Oakham United and Blackstones battle to 3-3 draw

Blackstones v Oakham at  Lincoln Road, Stamford.  Football action EMN-151228-185848009

Blackstones v Oakham at Lincoln Road, Stamford. Football action EMN-151228-185848009

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It was a tough job telling who were the higher placed side in the UCL Division One on Monday as eighth place Oakham United and 14th placed Blackstones fought out a highly entertaining 3-3 draw.

Blackstones, under the direction of Phil Gadsby were out to entertain the 102 people in the crowd at Lincoln Road and created more than 20 shooting chances during the course of the game.

Blackstones v Oakham at  Lincoln Road, Stamford.  Football action EMN-151228-185810009

Blackstones v Oakham at Lincoln Road, Stamford. Football action EMN-151228-185810009

Stones started quickly and fired the ball into the Oakham box from three back-to-back corners, almost leading to Jacob Smitheringale heading them in front but he could only find the side netting.

In the end it was the visitors who took the early lead in the new derby match. Centre back Matt Holland struck in the 10th minute from a Ben Easson free kick.

However before Oakham could look to build on their lead they were level again, with Kieran Arthur converting a free kick after 14 minutes. In a complete turn around just three minutes later the hosts then took the lead. Steve Mastin found some room and carried the ball to the edge of the 18 yard box before firing past Simon Dalton in the Oakham net.

The Tractor Boys stopper then did well to prevent Dan Evans putting the game out of reach, when he saved at close range. Blackstones keeper Lee Crockett was not to be out done at the other end and did well to save a low Richard Nelson effort.

Oakham were living dangerously and calamity almost struck when centre back Marcus Baines lost possession to Mastin in his own box and he delivered the ball for Evans to shot for goal - however Holland had read the danger and stopped an almost certain score with a goal-line clearance.

As the first half came to a close Blackstones pushed to extend their lead to two goals, to give themselves some breathing room and try and break United’s spirit.

Sam Strange, Evans and Mastin all had chances before half time, but it was actually Oakham who went closest before the interval.

Oakham’s top scorer Lewis Leckie turned provider when he flicked the ball into the path of young Sven Hart’s whose shot was saved by Crockett.

Nelson then played Leckie in for a decent chance to level the scores but ‘The Cannonball’ could not find the back of the net, let alone burst it.

The second half was a much more even display.

Leckie went agonisingly close to opening his account on the day when he struck the up right with a shot from distance.

But he didn’t have to wait too much longer. On the hour mark he burnt the Blackstones defence for pace before calmly finishing past Crockett.

They then took the lead through Hart, who lobbed the keeper in the 65th minute.

Stones battled on and pressed the visitors , winning a free kick in front of goal. Mastin waited while Dalton organised his wall, on the whistle the superbly struck free kick flew straight into the top of the net, rescuing the point.

The draw ends Stones’ run of four successive defeats before they entertain Burton Park Wanderers tomorrow.

Oakham’s game against Woodford has been postponed.