Ben blasts hat-trick for five-star Blackstones

Ben Porter (right) scores the first of his three goals for Blackstones in their victory over Burton Park Wanderers on Saturday.
Ben Porter (right) scores the first of his three goals for Blackstones in their victory over Burton Park Wanderers on Saturday.
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Blackstones hit five goals for the second successive Saturday after a 5-2 home success over Burton Park Wanderers in their United Counties League Division One clash at the weekend.

The victory moved Stones back up to fifth place in the league standings ahead of Saturday’s home clash with bottom-of-the-table S&L Corby.

Stones had run out 4-1 away winners at Burton Park on the opening day of the season but, following the appointment of Darren Young at the Wanderers helm, this was a much tougher proposition for Lee Clarke and Daniel French’s charges.

This was never more evident than in the second minute when the visitors took the lead as a speculative cross was cleared to former Stamford striker Michael Byrne who emphatically fired home the rebound.

Stones reeled under the visitors’ pressure for the next 15 minutes, but they gradually began to work their way back into the game and take control.

They levelled after 22 minutes when Ben Porter received the ball in the penalty area and, through a crowd of defenders, curled an effort past the keeper and into the net.

Stones went ahead just past the half-hour mark when joint player-boss Clarke showed great dribbling skills to dance around the keeper and fire home.

This was quickly followed four minutes later by a third Stones goal when Jones De Sousa beat the defence to a ball over the top and confidently lobbed the advancing keeper.

The home side’s goal blitz continued just before the break when Josh Edmundson burst into the visitors’ box and was upended for a penalty which was calmly converted by Porter to give Stones a 4-1 half-time lead.

Burton Park started the second half the brighter of the two teams and reduced the arrears within six minutes of the restart when Byrne curled home a free-kick from the edge of the box.

With Wanderers now sensing that there was maybe a way back, Stones ended the visitors’ hopes after 71 minuutes as Porter jinked his way into the box, rounded the keeper and tapped home for his hat-trick which sealed the win.

Stones: Bellairs, Bates (Chambers), Wilmer, Pell, Simpson, Boome, Porter, Butler (Easson), De Sousa, Clarke, Edmondson (French). Subs not used: Buttery, Hands.

Bourne’s home match with Irchester and Oakham’s clash with Lutterworth Athletic at Lonsdale Meadow were both postponed on Saturday due to frozen pitches.