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Preview of the weekend action in the United Counties League involving Bourne Town, Deeping Rangers and Blackstones

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Bourne Town will be aiming to move further away from the United Counties League Division One danger zone in their second successive home game at the weekend.

The Wakes host 16th-placed Lutterworth Athletic at the JJ Mac Stadium looking to build on Tuesday night's 2-2 home draw with Holwell Sports.

The stalemate saw Steve Wilson's side move six points clear of the bottom three places despite losing ground on the side above them in the table following Clifton All Whites' surprise midweek win at high-flying Belper United.

Bourne boss Steve Wilson. (52861732)
Bourne boss Steve Wilson. (52861732)

Wilson said: "We have got a run of matches now where, if we can up our game, we can get something from the next month.

"We need to be putting more points on the board and getting some results - it's as simple as that really.

"We need to be pulling teams closer to where we are in the table so we're moving closer to where they are at the moment.

"We don't want to be getting dragged into anything because you never know if teams bring some players in and go on a run."

The Wakes had fallen behind after just five minutes of Tuesday night's contest when they failed to cut out a routine ball forward and Kyle Reek took full advantage to race clear and beat the advancing John Swales.

Swales was then down smartly to keep out an effort from Harry Allcock before Bourne started to grow into the contest.

Thomas Klinkovics had sent a shot narrowly wide before Bourne levelled just past the half-hour mark when Jake Van Der Drift headed home a cross from James Gordon.

Holwell responded and saw Ash Hibbitt's cross-come-shot hit the home crossbar with Swales then saving well to thwart Allcock again before Bourne hit the front just before half-time.

Josh Hales collected the ball on the left and ran at the Holwell defence before cutting inside and firing his shot home.

Hales dragged another wide early in the second period, but Bourne were unable to hold onto their advantage after the break with Holwell hitting back after 57 minutes to earn a point as Allcock glanced home a header from a free-kick.

Hales was unlucky with another low strike that flew just wide before Luke Peberby shot just over for the visitors.

Allcock was then denied by a crucial goalline clearance from Herbie Panting before the Holwell striker had to be helped off in the latter stages of the game after suffering a nasty gash following a clash of heads which caused a delay to proceedings.

Jake Mason (52873969)
Jake Mason (52873969)

And deep in injury time Bourne came close to grabbing all three points as Aaron Warrener saw a free-kick blocked by the defensive wall with Jamie Gaukroger hitting the rebound narrowly over the crossbar.

Wilson added: "It was game that could have gone either way. We could have won it but also lost it so a draw was probably what both teams deserved.

"We have picked up from earlier in the season and we're getting a settled side now because Holwell were far better than us when we first played each other.

"There was a huge improvement from us on the last time we played them and, if you don't win a game, then you have make sure you don't lose it which we have done."

The Wakes have suffered an injury setback with striker Jake Mason being ruled out for the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Mason had netted a couple times in the eight games since returning to the club earlier in the season.

Wilson explained: "It's really bad news to lose Jake and it's disappointing for the lad as well.

"He's a happy-go-lucky type of lad and is looking on the bright side of it but it is disappointing for him because he's put some good shifts in for us and been doing well so he will be a miss."

The Wakes have also lost the services of fellow frontman Jacob Fenton who has re-signed for former club and Premier Division North side Sleaford Town.

Deeping Rangers will be aiming to continue their upturn in form when they visit Loughborough Students on Saturday.

Matt Carter has a five-match suspension. (52861766)
Matt Carter has a five-match suspension. (52861766)

The Clarets have given a good account of themselves in a number of tough tests in recent weeks in the United Counties League Premier Division North.

Goalkeeper Dan Swan is expected to return in goal for the Clarets who held high-flying Anstey Nomads to a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

Manager Daniel French said: "We would have gone to Loughborough with a different mentality six or seven weeks ago but that's not the case now.

"We will be expecting to compete and looking to get something from the game and not just make up the numbers which is nice."

Matt Carter will miss the next five games for the Clarets due to suspension following back-to-back red cards.

Carter was sent off in the recent Lincolnshire Senior Trophy defeat at Sleaford Town and was again dismissed on Saturday after collecting two cautions.

Blackstones face a crunch clash on Saturday away at third-from-bottom Graham Street Prims who are one place above the Stamford side on goal difference.

Stones are under the caretaker management of Sammy Linford following the departure of Ryan Hunnings at the weekend and they will be looking to bounce back from a 7-0 home defeat against St Andrews in midweek.

Goals from Ryan Kirk and Aaron Preston had given St Andrews a two-goal half-time advantage before they netted a further five times in the second period.

Sammy Linford. Photo: Dan Allen (52861800)
Sammy Linford. Photo: Dan Allen (52861800)

Mason Lopez struck twice with Daniel Page and Chris Davis also among the goalscorers for the visitors.

Blackstones have been reinstated in the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy after Holbeach United played an ineligible player in their 5-0 win at the Torney Limited Stadium last week.

They will now travel to Northern Counties East League Division One high-flyers Brigg Town in the quarter-finals.

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