Heckington United 1 Horncastle Town 2
Horncastle Town will be hoping the arrival of 2014 marks a change in fortune after they launched the year with a win at Heckington United.
Goals from Michael Harness and Ollie Johnson earned Town three welcome points that lifted them out of the bottom four of the Sills and Betteridge League’s Premier Division table.
However, ‘keeper William Wood also emerged as a key figure after pulling off a vital save in the dying minutes to preserve Town’s one goal advantage.
Dave Marshall was the only absentee from last week’s defeat to Hykeham, but with Scott Lowman and Andrew Shinn returning, manager Paul Johnson had a strong squad to choose from.
On a very soggy pitch, Town dominated the early exchanges and were rewarded on 20 minutes when Harness managed to poke the ball past the advancing keeper to make it 1-0. It was his first goal since scoring against Heckington at The Wong in November.
After a quiet 10-minutes, Heckington got themselves back into the game. Their left winger did well out wide to create room to curl the ball past Wood and into the top corner.
The goal unsettled Town but they defended well until the interval as Heckington attacked strongly.
Town started the second half much better and the midfield duo of Carl Smith and Ollie Johnson were seeing plenty of the ball.
What proved to be the winning goal arrived after 65 minutes when Danny Bent rolled the ball to Ollie Johnson who neatly found the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Town continued to push but were nearly caught out on the counter attack. A long ball over the top sent the striker through one on one with Wood but the Town stopper did brilliantly to divert the ball wide.
The last chance of the game fell to Town but Harness prodded his effort just wide of the post when well positioned.
Two wins in three games marks an obvious improvement and Town will be looking to record back to back victories next Saturday when they host title hopefuls Lincoln United Reserves at the Wong (ko: 3pm).
Team: Wood, Lovett, C.Johnson, Lowman (Bent), Shinn (Rawdon), O.Johnson, Brown, Smith, Melia, Harness, Edwards.