Horncastle Town Reserves 5-1 Ruston Sports Reserves
What a difference a week makes. That was the story behind an emphatic win for Horncastle Town Reserves against Lincoln League rivals Ruston Sports at the Wong on Saturday.
Seven days earlier, Town had crashed to a surprise defeat at Retford, but manager Andrew Fenn got exactly the response he was looking for against fifth placed Ruston.
Fenn did shake things up with Jamie Lewis coming in at left back and Ben Fidling and Josh Cheetham filling the left and right wings respectively.
In a first half dominated by possession and chances, Town really should have put the game to bed by the break.
Cheetham and Fidling provided a threat every time they got the ball but Town could not turn a lively opening into goals.
Scott Maplethorpe came closest to scoring early on but his header from a corner hit the upright.
However, it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. Midway through the first half, Ryan Beaumont confidently found the back of the net after a Fidling flick on.
Soon after, Beaumont could have doubled his tally, but missed a one-on-one after a ‘keeper error.
From the resulting corner, Town did make it 2-0 with a well-taken goal from Jamie Lamming.
Ruston pulled one back at the start of the second half when Town paid the price for failing to clear their lines.
Town returned to the attack and Fidling was unlucky not to score when he rounded three players on a dazzling run, only to see his shot agonisingly hit the post when the ‘keeper was beaten.
Town did make it 3-1 soon after with a route one goal. A long goal kick from Jason Stamford was well read by Fidling and after the ball had bounced over the defence, he calmly lobbed the ‘keeper.
With 20 minutes to go, Town replaced Jamie Lewis with Daniel Garnett and Lee Wilson came on for Ryan Beaumont.
Town made it four on 72 minutes with the goal of the game. The build up started from the back as Garnett linked with Blondel who released Fidling. He hit a pin point cross to Andrew Bullivant who crashed a sweet volley into the bottom right hand corner.
William Wood replaced the injured Josh Cheetham on 81 minutes and Town duly completed the scoring in injury time.
Wood found himself some space and unselfishly picked out Bullivant who tapped in from close range to round off an excellent win for Town against opposition who were only one place behind in the league.
Town are in action on Friday night at The Wong against league leaders RM Imp in the quarter finals of the David Cooper Cup (ko: 7.30pm)
Team: J.Stamford, D.Bodily ,S.Maplethorpe, D.Marshall, J.Lewis D.Garnett), J.Cheetham (W.Wood), J.Lamming, A.Bullivant, B.Fidling, R.Beaumont (L.Wilson), L.Blondel.