Horncastle Town 1 Brigg Town 1
Horncastle Town began their season with a 1-1 draw at home to Brigg Town, with manager Mickey Stones left to rue a slow start, writes Ashley Bell.
Debuts were handed to Isaac Ward and Jac Wright, but Town found themselves 1-0 down after just five minutes when a long ball forward was not dealt with and keeper Lewis Burchnall was forced into a low save.
But the resultant play allowed Brigg to tap in the ball for an early lead.
In blustery conditions Brigg continued to have the better chances as Town struggled to get a foothold of the game and Brigg hit the post as they looked to try and double their advantage.
Town did start to get themselves into the match and started to play from the back, Wright had a shot blocked and Jack Wood did well to win a free kick just outside the box with Jasper Caudwell hitting the effort over the top.
Then, with a couple of minutes to go until half time, Town did get their equaliser.
They were awarded a corner after Richard Jackson had a shot blocked.
Caudwell whipped in a good cross and with some well-worked movement from the corner it allowed Chris Johnson to crash the ball home high into the net from 12 yards and the scores were level at the break.
Into the second half and more good work from Wood down the right won another free kick for Town.
But again the resultant ball in came to nothing.
Brigg had a couple of efforts to retake the lead but a good save from Burchnall for the first and then one that went across goal with no-one there to finish meant it remained level.
Town then brought Oliver Dean and Glynn Powell off the bench for their debuts as they looked to try to get play to swing back into their favour.
But Brigg had a couple of further chances before Town made their third change, bringing on Max Gowshall.
Luke Blondel, Dean and Powell linked up well and Scott Lowman had a good effort at goal before a scramble ensued, but Brigg were able to clear.
With 10 minutes remaining the game hung in the balance and both teams had gilt-edged chances to take the three points.
At one end Burchnall made a comfortable save and at the other Johnson shot agonisingly wide.
Stones admitted he was ‘disappointed that we didn’t play anywhere near our best’ and ‘switched off at the start’.
Town are away to Gainsborough Trinity Reserves on Friday night (KO 7.45pm).
TOWN: Burchnall, Wood (Dean 65), Ward, Brown, Johnson, Lowman, Boulaid (Powell 65), Jackson, Wright (Gowshall 73), Blondel, Caudwell; Subs (not used): Lovett, Rawdon.