Shakespeare Athletic 2-2 Horncastle Town Development Squad
Town’s Development Squad completed a highly successful first season in Division Five of the Lincoln and District Sunday League with a battling draw at Shakespeare Athletic.
Superbly taken goals from Ashley Bullivant and George Swift gave Town a 2-0 advantage, but their hosts hit back and their second half equaliser earned them a share of the spoils.
The draw, though, was enough to secure a creditable fourth place in the table for Town after what boss Mark Simmons described as a “fantastic season.”
Before the game, there was a minutes silence held in honour of Mark’s dad, Bob Simmons, who died recently.
Mark said: “It was a fitting tribute. He loved his football, loved Horncastle Town and Charlton Athletic - a true football fan.”
Town went into the clash knowing a point would secure fourth spot.
They started well with good passing football opening up Shakespeare’s defence.
Their efforts paid off when great link up play between Ben Fidling and Andrew Bullivant led to a great ball to winger Ashley Bullivant who rounded the defender and from the edge of the 18-yard box, curled a shot around the ‘keeper.
Town’s defence held strong. Centre halves Callum Low and Eddie Wright were assisted by Callum Hotchin and Joe Wilkinson who dealt with all Shakespeare’s attacks.
Another fine move started by winger Henry Lydiatt saw Luke Blondel lay a perfectly weighted pass to George Swift. He took on the last defender and then chipped the keeper from 25-yards.
There were further chances for Town but as in recent weeks, they couldn’t finish off the opposition.
They duly paid the price 10 minutes from half time when a long ball opened up their defence and a lob over ‘keeper Liam Smith pegged Town back to a 2-1 lead at the break.
The second half began like the first with Town on the front foot, but again they failed to convert several good opportunities.
As the half went on, Shakespeare grew into the game and started to create a few chances themselves.
They brought on their top scorer who had only been on pitch for five minutes when he converted a low cross to make it 2-2.
In the final 20 minutes, both teams could have got the winner but a draw was probably a fair result.
Simmons said: “It has been a fantastic first season. All the lads have worked hard to produce quality football.
“Even having four key players out for most of the season, we still have competed in every game.
“I would like to thank my assistant Alan Wilkinson and coach Liam Smith for their continued help and support.
“I’m sure we’ll challenge for silverware next season.”
Town: Smith, Wilkinson, Hotchin, Wright,Low, Andrew Bullivant, Fidling, Ashley Bullivant, Lydiatt, Blondel, Swift. Sub: Harry Simmons