FOOTBALL: Horncastle Town triumph in Lincoln Sunday League cup final

Horncastle Town Development Team at Lincoln City's Sincil Bank.
Horncastle Town Development Team at Lincoln City's Sincil Bank.

Lincoln Sunday League

Jock Mitchell Memorial Trophy Final

Bardney FC 0

Horncastle Town Development Team 2

The top two teams in Division Three competed for the Jock Mitchell Memorial Trophy last Sunday.

With both teams in excellent form recently a good game of football was anticipated as the teams walked out in bright spring sunshine on an impeccable looking Sincil Bank pitch.

The early exchanges were quiet with both teams cancelling each other out but the game came to life in the 13th minute when Luke Blundell rose well in the box to a peach of a cross, beating Bardney keeper Ritchie Heywood to open the scoring for Horncastle.

In the 19th minute, Bardney appeared in trouble again when Heywood dropped the ball, allowing Andrew Bullivant an opportunity that he could not take as his effort missed the target following another quality ball played in from the Horncastle right flank.

Bardney thought that they were back on level terms after 21 minutes when their leading goal scorer Greg Brown hit the back of the net with a quality finish from a tight angle, but the assistant referee had spotted an offside in the move and the goal was disallowed.

After 26 minutes, Horncastle captain Bullivant went through one-on-one with Heywood but blasted his shot well over the bar when it looked easier to score after the ball took a horrible bobble, possibly the only blemish in the pitch.

Horncastle’s Callum Low headed over on the half hour mark when he met another quality ball played in from a free kick, this time the ball coming in from the right back.

Bardney were managing to threaten the Horncastle goal and the final action of note in the first half saw Brown lob the ball over Horncastle keeper Liam Smith following a free kick played in from the half way line, but the ball had slightly too much on it and cleared the goal

The second half was a relatively even affair with both teams playing some good one-touch football. Brown had a chance with a crisp shot from the left that went narrowly wide of the Horncastle keeper’s left hand post, whilst George Swift went close for Horncastle when he attempted to chip the ball over the keeper.

Horncastle extended their lead in the 84th minute from a corner that was played in deep to the far post which found substitute Ashley Bullivant unmarked at the back post, and he planted a firm header past Heywood to give his side a two-goal cushion.

Brown thought that he had reduced the arrears in the 89th minute when he found the back of the net a second time, but again Bardney were denied by an offside flag and the final whistle shortly after.

The trophy and mementoes were presented by Ian Mitchell, John Mitchell and Mrs Judith Deeley.

Horncastle Town Development Team manager Mark Simmons said his side had performend very well and enjoyed a great season. He said: “To come to Sincil Bank and win the cup final is a fantastic experience for all involved.

“This is a very good squad of players that will go on to represent Horncastle’s two other senior sides.

“I would like to thank Alan Wilkinson [assistant manager] for all his help and support over the last couple of years, and the chairman [Colin Low] and the club for its continued help with providing the great facilities that we now have.”

The Horncastle Town Development Team squad comprised Liam Smith (GK), Joe Wilkinson, Harry Simmons, Will Burton, Callum Hotchin, George Swift, Nadir Boulaid, Daniel Nixon, Andrew Bullivant (c), Callum Low, Ashley Bullivant, Ben Fidling, Luke Blondel, Tom Sewell, Tom Johnson and Eddie Wright (GK).