Cotton appointed as Blackstones manager

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Blackstones have turned to some familiar faces to fill the management void left at the club when Nick Andersen stepped down as first team manager

This week Neil Cotton has been appointed as manager with Dave Bird as his assistant and the sport therapist will be Billy Stocks.

All three have a past history with the Stones with Cotton and Stocks involved with the club’s under-18 side a few years ago and Bird held the first team manager role at the same time.

Despite the loss of top scorer Adam Scotcher to Deeping Rangers Cotton inherits a good team who can really compete in the UCL Division One.

That was more than evident on Saturday when Blackstones beat Stewarts and Lloyds Corby 4-2 at Lincoln Road.

Blackstones couldn’t have asked for better opponents on a foggy afternoon, with the newly relegated Stewarts and Lloyds undergoing all the squad upheavals that go with dropping a league and on the back of a 17 game losing streak.

The match started and it was obvious that it was to be a full bore end to end thriller, with no inch given.

Stones shocked S&L Corby in the fourth minute with a well worked attack down the right by debutant Liam Buchan and a whipped in low cross that was purposely despatched into the back of the net by Alex Lyon.

Then seven minutes later Chris McRoyal and Kieran Arthur linked to thread a pass to Rob Dunn who doubled the lead. The visitors pressed and battled to force Tom Clayton into several saves to keep Stones in the game.

S&L came out the blocks brightest after the break, getting the better of a crowded midfield. It was three minutes in that their pressure was rewarded from a free kick outside the area.

The game then began to open up with chances at both ends but Stones hit their third in the 58th minute when Down hammered in Stones’ third from 25 yards, the ball dipping beyond the stranded visiting keeper.

Lyon, Carr and Arthur responded with runs and linking passes that tore through the defence but S&L’s keeper thwarted their attempts.

Six minutes from time, Clayton made a sprawling save only to be beaten from the follow up, this was to set up a nail biting final six minutes.

Both sides were to have more chances but with the referee glancing at his watch, Arthur launched an inch perfect pass into the area for Declan Carr to sprint on to, keep his cool and plant the ball into the net.

Blackstones have showed over the past two games that they have not been derailed by the exit of manager Nick Andersen and then leading scorer Adam Scotcher. Even the absence of stand-in manager Gary Peace, with Tony Laughton and Ian Strange on managerial duties the team showed determination, teamwork and spirit.

Stone player tomorrow (Wednesday) at home against Rothwell Corinthians. Kick-off 7.45pm.

STONES: Tom Clayton, Owen Uglow, Christian Andersen, Dominic Poli, Guliano Staffieri, Chris McRoyal, Karl Down. Rob Dunn, Kieran Arthur, Liam Buchan (Declan Carr), Alex Lyon. Subs unused: Matt Green, Andy Salter and Jonathan Weaver