Danny departs as Stones bosses net monthly award

Danny Barker
Danny Barker
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Blackstones made it an awards double for 
Stamford after their joint bosses were named United Counties League Division One managers of the month for February.

After Stamford had scooped the Evo-Stik Division One South accolade last week, Stones’ management team of Lee Clarke and Daniel French capped a fabulous February by winning the United Counties League award.

Stones 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 a fortnight ago with a 2-0 home win over Bugbrooke.

Clarke said: “It’s really pleasing to win the award. It’s a little bit of a cliche, but the boys have done really well and deserve a lot of credit.

“They’ve put a big shift in and have really taken on board what we’ve been telling them.”

Stones, whose match at Olney last weekend was postponed, face a tricky trip to fifth-placed Lutterworth Town on Saturday.

Lutterworth trail the fourth-placed Stones by seven points but have five games in hand to overhaul Clarke and French’s charges whose final six league games are all against sides currently directly below them in the table.

Clarke commented: “It’s just about putting as much distance as we can between ourselves and the teams directly behind us.

“It’s going to be a tough game on Saturday because Lutterworth have got lot of games in hand and can go above us if they win them but that’s going to be a big ask.

“We are on a good run of form and, although we have to be mindful of their threats, we are capable of scoring goals as well while we are a lot better defensively than when we first started.”

Stones will have do without the services of attacker Danny Barker who has left the Stamford club to join Premier Division title challengers Holbeach United.

Barker bagged 10 goals in 20 appearances for Stones this season, but his game-time has been limited by injury.

Clarke said: “It’s a good move for Danny to a side who are near the top of the Premier Division and we would never stand in anybody’s way.

“We might make a couple of extra additions to the squad, but there won’t be any major signings because we’ve only got six league games left.

“We’re not looking at changing things massively and, when we have everyone available, we have got a very good squad.”

n Stones open their Daniels Cup campaign on Wednesday night with a home clash against Peterborough League Division One side King’s Cliffe.

The quarter-final clash has been switched to the ALH Recruitment Stadium with a 7.30pm kick-off.

Clarke added: “It’s a cup competition and we want to do well in it.

“We will see how the land lies in terms of injuries after the weekend, but it might be a good chance to get some minutes into some of the younger lads.

“We are not in a position to make seven or eight changes and, with not having a game the following weekend, it will give the lads another chance of a run out.”