Ruston Sports 1-3 Horncastle Town
Horncastle Town produced a much-improved performance to round off their Lincolnshire League campaign on a high at Ruston Sports on Saturday.
Three recent losses had wrecked Town’s hopes of winning the title but the win showed why the entire squad can reflect on the campaign with plenty of pride.
Leading scorer Michael Harness bagged a superbly taken hat-trick to play a key role in the win but it was a team performance that secured three points which showed why Town can look forward to next season with confidence.
Manager Paul Johnson had a full quota to pick from with Tony Edwards and Scott Lowman returning to the starting line up after both serving three match suspensions.
However, it was Harness who stole the show, taking his goal tally to 25 goals for the season. His first came in the 13th minute when he slotted the ball across the ‘keeper from a tight angle after some slick link up play with his strike partner, Mickey Stones.
The heavens opened with 10 minutes remaining in the first half but Town continued to dominate and could and probably should have extended their lead.
It didn’t take long for Town to extend their advantage in the second half and it was that man Harness again on target.
Edwards and Stones worked hard in the build up and the latter picked out Harness at the back post who headed back into the net.
But the goal of the game - and arguably the goal of the season - came just before the hour.
Lowman launched the attack, pinging the ball out to Edwards on the right wing. He played a one two Stones before laying the ball off to Harness who couldn’t have struck his effort better as it flew past the Ruston’s ‘keeper from outside the edge of the area.
Ruston’s pulled a goal back in the 68th minute but were reduced to 10 men soon after when their centre back was shown a second yellow for a late tackle,
The final 20 minutes saw Town close the game out by slowing down the tempo of play.
The win means Town finish in third place on 48 points. Last season, the team picked up half that amount.
A club spokesman said: “We would like to thank all our loyal supporters who have watched the team throughout the season. Your support is as always very much appreciated.”
Town: Burchnall, Shinn, Lowman, C.Johnson, Lovett, Melia (Brown), O.Johnson (Sargeant), Jackson, Edwards, Harness, Stones (Bent).