FOOTBALL: Two-goal Horncastle Town turn up heat in title battle

Micky Stones gets in ahead of his Nettleham marker during Saturday's clash at The Wong
Micky Stones gets in ahead of his Nettleham marker during Saturday's clash at The Wong

Horncastle Town turned up he heat in the battle for the Sills and Betteridge Lincolnshire League title with a 2-0 win against Nettleham.

Goals from Richard Jackson and Mike Harness made it five wins on the bounce for Paul Johnson’s side and moved them to within three points of leaders Skegness Town.

Although Town were pleased with the win against an improved Nettleham side, they were far from their best and know they will have to improve.

Jackson’s free-kick gave them an undeserved lead at half-time, but they impressed after the break and top scorer Harness secured all three points with a close range header.

Gareth Melia was preferred to Tom Sargeant in the starting 11 and the returning Ollie Johnson also had to settle for a place on the bench alongside Danny Bent, who was making a welcome return after a long injury lay off.

Town settled well and enjoyed the majority of possession, but their final ball was lacking and too often passes went astray.

Tony Edwards was a threat down the right and he combined well with Nathan Rawdon, but the delivery into the box was poor and striker Mickey Stones was starved of service.

At the other end, Town were indebted to ‘keeper Lewis Burchnall, who made two fine saves to deny the visitors an opening goal.

Jackson’s free kick was right out of the top drawer as he curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner.

Town certainly stepped up the pace in the second half and could have sewn the victory up long before Ollie Johnson flicked on Jackson’s cross for Harness to head home.

There were plenty of positives for Town. Steve Brown and Chris Johnson were solid at the back while Nathan Rawdon worked hard before picking up an injury.

Town: Burchnall, Rawdon, Shinn, Brown, C Johnson, Lowman (O Johnson), Edwards, Jackson, Stones (Bent), Harness, Melia (Sargeant).