boosted by the return to fitness of Jack Bates following a rib injury, but long-serving midfielder Ben Porter has been released by the club.

Porter, who has clocked up almost 100 appearances in the past four seasons for Stones, has been unable to regularly commit to training this term and also withdrew from the squad for the recent match with Harrowby two hours before kick-off.

Clarke commented: "We understand this level in terms of training and playing with what else is going on in people's lives.

"But we can't have players dropping out an hour or so before games or training because it's disrespectful to ourselves, the other players and the club.

"Technically Ben is as good as anyone in the league, but we want players who are all pulling in the right direction."

Stones have strengthened their attacking options by signing Mason Wilson-Rhiney from near neighbours Deeping Rangers while summer recruit Jezz Goldson-Williams has joined Peterborough League Premier Division champions Netherton United on dual registration to get some game-time.

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