FOOTBALL: Blondel brace helps Horncastle Reserves banish the blues

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Monson FC 0-4 Horncastle Town Reserves

In-form striker Luke Blondel bagged a brace of goals as Horncastle Town Reserves ended their away day blues in style at Lincoln League rivals Monson on Saturday.

After beating leaders Birchwood United the previous week, Town were confident they would get a win which would consolidate fourth place in the table.

However, they had to battle for the points and it took a tactical switch by boss Andrew Fenn at half time to change the course of the game.

Town started with a 5-4-1 formation with Ollie Johnson and Carl Smith coming into the starting line up to boost their match fitness.

However, it was Monson who looked more dangerous in the opening minutes. They had the majority of the possession and should have taken the lead early on, but their striker missed a chance at the near post with the goal at his mercy.

Town came into the game and took the lead after 17 minutes. Skipper Dave Marshall played a ball into Fidling and he found the net with a dipping shot from 20-yards.

Monson were still in the game and for most of the half had the better of the chances with their right winger in particular asking questions of Town’s defence.

That produced a series of concerns and throw ins in dangerous positions and Town were indebted to ‘keeper Jason Stamford, who produced a fine save, tipping the ball over the bar.

On the half hour mark, Monson had a great chance to equalise when they broke quickly following a town corner, but the covering Fidling came to the rescue with a last ditch tackle.

Town made two changes at half time with Jamie Lamming and Andrew Bullivant replacing Carl Smith and Daniel Garnett and they changed their system to 4-5-1 with Ollie Johnson the holding midfielder.

They immediately looked more comfortable and it only took five minutes for them to extend their lead.

Andrew Bullivant produced a perfectly weighted pass through to Blondel, who confidently placed the ball past the ‘keeper into the bottom corner.

Town dominated most of the second half with Monson not causing Stamford any real problems.

Town should have made it 3-0 but Monson’s ‘keeper made a triple save to deny Bullivant.

Minutes later, Bullivant sent Daniel Bodily away on the right only for his lob to hit the outside of the post.

Bodily was replaced by Tom Sewell as Town made it 3-0 on 88 minutes with Fidling playing in Blondel for his second of the match.

In injury time, Sewell scored a brilliant individual goal to secure what in the end was a very comfortable victory.

Next week sees the Reserves travel to arch rivals RM Imp in the Amateur Cup quarter finals (1.45pm).

Town: Stamford, Low, S. Maplethorpe, Garnett (Lamming),D.Maplethorpe, Marshall, Bodily (Sewell), O.Johnson, C Smith (Bullivant), Fidling, Blondel.