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Players take the plaudits as Stones are on a roll

Jones De Sousa, Irchester v Blackstones.
Jones De Sousa, Irchester v Blackstones.

Joint Blackstones boss Lee Clarke has praised the efforts of his players after hitting a rich vein of form.

Stones recorded a third successive United Counties League Division One victory last Saturday with a tidy 2-1 away success at Irchester United.

They have now taken 10 points from their last four league games which has seen the fourth-placed Stones open up a six-point cushion over the chasing pack.

And Clarke and co-manager Daniel French feel it is the efforts that their players are putting in which is bringing the rewards.

Clarke said: “The most pleasing thing about the last three wins have been that they were all different kind of performances.

“We had to dig in to get the win on Saturday and we have all shown different sides of our game.

“We’re really looking like a strong unit at the moment that is learning and maturing with each game.

“We’ve tweaked the shape recently and jiggled a few things around, but the lads have listened and taken on board what we’ve been telling them.

“They are working really hard, the energy levels are very good and this is being rewarded in the results.

“We are on a little bit of a run and have put some points on board which now asks questions of the teams chasing us. They’ve now got to win three or four of their next five games which is a tough thing to do in this division.

“We are not setting any targets. We’re just seeing where the performances take us and we’ll see what happens then.”

After two successive away games, Stones return to the ALH Recruitment Stadium on Saturday when host struggling Bugbrooke.

The third-from-bottom Badgers have lost their last five league games, but Clarke is calling for a professional approach from his charges.

He commented: “It’s what I call a mentality game. We can’t just turn up and expect to win. We need to produce the same hard work and quality that we’ve done in the past few weeks.

“We will not be taking Bugbrooke lightly because they were quite dangerous going forward when we play them at their place. We need to prepare right and go out with the right mentality.”

Stones will be without defender Matt Simpson and midfield linchpin Andy Boome who are both unavailable for Saturday’s match.


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