FOOTBALL: Hykeham stun Horncastle with comeback

Hykeham Tigers 4–3 Horncastle Town Under 10’s

Horncastle Town Under 10’s, sponsored by Agrii, R. Cotton and Sons and Bullring Barbers, travelled to Lincoln side Hykeham Tigers Cees looking to take the first points of the season from them.

They came so close and only a spirited comeback and some questionable decisions from the home official meant Town left undeservedly empty handed.

Both teams started the match well, looking to attack and play neat football. Gabriel Rattigan for the hosts was causing Town many problems with his pace and strength from midfield and his creativity allowed the Hykeham strikers to test William Chamberlain, but, once again, he proved up to the task.

It was Town that took the lead when Ethan Burton-Melling followed in a fierce drive from Liam Cotton, which the keeper couldn’t hold, to slot home into the bottom corner.

Chamberlain was again called upon to save, turning away a good strike destined for the corner of the goal.

Town doubled their lead when Lunn fed Cotton for him to unleash another powerful effort into the bottom corner. Town went in at half time two goals to the good and were particularly pleased with the clean sheet given Hykehams attacking threat.

The second half began in the same vein as the first with both teams looking to attack and Isaac Bell and Lewis Baxter in Town’s defence and a deeper lying Jack Lunn in midfield doing their best to stifle Hykeham’s play.

Town took a three goal lead when Cotton again picked up the ball 25-yards from goal, looked up, took a touch and smashed the ball past the home goalkeeper from 20-yards.

It was then that decisions started to take a strange turn against the visitors. Hykeham pulled a goal back from a stunning free kick into the top corner which half time replacement Dylan Lovely in Town’s goal could do nothing about.

As Hykeham pushed forward Town were able to play on the break with Oli Rennie, Jack Lunn and Liam Cotton combining well and looking for a fourth.

However, Hykeham reduced the arrears when, following a corner, the ball was poked towards goal and squirmed through the legs of Lovely.

Then a moment of real controversy, a penalty for handball was given to the home side when the ball was struck against Bells hand from three-yards away. No movement was made toward the ball and there was no intent to handle.

The player, after waiting for everyone to settle, stepped up to take the penalty and sent his shot wide of the post, only for the referee to pull the kick back to be retaken as he had not sounded his whistle. The retake was duly despatched into the net.

Town had a chance to retake the lead when a brilliant solo run from Liam Cotton ended with Hykeham’s ‘keeper making a superb save with his legs.

It was Hykeham that snatched all three points with four minutes to play when a player was allowed to run through and slot home.

It was heartbreak for Town who had run the top of the league team all the way to the end and certainly deserved to take something from the match, as was the words of the opposition manager who had plenty of praise for the Town players, which they appreciated.

Finally, everyone at Horncastle Town would like to wish Alfie Melton a speedy recovery from a fractured thumb and hope he is back among the lads sooner rather than later.