Retford Town 5 Horncastle Town Reserves 2
Town’s second string paid the price for failing to take several excellent chances as they crashed to a heavy defeat at rivals Retford on Saturday.
Town created some brilliant goal scoring opportunities in the first half but could only take one of them.
Still, a 1-1 score line at the break gave them every hope of taking three points from their last away league fixture of the campaign.
However, it all went wrong for player boss Jamie Lamming’s side in the second half as Retford rattled in the goals to clinch a flattering victory.
The disappointing result leaves Town looking nervously over their shoulders at bottom-of-the-table spot.
Three of Town’s 18s’ squad made the step up to senior level - George Swift, Joe Wilkinson and Sam Johnson. They all played the full 90 minutes as Town could only take a bare 11 into the match.
Despite the changes, Town carved out those first half openings. Two fell to Lewis Burchnall, who was put through on goal by his team mates but he failed to punish the Retford defence.
Jack Baxter came even closer from a similar opportunity, hitting the post when trying to slide the ball past the oncoming ‘keeper.
Debutant Sam Johnson also hit the woodwork when his volley crashed against the bar.
However, it was the home side who opened the scoring when one of their forwards flicked his heel at the ball, diverting it into the net after a cross from the left.
Town replied with 10 minutes of the half to go when some great build up play from the left saw Baxter play the ball inside into the path of Sam Johnson, who followed up a well-timed run with cool side footed volley past the host’s ‘keeper.
The half time whistle blew with the score at 1-1 but despite Retford causing a few problems in defence, Town should have been several goals clear with the opportunities they created.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw Town carry on from where they had ended in the first.
Once again, they failed to capitalize and soon found themselves punished for a poor 20 minute period.
In that short spell, Town conceded four goals - all which should have been avoided - as Retford sealed their success.
The final 10 minutes saw Town score a consolation effort. After another good passage of play down the left, Sam Johnson’s side footed shot ran into the path of Baxter who stabbed home from close range for his tenth goal of the season.
The reserves will look to bounce back from this disappointing result this Saturday when they face bottom side Saxilby Athletic on The Wong (kick off: 2pm).
Team: Smith, Bodily, Lamming, Maplethorpe, Wilkinson, Cheetham, Wilson, Johnson, Swift, Burchnall, Baxter.