Blackstones bosses named managers of the month

Lee Clarke and co-boss Daniel French have been named United Counties League Division One managers of the month for February.
Lee Clarke and co-boss Daniel French have been named United Counties League Division One managers of the month for February.
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Blackstones bosses Lee Clarke and Daniel French have been named United Counties League Division One managers of the month for February.

The joint management team won all four of their matches during February, scoring 10 goals and conceding just two.

They started the month with a 4-0 home success over Lutterworth Athletic which was followed by away wins at Huntingdon Town and Irchester United.

Their four-match run of victories culminated at the weekend with a 2-0 home win over Bugbrooke.

Blackstones have just six matches remaining this season and will be aiming to put daylight between themselves and their chasing pack.

Fourth-placed Stones’ final six games are all against sides directly below them in the league table – Olney, Lutterworth Town, Rushden & Higham, Harrowby, Bourne and Buckingham.

And their joint management team are hoping that their in-form side can stretch their seven-point cushion over their rivals.

Clarke said: “We’ve got all the teams around us to play in our final six games so it’s a good chance for us to put more pressure of those 
chasing us.

“We are better off points-wise, but some teams do have games in hand so we’ve got to make sure that those games become more tricky for them.”

Stones handed a debut to teenager Hugo Elwood in Saturday’s 2-0 home victory over Bugbrooke at the ALH Recruitment Stadium.

Elwood has recently left National League North side Darlington where he has featured for their reserves this year in the Wearside League.

The Lincoln-based youngster made a solid start on his Blackstones bow in a central midfield role after coming in to replace the unavailable Andy Boome.

Clarke explained: “Hugo did really well. He looks a decent signing. He’s strong for an 18-year-old and has a good football brain.”

Boome, Matt Simpson and Jack Bates are all expected to return for this Saturday’s trip to Olney after missing last weekend’s win where two second half goals from Danny Barker secured the victory.

Clarke added: “We made tough work of it. We struggled to move the ball quickly enough or find any tempo.

“Bugbrooke defended quite well though and they stuck to their shape which made it hard for us, but we did enough to win.

“We never looked in danger of losing the game, but it’s one where we could easily have tripped up in so we were pleased that the lads come through in.”