Blackstones competitive but ultimately lose season opener

Blackstones v Lutterworth Athletic EMN-141208-094613001
Blackstones v Lutterworth Athletic EMN-141208-094613001

The 2014/15 UCL Division One season started on the road for the Blackstones first team beside the M1 at Lutterworth Athletic and sadly the opening fixture finished in a 2-1 defeat.

It was the home team that started the brightest, with quick and crisp passing, and Stones were saved by the post and brave defending, but it was a throw in on Stones’ right on the 11th minute that led to the first goal.

The ball was tossed high into the box and with the defence in no-mans land Lutterworth’s striker Danny Laywood turned quickly on the ball to drive home from six yards out.

This was the spark Stones needed, from the restart Stones approached the game with purpose and more precision in passing. Breaks down the left wing by Sam Strange and Danny McDonald exposed weaknesses in the home team’s defence but also the lack of finishing from the Stones’ strike force.

From set pieces Alex Lyon proved accurate with his delivery and this was rewarded from a corner, delivered to the back of the six yard box to be met by a thundering header into the net in the 22nd minute by Declan Carr.

The second half started brighter with Blackstones looking the dominant party but on 65 minutes the home team once more took the lead when possession was lost by the Stones keeper and the ball was pulled back to centre of goal and thumped into the roof of the net by Athletic skipper Billy Hayes.

Stones manager Nick Anderson tried to adjust to the situation and changed his side to a 3-4-3 formation but Adam Scotcher was left frustrated and when the final whistle sounded it signalled the first loss of the season.

Blackstones team: Tom Clayton, Corey Newman, Alex Lyon, Declan Carr, Guiliano Staffieri, Chris Downs (Christian Andersen), Sam Strange, Danny McDonald, Adam Scotcher, Roberto Di Silva (Nico Staffieri), Lewis Watson, Subs (Unused) Tom Davies

Lutterworth: Ryan Tilley, Joel Wolfe, Mark Baker (Sam Burton), Dom Ivens, Josh Rapley, Chris Bradshaw, Alex Heathcote (Nathan Bedford), Billy Hayes, Liam Barratt, Danny Laywood, Sam Young (Josh Van Allen).

Blackstones FC Reserves also lost their opening game of the season in the UCL Reserve Division.

The newly formed side went down 2-0 at home to Bugbrooke St Michael Reserves.

After a season without a reserve team it was a depleted team that started the campaign, due to injuries accumulated during a tough pre-season friendly schedule and the first team taking priority.

At half time the Stones were one down but put up a spirited performance. With knocks taking their toll and a lack of substitutes the defence was stretched and conceded a second goal after the break.

Chairman and stand-in manager Gary Peace said although he was not happy with the result he was pleased with his makeshift team’s guts and commitment.

Blackstones first team are in action again tomorrow (Wednesday) when they face Raunds Town at home, kick off 7.45pm.