FOOTBALL: Horncastle Town pay price for second half slump

Midfield maestro: Town star Richard Jackson who was badly missed in the 5-0 Challenge Cup defeat at Wyberton last Saturday
Midfield maestro: Town star Richard Jackson who was badly missed in the 5-0 Challenge Cup defeat at Wyberton last Saturday

Horncastle Town paid the price for a second half horror show as they crashed to a heavy defeat at Wyberton in the County Challenge Cup.

Despite the absence of several key players, Town were only trailing 1-0 midway through the second half.

With Wyberton down to 10-men after their captai had been sent off, Town’s hopes were still alive.

However, it all went wrong as boss Paul Johnson switched to a 3-5-2 formation in the closing stages.

Wyberton made it 2-0 after a defensive mix-up and then scored three more goals as Town fell part in the final quarter.

Johnson was the first to hold his hands up after admitting he’d got it wrong changing systems.

However, the Town manager also hit out at his players for what was described as a “really poor” second half showing.

Town started without Mickey Stones, Richard Jackson, Scott Lowman and Nathan Rawdon - the backbone of the side that has impressed so often in recent weeks.

On a heavy pitch, both sides found it difficult to get the ball down. Town went behind when ‘keeper Lewis Burchnall could not hold a low shot and a Wyberton striker scrambled the ball in.

With Ollie Johnson impressing in midfield and Tony Edwards causing problems down the right, Town could have drawn level.

Tom Sargeant - making his first start for the club - saw one effort saved and another flash over the bar.

At the other end, Town skipper Chris Johnson was relieved to see a back header cannon off the bar.

Ollie Johnson, Steve Lovett and Carl Smith all went close before the break.

Within five minutes of the re-start, Wyberton were down to 10-men and Town looked to cash in, but Michael Harness and Smith were both denied.

From then on, Town struggled and management will be hoping the late capitulation is a one off.

Town: Burchnall; Low, Shinn, Brown, C Johnson, O Johnson, Edwards, Lovett, Harness, Smith, Sargeant.