FOOTBALL: Horncastle U11s lose to Welton, but not without a fight

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Horncastle Town U11s 0-3 Welton U11s

Horncastle Town Under 11s, sponsored by Bullring Barbers and Agrii, hosted Welton in the reversal of last week’s league fixture and the visitors deservedly took the spoils.

Town struggled to play with their usual fluency and found chances at a premium as the attacking threat was well marshalled.

Horncastle’s defence was under pressure right from the first whistle as Welton drove forward in numbers. Town’s goal led a charmed life as a back pass to Dylan Lovely bobbled horribly as he went to clear the ball. Jack Lunn did excellently to read the danger and hacked the ball off the line.

It took a combination of Loveley and Lunn to keep the scores level as a looping shot looked to be making its way towards the top corner, but a superb save from Town ‘keeper Loveley onto the post saw the ball roll across the line and Lunn was there again to scramble the ball off the line.

Town almost took the lead against the run of play as Isaac Bontoft and Kasey Pearce combined to lay the ball off to Liam Cotton, but his first time strike flew inches over the bar.

Welton immediately went on the attack again and took the lead. Good build up play down the right hand side led to a cross into the Town penalty area which fell to the visitors striker who finished well.

They doubled their lead five minutes later after they forced a series of corners in quick succession. Town struggled to clear the danger and the ball was poked into the net.

A good exchange of passes from Alfie Melton and Liam Cotton ended with Cotton playing a superb through ball to Ethan Burton-Melling, but the Welton defence held firm and stifled the attack. Welton took their two goal lead into half time and the scoreline didn’t flatter them in any way.

Town got the second half underway and looked to get back into the match as they started to press, but again clear chances were few and far between.

Liam Smith replaced the injured Isaac Bontoft and Lewis Baxter replaced Sam Hull. Isaac Bell won a tackle on the edge of the Horncastle area and set Alfie Melton away. He then played Keasey Pearce through but unfortunately for Town the goalkeeper won the race and gathered that ball in.

Welton extended their lead as they flowed through the middle of the pitch and an outnumbered Town defence could only watch as the ball was eventually struck in at the far post.

The hosts had their best spell of the game and almost reduced the deficit when Liam Smith played the ball through to Liam Cotton, who challenged the ‘keeper and the ball fell to Kasey Pearce, but his left foot shot struck the foot of the post. Liam Smith then forced the Welton ‘keeper into action as he met William Chamberlains cross on the half volley but saw it well saved.

Town again troubled the woodwork as they were awarded a free kick five-yards outside the penalty area. Liam Cotton stepped up and hit a stinging drive that struck the crossbar with the ‘keeper beaten. Cotton then turned provider as he played Chamberlain in on goal, but his shot flew wide of the near post.

The rest of the match was played out without either goal being threatened. It is to Horncastle’s credit that they didn’t stop trying to play football in the way that the club desires by playing out from the back and through midfield as much as possible. This style will serve them well as players learn to develop the right techniques to keep hold of the ball.