United Counties Football League
2007-2008 Season

Premier Division

Sleaford Town  2    Blackstones  4

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Blackstones moved into the top four of the Premier Division as they extended their winning sequence in all competitions to nine games.

It was an outcome that few would have predicted in the first half as an open contest saw Sleaford take a two goal lead and Stones reduced to ten men.

Early opportunities went begging for Stones midfielder Ross Nicholls who shot wide from Liam Harrold's lay off and home goal ace Jamie Shaw who miskicked after a fine run on the right by Pete Sutton.

Phil Stebbing chased down a back pass only to be thwarted by home keeper Andy Scott, but it was Sleaford who took the lead after 17 minutes as Shaw held off a challenge to slot home.

After 29 minutes the home side went further in front as Jason Sedlan's corner was flicked on by Matt Lunn and Ross Watson turned the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Stebbing was narrowly too high with a rising drive after beating two defenders, but things looked bleak for Stones when Harrold was red carded after36 minutes.

The ten men were back in the game at the break though as the impressive Stebbing headed in a Kevin Ainslie cross after 41 minutes.

 A lively start to the second half saw Lunn send a flashing volley across goal for Sleaford while Nicholls was wide for Blackstones from 25 yards.

The contest was squared after 61 minutes as Watson atoned for his earlier error,capitalising on a ricochet in the box to gleefully fire Blackstones on terms.

The momentum was with the visitors now and Stebbing volleyed narrowly wide.

Stones went ahead after 72 minutes when a long clearance saw Dan Cotton outpace, the home defence to volley past Scott, and seven minutes later the outcome was settled as Cotton's right wing corner picked out substitute Graeme Epps who arrived on cue at the near post with his first touch. 

Sleaford fought back and Carl Sedlan's header rattled the visiting crossbar, while a mazy run by home prospect Tom Siddons was spoiled by an off target finish.

Sleaford: Andy Scott, Matt Hodgkin, Darren Statham (Robin Holderness), Carl Sedlan, Kris Jones, Ollie Sidney, Pete Sutton (Micky Stones), Jason Sedlan, Paul Reece, Jamie Shaw, Matt Lunn (Tom Siddons).

Blackstones: Ian Flavell, Robbie Blowers, Trevor Smith (Andy Boome), Paul Sheehan, Ross Nicholls, Ross Watson, Dan Cotton, Luke Kennedy, Liam Harrold, Phil Stebbing, Kevin Ainslie (Graeme Epps).