FOOTBALL: Struggling Horncastle Town lose their way in nightmare second half against Sleaford Reserves

Tony Edwards on the ball for Horncastle Town
Tony Edwards on the ball for Horncastle Town

Horncastle Town 1 Sleaford Town Reserves 4

Struggling Horncastle Town remain firmly anchored in the bottom four of the Sills and Betteridge Premier Division table after a disappointing home defeat against Sleaford on Saturday.

It all went wrong for Town in a nightmare second half and the result left boss Paul Johnson’s side searching for their first win in more than three months.

Although Sleaford led 1-0 at the break, things looked much healthier for Town when Ollie Johnson fired in a 20-yard special to equalise in the second half.

However, it was Sleaford who scored three goals without reply to take the points as Town reflected on what might have been.

Pre-match, Andrew Shinn, Steve Lovett and Nathan Rawdon all returned for Town, but Carl Smith, Steve Brown and Michael Harness were unavailable.

Town saw a lot of the ball in the early stages but it was the visitors who took the lead when their striker found space in the box and beat ‘keeper Will Wood.

After half an hour, Town should have equalised when Scott Lowman rounded the ‘keeper but missed an open goal from 18-yards.

The second half started much like the first with Town having a lot of the ball and on the hour, Johnson equalised.

Just as Town started to push for the lead, a long ball over the top sent the Sleaford striker clear and he chipped the advancing Wood.

Five minutes later, the lead was stretched to 3-1 with an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.

Tony Edwards had the best of Town’s chances in the second period, but as he delayed his shot and a defender nicked the ball away.

With ten minutes to go, Sleaford rounded off the scoring with the best goal of the game. Their winger picked the ball up 25-yards out and his shot flew into the bottom corner, giving Wood no chance.

Town have a swift chance to gain revenge when they visit Sleaford’s Eslaforde Park ground for the return fixture on Saturday, but they will have to produce a much improved performance.