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Blackstones play Newark Town in their final game of the United Counties League season





Joint boss Jon Harrison feels his Blackstones side will be heading into a final day play-off decider on the crest of a wave after an impressive finish to the campaign.

Stones head to Newark Town for their last match of the United Counties League Division One season on the back of a five-match winning run.

That has helped keep their play-off hopes alive as they head into the final day of the season in seventh spot.

Blackstones beat Newark Town 3-2 earlier in the season.
Blackstones beat Newark Town 3-2 earlier in the season.

They are two points behind the two sides above them - Kirby Muxloe and Dunkirk - who meet each other on the final day.

A draw between those two sides would leave Stones needing a two-goal victory at Newark - who are already confirmed in the play-offs - to finish in the coveted fifth place.

Harrison said: "We are just taking it every single game at a time but the lads are riding a crest of a wave.

"We are scoring goals and not conceding loads. Newark are already safely in the play-offs so, if it was me, I wouldn't be risking players.

"Hopefully their minds are a little bit switched off and we can take advantage of that.

"We are playing really well and it's on a 3G pitch which suits us. We've got a good record on those pitches so we'll give it everything that we've got.

"It would be brilliant if things go for us but, at the end of the day, if they don't then we've still got a cup final to look forward to next month.

"We also have to applaud the lads for a great effort and learn from the mistakes we made in the first half of the season."

It has been a stunning second part of the campaign for Harrison and Ryan Wood's side which has propelled Stones into the play-off picture.

An exodus of players at the end of last year saw them rebuild their squad who are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run.

Harrison added: "It's mad to think where we've come from to even be in a position where we've got a chance of being in the play-offs going into the last day.

"It's been a monumental effort from the lads and we have had to do it the hard way.

"It did come from adversity. We had a lot of players leave between November and January for various reasons so it's weird how it's worked.

"We were at a crossroads but we had two or three weeks of real effort getting some new faces in and it has worked really well.

"The players that we have brought in have been brilliant so we go into Saturday thinking that it might have been written for us.

"Kirby only needed a point on Monday night and it was over for us but they were beaten.

"We got that miracle result and we're waiting for another miracle on Saturday."

Stones kept their play-off hopes with a 4-1 home victory over Asfordby at the weekend.

They went a goal down after failing to deal with a free-kick into the penalty area which saw Charlie Richards rifle the rebound into the roof of the net.

Nathan Rudman - who Harrison said has been a revelation since joining the club - equalised with a back post header.

A fine goal from Eddie Thorpe put Stones ahead before a quick-fire second half brace from Josh Barrett sealed the win to take their destiny down to the final day.

Harrison added: "To get to the last day, when people didn't give us a chance of making it, is incredible.

"It is something to be proud of and now we just need both Dunkirk and Kirby to cancel each other out on Saturday.

"It's a free shot for us because no-one thought we would get into this position so we've got to welcome it with open arms. We need to go out and do our part and see where it takes us."

Stones are looking for any teams - from Under 7s to Under 16s - to join their up-and-coming new junior section for next season.

Anyone interested can either email chairman Gary Peace at gpservices7@gmail.com or Jon Harrison at jonh05@live.co.uk



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