FOOTBALL: Horncastle Town Reserves win first home game

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Lincoln & District Saturday League

Horncastle Town Reserves 3

Retford Town 2

Horncastle Town Reserves welcomed Retford to The Wong for the team’s first home game of the 2015/16 campaign and expected a tough encounter with the visitors winning 7-0 the previous week.

Horncastle started the game on the back foot and caused problems for themselves after a number of misplaced passes. Retford’s first attack on seven minutes produced the opening goal of the game. Horncastle did not clear on the left and a Retford player received the ball. It was passed three times in the penalty area before Mitch Batty bundled the ball over the line from close range.

Retford were working hard but Horncastle slowly gained a foothold in the game. Both wingers created space to run into but Retford put up a resolute defence. Horncastle were restricted to long range efforts with Carl Smith having such shots, and Luke Blondel headed at goal to bring a smart save from the Retford keeper.

Horncastle were now seeing the majority of possession and the pressure told 3 minutes before the break. Horncastle won a corner and a Beaumont cross was volleyed in from six yards by the unlikely boot of Callum Low. However, this was nothing short of what Horncastle deserved.

The second half kicked off with Horncastle again in the ascendancy. Blondel shot from outside the box for the keeper to tip the ball over for a corner.

Horncastle were dealt a blow on 57 minutes. Ryan Beaumont, who looked had looked dangerous throughout, took a challenge knee high and had to be carried off the pitch, whilst the Retford player received a yellow card for the infringement. Ben Fidling came on as his replacement.

Moments after, William Wood was called into action to tip over a shot which was going into the top corner.

On 65 minutes, Town took a deserved lead. Nathan Rawdon crossed the ball in from the right only for a Retford defender to handball for a penalty. Blondel stepped up and calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner.

From the kick-off, Retford attacked and from a nothing cross the ball eluded two Horncastle defenders before it hit Lee Wilson on the arm for the second penalty of the match. Dan Law hit the ball down the middle of the goal to make it 2-2.

Horncastle were now going for the win. A Rob Morey snap shot was excellently saved by the Retford number one, and Town should have taken the lead but Blondel blazed over high from close range.

Daniel Bodily replaced Rawdon on 70 minutes and minutes later Town had another golden opportunity. The ball was played into Danny Bent whose shot was well saved and rebounded out to Blondel, for him to hit the upright.

Minutes later, it was Ben Fidling who fired over from close range when it looked easier to score.

The pressure finally told with five minutes remaining. Town forced a corner which Carl Smith took and Low was unmarked to head home his second of the match in what proved to be the winner.

The Reserves’ next league game is away at Saxilby Athletic.

Horncastle: Wood, Rawdon (Bodily), Low, Marshall, Garnett, Beaumont (Fidling), Wilson, Smith, Morey (Lewis), Bent, Blondel.