Stones boss puts trust in youth

Blackstones boss Dave Stratton Photo: Geoff Atton
Blackstones boss Dave Stratton Photo: Geoff Atton
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Blackstones boss Dave Stratton put his trust in a young side and believes they should have taken at least a point at Cogenhoe on Saturday.

Two 17-year-olds featured in the Blackstones side that were ultimately undone late on, losing 3-2 after leading 2-1 at the break.

“We should have won,” said Stratton. “We were perhaps a bit naive and gave away two soft goals from set pieces. We had a young side and they have to learn quickly.”

Cogenhoe took a first minute lead with Darren Frost putting the hosts ahead but the Stamford side rallied and by half-time were ahead.

Midway through the half, Addie Staffieri levelled with his fifth goal in five league games and Sam Strange put Stones ahead nine minutes before the half time.

But Blackstones’ fine first half work was undone as they tired late in the game. Lewis Leslie levelled for Cogenhoe with 10 minutes remaining and Ross Harris scored the winner in added time.

Among the young side were midfielders Jake Van Der Drift and Jordan McLeod in his first full 90 minutes for the club.

“He did very well,” added the Stones boss. “I will do my utmost to keep here for next season.

“It’s encouraging to have teo 17-year-olds who held their own at United Counties League level.”

He was less impressed however by striker Michael Nelson and substitute Sam Mancuso, who refused to play for financial reasons. Stratton says both players would have been paid albeit with a delay.

“Sam and Michael let their teammates and the club down,” said Stratton. “I’m disappointed with Nellie. He’s a terrific player.

“Otherwise there is a good atmosphere at the club and the lads are improving every week.”

Blackstones are at home to Kempston Rovers on Saturday (ko at 3pm).

Blackstones: Lee Crockett, Ben Easson, Tom Davis (Danny Hotchkiss), James Curran, Ben Porter, Chris Down, Andy Boome, Jake Van Der Drift (Andy Buckle), Jordan McLeod, Addie Staffieri, Sam Strange.

United Counties League Premier Division Results:

Kempston Rovers 3-3 Desborough Town; Cogenhoe United 3-2 Blackstones; Harborough Town 1-4 Boston Town; Holbeach United 3-3 Deeping Rangers; Long Buckby 2-2 Huntingdon Town; Quorn 1-0 Yaxley; Shepshed Dynamo 1-1 Peterborough Northern Star; Spalding United 4-1 Newport Pagnell Town; St Ives Town 4-1 Irchester United; Stewarts & Lloyds Corby 1-1 Wellingborough Town.