Mid Lincs League
Horncastle Town 3
On a roasting hot afternoon, Horncastle travelled to Waddington to meet Lowlands in their opening league fixture.
With an excellent pre-season behind them, Town’s supporters were full of optimism for a positive start to the campaign.
Horncastle started briskly, playing neat and intricate football through the middle, Ellis Roberts and Josh Britchford at the centre of events. Lowlands were clearly intent on making this a physical game with some questionable challenges early on.
Town composed themselves with Ryan Woolard stretching the game, carving a slide rule pass for Conner Pinkett who scuffed his shot just wide.
The Wongers continued to press and when Alfie Baird was pushed to the ground, the referee awarded Town a penalty. Woolard spotted the ball and slotted into the bottom right hand corner, giving the keeper no chance.
The red and whites took control of the game, Kyle Tempest going close twice with long range efforts and Connor Toulson a constant threat down the left hand channel.
Lowlands were restricted to playing on the break, whilst Town skipper for the day Aaron Smith calmly swept up through-balls and set the visitors back on the front foot.
Town continued to press for a second with further goalbound efforts from Pinkett and Wollard, however half time came too early for the visitors to double their advantage.
Lowlands started the second half with a point to prove, and Town keeper Peter Smith was kept busy in the opening exchanges. Sensing their hosts’ new found confidence, the Town’s back line of Will Fawcett, Chloe Pickering, Lewis Howden and Smith were stoic in defence.
With the game opening up, Town once again pushed forward, a Pinkett shot falling to Toulson who stabbed the ball into the goal from close range for 2-0.
Lowlands pushed forward, reducing the deficit with a well taken goal.
With Town looking to increase their lead, Lowlands countered and sprung the offside trap, running in a goal past the stranded Town keeper.
With the game on a knife edge, Town looked for winner. Roberts played a perfectly weighted through-ball for Wollard, and the team’s new star lashed home the eventual winner.
Town played out the remaining time wisely with Josh Baxter shooting just wide from outside the box in the last action of the game.
Head coach Bruce Baxter summed up a gritty Town performance, with special commendation for Josh Brithford, Ellis Roberts and Aaron Smith. It was however Ryan Woollard that was presented with the man of the match award for his brace on his excellent competitive debut.