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Wakes bounce back after three defeats with away victory

Bourne boss Rob Middleton praised the performance of match-winner Jake Mason as the Wakes ran out 3-2 winners in their Boxing Day derby at Blackstones.

Mason smashed home a 71st minute winner to settle a full-bloodied United Counties League Division One clash at the ALH Recruitment Stadium.

Bourne battled back from falling behind to Matt Simpson's 19th minute opener for Stones to lead 2-1 at half-time at courtesy of goals from Zak Munton and John Currall.

Martyn Fox brought the hosts level just two minutes after the break before Bourne bounced back from three successive defeats, including a 90th minute loss to Melton on Saturday, to claim the three points courtesy of Mason's fine finish.

Blackstones v Bourne. Photo: Lee Hellwing (6206139)
Blackstones v Bourne. Photo: Lee Hellwing (6206139)

Middleton - who incurred the wrath of the hosts after racing onto the pitch to retrieve the ball from a home player in the first half - enthused: "I thought Jake was absolutely superb. He was my man of the match.

"His work-rate and tenacity was superb and he's gone and stuck the winner away with a fantastic finish. He was quality.

"They'll probably feel a little bit hard done by, but I'm chuffed to bits with the win.

"What's more pleasing is that we've gone and got the win on the back of how we played against Melton where we got nothing.

"The last two performances have been good and everyone has grafted but, if we hadn't got our just rewards for it, it's hard to take mentality wise.

"The only criticism I had at half-time was that we were not winning the second balls. The ball was dropping, but we were not winning our headers and their lads up top were a handful.

"I felt we were getting bullied a little bit. We had a bit of a word at half-time about being more aggressive and stronger and I was really pleased with the performance and win."

Stones shaded the opening exchanges with joint player-boss Lee Clarke clipping an effort just over the crossbar from outside the box while Joe Moore-Papworth volleyed over after seeing his initial cross headed clear by Wakes defender Dan Smith.

Mason saw a decent hit safely gathered by Aaron Bellairs in the home goal before Stones broke the deadlock after 19 minutes.

Mason Wilson-Rhiney whipped in a free-kick from the right and Simpson rose highest to power his header into the bottom corner of the Bourne net.

However, the lead lasted just four minutes as Munton raced onto a fine through ball from Warren McSkelly and rounded the advancing Bellairs before firing home despite Simpson's valiant attempt to clear off the line.

Stones responded with Clarke seeing his downward header being smartly turned around the post by Bourne goalkeeper Ant Murphy.

The visitors then took the lead for the first time four minutes before the break when the ball fell invitingly for Currall to crack a sweet strike from 30-yards that flew into the home net via Simpson's headed deflection.

Blackstones v Bourne. Photo: Lee Hellwing (6206143)
Blackstones v Bourne. Photo: Lee Hellwing (6206143)

The Wakes, just like the hosts, were unable to hold onto the lead for very long though as Stones took just two minutes of the second half to restore parity.

Clarke showed good close control to hold the ball up before laying in the over-lapping Fox to rifle home the equaliser.

Both sides then traded openings with Jake Pell steering a shot just wide for Stones before a ferocious hit from Moore-Papworth was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Murphy with the Wakes responding as Mason saw a swift turn and first-time shot safely held by the diving Bellairs.

The crucial winning strike came 19 minutes before the end when Munton's neat link-up play set Mason free and he powered into the Blackstones box before smashing home a strong shot past Bellairs.

Stones rallied again with Josh Edmondson going close with a shot from inside the penalty area as they piled on the pressure in the latter stages.

But, despite winning a succession of late corners, Bourne stood firm to ensure there was no repeat of Saturday's late heartbreak and secure a second successive league victory over their Stamford hosts.

Stones: Bellairs, Makate (C Clarke), Bates, Pell, Simpson, Fox, Wilson-Rhiney, Moore-Papworth, Edmondson, L Clarke, Butler (Cowles). Subs not used: Boome, Easson, Buttery.

Bourne: Murphy, Currall, Cardall, Cooper, Smith, Driscoll (Waumsley), Munton, Bottreill, Mason, Rook, McSkelly. Subs not used: Moss, Ramsden, Elger.

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