FOOTBALL: Turning point for troubled Town?

Carl Smith looks to win a high ball for Horncastle against Skegness United

Carl Smith looks to win a high ball for Horncastle against Skegness United

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A well deserved draw on the road against last season’s champions Skegness United could spell the turning point for Horncastle Town FC.

Having not won since October, it was important for Town to get something from this game.

Carl Smith’s penalty cancelled out the seasiders opening goal and Town will look to take this positivity forward into this Saturday’s home match against Sleaford Town Reserves.

Town were without four of their regular squad members. Nathan Rawdon, Andrew Shinn, Steve Lovett and Matty Low were all unavailable. Jamie Lamming, Luke Blondel and Callum Low stepped up from the reserves to fill the subs bench.

Town started the game very well and were seeing the lion share of possession. After 10 minutes they should have taken the lead. Carl Smith went through on the ‘keeper but before he could get a shot away the chasing defender brought him down. The referee waved play on and when play did stop he gave Smith a yellow card for simulation.

After 25 minutes Town should of again taken a deserved lead, but this time Michael Harness failed to find the target with his lob when one on one with the ‘keeper.

With 10 minutes of the half remaining United created their first chance. As the right winger cut in onto his left foot his rasping drive beat Will Wood in the town goal, but cannoned back out off the cross bar.

There was still chance for Town to carve out another opportunity before the break as Harness’s cross found Steve Brown all alone eight yards out but he couldn’t make proper contact with his header and the ball looped over the bar.

The second half started with Town on the back foot and soaking up lots of United pressure. On the hour mark the hosts took the lead when a mix up between Wood and Town’s captain Chris Johnson let in the striker for a simple tap in. Wood then made amends on two separate occasions by making top quality saves to keep the score at 1-0.

With 15 minutes left Town evened up the scores. Tony Edwards was brought down by the home ‘keeper and Smith calmly sent him the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

Two minutes later the home side were reduced to 10 men when Edwards challenged for the ball as it was rolling back to the ‘keeper and as he picked it up he stamped on Edwards leg and received his marching orders.

Town had a great chance to win the game with five minutes to go when Blondel turned inside his defender, but his shot was well saved by the stand-in ‘keeper.

There was still time for the referee to give another harsh decision as Chris Johnson who was booked earlier for abusive language towards an opponent, received his second yellow card for supposedly denying a goal scoring opportunity.

This was to be the last action of the match and Town can be happy with their much improved performance from recent weeks.

Line up: Wood, Marshall, Lowman, C.Johnson, Melia, Smith, O.Johnson (Blondel), Brown, Harness, Bent (Low), Edwards.