Spot on! Yet more shootout success sees Horncastle Town book place in Challenge Cup semis

Scott Lowman.
Scott Lowman.

Horncastle Town proved their penalty pedigree once again as they booked their place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

Seven days after progressing to the final four of the Mason Bros Lincs Junior Cup, the Wongers earned another cup success at the expense of Nettleham.

Following the 1-1 draw it was the hosts who yet again kept their cool from 12 yards, winning through 4-3 - the fourth straight shootout success for manager Mickey Stones.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Lewis (Burchnall, keeper),” said Stones, attempting to put his finger on his side’s clinical nature from the spot.

“That’s a big thing. He’s got a good record on penalties and he’s a big, imposing figure.

“He didn’t have a save to make this time, they put one wide and the other over, but he played a big part in that.”

But while Burchnall may strike fear into opposing players, Town’s outfieders once again kept their cool.

Richard Jackson, Jasper Cauldwell and Scott Lowman all converted before youngster Isaac Ward had the final say with the winning goal.

It was veteran Nathan Rawdon who failed to find the target, the first spot kick missed by the side in their past four shootouts.

“We’re always confident at penalties because we’ve got so many players capable of taking them,” Stones added.

“We finished the game with nine or 10 players wanting to take them. It’s a good thing to have.

“The lads were celebrating at the end but I tried to remain respectful and shake hands. That’s four shootouts and I haven’t enjoyed one yet.”

Town were keen on avenging their recent 5-3 Lincs League defeat at Mulsanne Park, where Jack Higginson netted all five for the Nettles, who came back from 3-0 down.

And it was Higginson who opened the scoring this time around.

“It was a brilliant goal to be fair,” Stones added.

“It was their only shot on target, but he ran at two centre halves and buried his shot from outside the box.”

However, the second half began with the Wongers pulling level, a quickly-taken corner found Stephen Brown, who headed home from close range.

“We were on top in the second half and the stronger side in extra time,” Stones added.

“But we didn’t want to chase it or change anything to let them in. We were confident that if it went to penalties we’d do well.

“We seem to be doing well in the cups again.”

Horncastle will host Lincoln United Development Side in the semis.