Experienced duo put finishing touches to Blackstones

Former Ketton boss Scott Musgrove has joined Blackstones
Former Ketton boss Scott Musgrove has joined Blackstones
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Blackstones boss Andy Lodge is hoping a double capture of experienced signings has put the finishing touches to his squad.

After securing the services of Gareth Jelleyman last week, Lodge has now recruited former Stamford and Deeping midfielder Scott Musgrove.

Musgrove, who started the season as manager of Peterborough League side Ketton, made his Blackstones bow as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Olney Town at the ALH Recruitment Stadium.

And Lodge feels the signing of the ex-Rugby Town and Spalding play-maker will be crucial to his side’s success.

He said: “Muzzy’s a good signing for us and I’m really pleased to get him.

“He’s got good experience and is a leader which is something we have been missing.

“We’ve got a really good squad now with Gareth Jelleyman and Scott Musgrove coming in which is great for us.

“I felt we were one or two short, but we’re now where I want us to be.”

Stones needed an 88th minute equaliser to salvage a share of the spoils from Saturday’s Division One duel with Olney Town.

After Josh Crawley had punished a Matt Simpson error to give the visitors the lead on the hour mark, Stones missed a number of good opportunities to get back on level terms.

However, Simpson made amends with the equaliser with two minutes remaining before Stones had top scorer Liam Harrold sent off in injury-time.

Harrold was dismissed along with Olney’s Jason Crawley after a flare up in the box and now faces a three-match suspension which starts on Saturday.

Lodge commented: “Olney are a good side, but we’ve missed four good chances and it’s a game we should have won.

“It’s not a bad result, but our expectations have changed this season. Last year we would have taken a point against anyone so it’s a measure of our progress that we were disappointed not to win this sort of game.

“We are not at the stage yet where we’re going to win every game, but I was disappointed we didn’t win on Saturday.”

Jelleyman, Danny Barker and possibly Jack Bates are all set to return to the Stones squad for Saturday’s table-topping tussle with Raunds.

The Shopmates leapfrogged Stones into pole position after a 4-1 home success over Long Buckby on Tuesday but, victory at the weekend, will be see Lodge’s charges regain the initiative.

Lodge said: “We are looking forward to it. It should be a decent game.

“We’re both decent sides so it will be all down to what happens on the day.”

Striker Lee Clarke, who made his Blackstones debut at the weekend before signing for Stamford, is likely to remain with the United Counties League side this weekend after being sidelined for a few weeks.

Lodge added: “Lee needs a couple of games to work on his fitness so it’s a win-win situation. He’s a superb player who will do well for us.”