FOOTBALL: Horncastle second string lose by odd goal in seven

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Lincoln & District Saturday League

Horncastle’s reserve side were edged out by the odd goal in seven as Birchwood United took all three points in Lincoln last week.

The day’s highest scoring game saw the home side looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season with Horncastle after a third win in a row. Seven goals were scored in the match with Birchwood just edging it 4-3 with goals from Ash Woodhall, Danny Melton, Dave Sampson and Ian Tinkler.

Horncastle’s goals came from Dave Maplethorpe, Luke Blondel, his fifth of the season, and Dan Nixon.

This week saw a top of the table local derby as AFC Crown and Arrows hosted Birchwood United in a league game.

Without doubt Birchwood posted their intentions on winning the league this season with a resounding 6-2 win. Their goals came from a Paul Nicholson hat-trick, two from Tom Butcher and one from Craig Dungate. The home side’s goals were scored by Nigel Wallace and Luke Heald.

Victory took Birchwood to the head of the table and sees them still unbeaten in league and cup.

There were also four quarter-final ties in the Lincoln Village Trophy. All four Lincoln League sides were up against sides who are guesting in the competition, from the Boston League.

Holders Fulbeck United visited Heckington Millers (third in Boston Premier). Fulbeck had won this competition for the last three seasons so they had not lost in the competition since a 6-0 semi-final defeat to Washingborough in February 2012.

The home side, with a strong presence of Sleaford Town registered players in their ranks, ran out convincing 6-2 winners to end Fulbeck’s hold on this trophy. Heckington’s scorers were Liam Tunstall 2, Sam Elliott, Dom Kew, Joe Braithwaite and an own goal.

Cherry Willingham took on a Billinghay Athletic side (sixth in Boston Premier) that had won this competition no less than eight times, albeit the last in 1979. With a sparkling performance, Cherry ran out easy 6-2 winners with goals from Bobby Jenkinson (2), Jake Mann (2), Ashley Bradley and J. Otter. M Savanhu and A. Brett scored for Billinghay.

Railway Inn entertained Woodhall Spa (eighth in Boston Division One), another side that had been past winners, having appeared in five and won three, the last in 1988. Railway were making their debut in the competition and it saw them come out with a 3-1 win, their first victory of the season.

On target for them were Tom Holmes (2) and Martin Waplington with Woodhall’s goal being an own goal.

Finally Saxilby, who had been losing finalists for the last two seasons, should have visited Ruskington Rovers (eighth in Boston Premier) but unfortunately they had to concede the game as they were unable to raise a side.

The games next Saturday sees the league’s two remaining sides in the Lincs Junior Cup facing tough opponents.

Perhaps the hardest is for Fulbeck United who travel to Scunthorpe to meet Central Midlands Division North leaders Appleby Frodingham. That said, Birchwood United have no easier a task, as they host Lincs League side Horncastle Town who presently sit in mid-table but have played fewer games than most other sides. Last season Horncastle finished the season in third position.

The only other game is a league game involving Horncastle Town Reserves who visit Cherry Willingham. Cherry are presently unbeaten in the league but in this corresponding fixture last season, Horncastle won 3-0.