Young Blackstones side growing into a dangerous side

Blackstones v  Burton Park Wanderers. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-141014-114942001
Blackstones v Burton Park Wanderers. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-141014-114942001

Blackstones’ policy of investing in youth is beginning to pay off this season and the club’s 5-0 win over Burton Park Wanderers was just a glimpse of the potential this side has.

Their opponents last Saturday may be second from bottom in the UCL Division One but for much of last season that was territory Blackstones were in. However this year after a summer rebuild, while keeping the side’s key leaders, Stones are sitting in 13th in the league and are just three points off seventh in a condensed mid-table.

Manager Nick Anderson said: “At the start of the season the game plan was to get in young lads that want to train, get better and play at a higher level.”

Anderson said he brought in a number of teenagers over the summer and because of that the side is lacking in experience but they are gaining it with every game.

“A lot of the players hadn’t played at UCL level but until they give it a try you don’t know how they will be able to handle it. The games that we have won the lads have played really well and with a lot of confidence. “

Consistency is now the next aim for this new Blackstones side, who are putting some sides to the sword by big margins but also losing matches by as many the next week. Anderson said they need to improve the quality of their play in the final third.

On Saturday Blackstones created 23 efforts at goal finishing five of them.

The game kicked off with Stones immediately dominant, pressing forcefully into the oppositions half, declaring their intentions from the off with Adam Scotcher forcing an early corner and Michael Wozniak volleying fiercely wide.

Burton Park Wanderers then broke up field but the carefully placed shot lacked power and Stones’ goalkeeper Tom Clayton, saved with ease.

Back came Stones for Scotcher to force the visiting keeper into action as well as dragging the defence all over the shop before loosing off another powerful shot, just wide. Stones went even closer when Seb Hood’s effort from an excellent Watson cross was blocked.

Stones now had control of the game but it counted for little whilst remaining all square and with a Rob Dunn drive tipped spectacularly over by the defiant Wanderers keeper the status quo looked to remain, even when Christian Andersen slotted a through ball just ahead of Declan Carr the keeper managed to thwart the effort.

On 36 minutes Scotcher was up-ended in the box, only then to drive the ball home from the resultant penalty. Then on 44 minutes it was 2-0. Scotcher hooked a super shot from wide left against the bar but Guilliano Staffieri, forward in an advanced position, bundled past three defenders to poke the ball home.

The second half resumed were Stones left off and on 47 minutes a mix-up between the keeper and his defence allowed a lurking Scotcher to claim an easy second.

Eight minutes later Stones made the visitor’s task of an uphill struggle into a vertical climb. Once more the visiting defence were all over the place, Carr had missed a chance but quickly picked up the loose ball, laying it back for a set up to Dunn who make it 4-0 with an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

With 30 minutes remaining, Andersen powered in an exquisite fifth direct from a free kick, but then a crunching leg breaking challenge saw him leave the field with suspected ankle ligament damage and Stones were reduced to 10 men, Burton however remained at full strength with the offending player only receiving a yellow.

But the superior numbers mattered little and Stones held on for a win and clean sheet.

Prior to kick-off, Stones received new warm up tops from sponsors Peterborough Arena.

The presentation was made by Ian Strange to chairman Gary Peace.