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De Sousa continues comeback with first goal since injury

Blackstones stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a 3-2 home success over Rushden & Higham at the ALH Recruitment Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from joint player-boss Lee Clarke, Josh Edmondson and Jones De Sousa secured the success which leaves Stones sixth in Division One of the United Counties League.

After last week’s postponement due to Long Buckby’s frozen pitch, the weather was again out to challenge the players who had to contend with a gusting crosswind.

Lee Clarke scores from the penalty spot. Photo: Martin Davies (7081123)
Lee Clarke scores from the penalty spot. Photo: Martin Davies (7081123)

The game kicked off with Stones dominating the play for the first 15 minutes but, despite their best efforts, were unable to capitalise on the possession.

Rushden and Higham hung on and, with their first attack, were able to round the Stones defence and keeper to grab the lead.

Stones pressed on with their game plan and were rewarded when Jack Bates linked going forward with Joe Moore-Papworth only to have his legs taken away by a rash tackle and from the resultant penalty Clarke brought the home team level.

Stones came out of the blocks quickest after the restart and within 20 seconds had snatched the lead when Edmondson took on two defenders and then nodded the ball away from the keeper and into the net.

The home side continued the onslaught on the visitors’ goal and with eight minutes remaining Clarke was tripped in the box, but this time from the spot the keeper guessed the direction and denied the Stones striker his second.

Josh Edmondson bursts into the box. Photo: Martin Davies (7081121)
Josh Edmondson bursts into the box. Photo: Martin Davies (7081121)

It took another three minutes for Stones to carve their way through the Cudge Lankies defence as Clarke held the ball up and then deftly slotted it through to De Sousa who side-footed past a stranded keeper for his first goal since returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury.

With all three points looking to be secured, Stones took their foot off the pedal and were punished when the visitors broke down the left wing and the cross into the box was met by an emphatic header past Aaron Bellairs.

However, this was all too late as the final whistle signalled all three points to Stones who make the short trip to Bourne Town on Saturday.

Stones: Bellairs, Easson, Bates, Pell, Simpson, Fox, Boome (Knowling), Moore-Papworth (Andre), Edmondson, Clarke, Cowles (De Sousa). Subs not used: Westley, Buttery.

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