Horncastle Town 1 Skegness Town 2
Horncastle Town produced a battling performance at The Wong on Saturday but failed to halt title hopefuls Skegness heading back to the coast with all three points.
Town produced some excellent football in the first half and were unlucky to take the lead with the midfield trio of Carl Smith, Steve Lovett and Steve Brown in fine form.
However, they started the second half slowly and found themselves 2-0 down against a slick Skegness side.
Although Town pulled a goal back through Nathan Rawdon, they had left themselves with too much to do and have now gone seven home games without a win.
Town went into the clash without Danny Bent through suspension and Ollie Johnson through injury.
However, Matty Low made a welcome return to the squad, lining up on the bench alongside his brother, Callum, who stepped up from the reserves.
In far from ideal conditions - with a very strong wind blowing from end to end - Town skipper Chris Johnson won the toss decided to face the elements.
Town did have to soak up some early pressure but started to get a foothold in the game.
Smith, Lovett and Brown saw plenty of the ball and winger Michael Harness posed a constant threat down the right.
However, they suffered a setback when Andrew Shinn, who was struggling with his breathing, had a blackout and had to be replaced by Matty Low.
The best chance of the half fell to Smith, minutes after the change was made. Harness played the ball through to striker Tony Edwards who did well to find Smith 12 yards out. He turned a defender but failed to connect properly with his left foot strike.
Town were more than happy with their 45 minutes work but they were off the pace after the break.
As a result, they found themselves two down after 60 minutes. The first goal was a great strike from Skegness front man Jake Gibson who gave Town keeper Will Wood no chance with a 25 yard lob.
Wood was then adjudged to have brought down Gibson in the box and his strike partner, Josh Bartlett, made no mistake from the resulting spot kick.
On 70 minutes, Town gave themselves a fighting chance from a corner when Scott Lowman’s shot was only be parried by the visiting keeper, straight into the path of Rawdon who reduced the deficit from inside the area.
Town pushed for the equaliser with a cross-come-shot from Rawdon which tested the keeper and a shot on the run from Edwards.
However, Skegness held out for a win to leave Town disappointed as a draw would probably have been a fair result.
Town are back on their travels this Saturday as they face a trip to Blossom Way Sports Club to play Grimsby Borough Reserves.
Team: Wood, Rawdon, Lowman, Johnson, Shinn (M Low), Harness, Lovett, Brown, Smith, Melia, Edwards. Unused: C Low.