Squad selection still hampers Horncastle
Horncastle Town 2–1 CGB Humbertherm
By Lloyd Harmston
TOWN manager Paul Johnson must wonder when he will be able to field the same side two weeks in a row.
Yet for this midweek home game against well-placed Humbertherm the Town boss did have a good-sized squad from which to choose his starting ling-up.
In fact it was arguably the strongest-looking line-up of the season so far, which included defender Alec Enderby and a return for Andrew Shinn.
The visitors took an early lead when Enderby was pulled up for an offence inside the box and Daniel Trott converted from the spot. 0-1.
It was somewhat against the run of play with Town having the better of the exchanges. Although they were playing the better football, there was a lack of cutting edge in attack as promising moves failed to make the mark. At the other end there was always a threat from the dangerous Trott. HT 0-1
So Town had it all to do in the second half. They continued to dominate possession and Michael Harness came close on two occasions.
The equaliser came midway through this second period when Chris Johnson made a move from the back and took a square pass from Ollie Johnson. The Town skipper fired home from several paces outside the box to level the issue. 1-1
If there was going to be a winner it always looked like coming from the home side. Sure enough, 10 minutes from the end, Danny Bent controlled a long throw-in by young substitute Jim Watters (on for Dave Marshall) and promptly hit in on the turn. 2-1.
Manager Paul Johnson said after this win: “It made a huge difference having Shinny, Matty (Low) and Alec (Enderby) back in the side.
“However, we are still dogged with injuries with Gaz Melia having to come off after just ten minutes and Matt Low taking a knock in the second half.
“Also, Ollie (Johnson) is struggling with a groin problem so at the moment it does not look too promising for the trip to Gainsborough on Saturday.”
Team (4-4-2) L Burchnall; D Marshall, C Johnson, A Enderby, A Shinn; M Harness, O Johnson, M Low, C Smith; D Bent, G Melia. Subs: W Carter, Steve Brown, Jim Watters, D Boddily.
Lincolnshire League Challenge Cup Round Two
Gainsborough Town 4 – Horncastle Town 0
Town came down to earth with a bump on Saturday against a very strong Gainsborough outfit in this Challenge cup-tie.
After the full squad of a few days earlier against Humbertherm, there were several men missing like Matt Low, Alec Enderby, Gaz Melia, Tommy Chalk and Ben Wadd.
However, the side held its own up to half-time, playing very well in the goalless first half. In fact, the best chance fell to the visitors after just ten minutes when the home keeper took a backpass then inexplicably rolled the ball out to Town’s Danny Bent. With just the keeper to beat Bent somehow screwed his effort past the upright.
Meanwhile, keeper Lewis Burchnall was having little to so as the Horncastle side kept to the pace to turn round on level terms.
However, it all went astray after the break as the side gave away the opening goal and then capitulated.
A Gainsborough forward went through three half-hearted challenges to have his shot saved by Burchnall, but the ball was put back into the box and headed in.
Steve Brown had to retire, still struggling to find full fitness. Shoulders dropped as Gainsborough took charge and Horncastle failed to find an answer. Soon afterwards the deficit was doubled and that really did settle the issue.
The home side went on to add a further two goals although Town certainly did not deserve that final losing margin. Manager Paul Johnson believes that Gainsborough are the best side he has come across so far this season and expects them to be in the top three by the end.
Town have no game this Saturday. The following Wednesday evening, September 26, there is a visit from Gainsborough Town, this time in a league fixture.
Town (4-4-2) L Burchnall; J Watters, C Johnson, D Marshall, A Shinn; M Harness, O Johnson, S Brown, C Smith; D Bent, W Carter. Subs: K Hotchin, J Wilson.
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Weather for Horncastle
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west