FOOTBALL: Happy Harness the hero for Horncastle in cup victory

On the ball: Gareth Melia runs at the Benington defence
On the ball: Gareth Melia runs at the Benington defence

Horncastle Town battled into the third round of the Lincolnshire Junior Cup after a seven goal thriller against Benington.

Two goals from leading scorer Michael Harness helped Town to a 4-3 win at The Wong, but they were fortunate to overcome spirited Boston League opponents.

Town missed the influence of absent trio Mickey Stones, Chris Johnson and Nathan Rawdon and again had to dig deep to secure the win - all four goals coming in a much improved second half display.

Benington could consider themselves unlucky to have only led by a solitary goal at the break.

Town boss Paul Johnson restored Gareth Melia with Carl Smith moving into a more central position and Harness occupying the lone striker role.

Town started well with Richard Jackson seeing a lot of the ball in midfield. Tony Edwards fired over at the far post and Smith also went close after running onto a clever pass from Harness.

A series of corners followed as Town looked to turn their possession into clear chances but midway through the half, Benington took a surprise lead from the penalty spot.

Town then had another let off when ‘keeper Lewis Burchnall came rushing off his line and collided with a Benington player. Fortunately, the referee ruled it was accidental.

Inspired by some stern words, Town looked a different side in the second half. Harness levelled and then Edwards headed them in front. Both goals coming from Melia crosses.

Within two minutes, Benington equalised before a 25-yard special from Olly Johnson restored Town’s lead at 3-2.

Harness looked to have made it safe with a neat finish but as Town rang the changes, Benington hit back with a goal to make it an anxious last few minutes for The Wongers.

Town: Burchnall, Lovett (Low), Shinn, Brown (Marshall), Lowman, O. Johnson, Edwards, Jackson, M Harness, Smith, Melia (Blondel).