Quality proves crucial as Blackstones net best win of the season

Liam Harrold scores Blackstones' second goal against Potton on Saturday.
Liam Harrold scores Blackstones' second goal against Potton on Saturday.
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Boss Andy Lodge hailed 
Blackstones’ 3-2 victory over Potton on Saturday as their best win of the season.

Two goals in the final 15 minutes swung the match in Stones’ favour and consolidated their position among the leading lights in Division One of the United Counties League.

Having gone a goal ahead early on when Luke Harradine put through his own net, the Royals responded to equalise through Daniel Webb’s 38th minute header.

Stones then faced an uphill struggle when Calum Forster put Potton ahead 10 minutes into the second half.

However, top scorer Liam Harrold brought Stones level with 15 minutes remaining before a stunning strike from substitute Daniel French gave the home side the advantage just three minutes later.

Lodge enthused: “It was a brilliant win because Potton are a decent side.

“They had a lot of the ball and probably went away gutted to have lost, but two bits of quality won it for us in the end.

“Liam brought us level with a quality finish and then Frenchy has pretty much changed the game when he came on. It was a cracking strike into the bottom corner and there was no way the keeper was saving it.

“We were under the cosh, but we showed a lot of character. We needed to stay in the game because we’re always likely to get a chance or two.

“Everyone worked really hard despite having a lot of injury problems in the squad so it was our best win of the season.”

Stones took just six minutes to break the deadlock when the lively Josh Edmondson found Harrold who fired across goal with Harradine diverting the ball into his own net.

The game continued as a full-blooded affair and the visitors were able to equalise just before half-time when they were awarded a penalty.

Goalkeeper Aaron Bellairs had tipped the ball off the striker’s head but was adjudged to have clipped the player as well and Webb brought the scores level from the spot.

Potton then took the initiative in the second half with Forster putting them ahead and they looked to increase the pressure and secure victory.

However, Stones stood firm and French dispossessed a defender before teeing up Ben Easson whose pinpoint cross was headed home by Harrold.

Stones were now on the front foot and three minutes later Potton could only clear their lines as far as French who rifled home from 20 yards.

Harrold had another chance near the end after good work from French but, despite the chance going begging, Stones held out for a crucial three points.

They travel to face struggling Oakham United on Saturday with Jack Bates, Gareth Jelleyman and Joe Papworth all expected to return.

Lodge added: “We’ve got a run of games now that we want to be picking up points from. Looking at the next seven games, if we pick up five wins and a draw then that will keep us in the mix nicely ready for the run of matches over Christmas.”

Stones: Bellairs, Easson, Carter, Pell, Simpson, Boome, Porter, Musgrove, Harrold, Scott (Butler), Edmondson (French). Not used: Stone, Papworth.