FOOTBALL: Title-chasing Horncastle Town make it eight on trot

Richard Jackson - another inspirational performance
Richard Jackson - another inspirational performance

Horncastle Town made it eight wins in a row as they stepped up their bid for the Sills and Betteridge title with a 3-1 win at Cleethorpes AKP.

Michael Harness, Mickey Stones and Tony Edwards were all on target as Town stayed in second place in the table.

They are two points behind leaders Wyberton but have five games in hand - and are level on points with third placed club Skegness Town.

And, there were plenty of signs at Cleethorpes to suggest Town can last the pace in what promises to be a thrilling title battle.

Despite a heavy pitch, Town played some decent football at times and their attacking quartet was a constant threat.

Town made just one change from the previous week with Steve Lovett coming into the side at right back with Nathan Rawdon dropping to the bench alongside Ollie Johnson, who at the moment cannot reclaim a place in the starting line-up.

Town started brightly with Gareth Melia and Edwards seeing a lot of the ball in wide areas.

They both provided a good outlet as Town pushed forward.

A fine cross from the impressive Andrew Shinn was flicked on by Stones to Harness who finished confidently at the far post - only to be denied by an offside flag.

However, Town’s top scorer was not to be denied and moments later he capitalised on defensive hesitancy to lift the ball beyond the advancing goalkeeper for his fourth goal in successive games.

At this stage Town were in total control and Edwards almost added a second, but he was just unable to lift the ball over the ‘keeper.

With Stones leading the line well and bringing other players into the game, it seemed only a matter of time before Town added a second.

Instead, it was the home side who drew level midway through the half after Chris Johnson had struggled to clear the ball.

Town’s response was positive and they quickly regained the lead with a fine goal.

Melia worked hard to win the ball back in midfield and when the influential Richard Jackson played a fine ball forward, Stones was able to turn his marker before firing into the far corner.

Jackson then curled a low shot just wide and Lowman fired just over after good approach play from Steve Lovett as Town looked for more goals.

Town’s defence was looking solid with Steve Brown again in fine form and with ‘keeper Lewis Burchnall sweeping intelligently behind his back line, ‘The Wongers’ were rarely troubled for the remainder of the half.

After the break, Town regained the initiative and Stones went close after more good work from Melia.

However, Town were 
not to be denied for long and with less than 10 minutes played, they added a third goal.

Melia and Stones combined well to find Edwards who played a neat one-two with Jackson before driving the ball into the far corner.

The home side worked hard to get back into the game and Town had to be resilient at the back, but they defended well with Brown and Chris Johnson looking very solid at the heart of the defence.

Ollie Johnson replaced the hard working Edwards as Town looked to consolidate their lead and he defended well in front of the back four to help restrict the hosts to very few openings.

‘Keeper Burchnall was rarely called upon but his handling was assured.

Rawdon replaced Michael Harness for the final minutes as Town saw out the game 
to secure another three points.