Harness hoping for home, sweet home

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Horncastle Town will be hoping leading scorer Michael Harness can hit the goal trail on Saturday and fire them to a happy homecoming.

Town‘s visit to struggling Premier Division rivals Grimsby Borough Reserves was called off last Saturday because of a mix-up over pitches.

It would have been a fourth successive away match for manager Paul Johnson and his players.

However, they will finally return to action at The Wong on Saturday when they entertain Sleaford Town Reserves.

The two sides met in a league clash at Sleaford just three days before Christmas with Horncastle turning in a much improved performance to earn a 2-2 draw - much to the delight of Johnson.

He said: “The lads worked really hard against a strong Sleaford side and we were pleased with the point.

“Hopefully, we can make the most of home advantage and pick up all three in the return.”

It promises to be another tough test for Johnson’s young side as Sleaford are one of the in form teams in the competition.

They go into the game in sixth place in the table with 30 points from 25 games. Horncastle are five places below them with 24 points from their 20 fixtures.

Johnson, though, will be hoping Saturday’s clash can kick-start his side’s battle to climb the table in the second half of the campaign.

Horncastle should have plenty of options with strikers Will Carter and Danny Bent poised to return after recent lay-offs.

Harness could be the key figure. He scored one of Horncastle’s goals in the draw at Sleaford and went desperately close to a winner, only to be denied by the woodwork in the closing stages.

Johnson must also decide whether to retain teenagers Luke Blundell and Brad Wilson who were the latest prospects to roll off the club’s production line after making their debuts at Hekcington United last time out.

Meanwhile, Town’s reserves continued their recent good form with a 3-0 win at Middle Rasen last Saturday. Burchnall, Lamming and Maplethorpe were all on target.