Newtoft Terriers 2-2 Horncastle Town Development XI
Manager Mark Simmons had no complaints about the final outcome after his depleted Town squad were held to a draw at Lincoln and District League rivals Newtoft Terriers on Sunday.
Despite the absence of a host of key players, Town travelled to Newtoft confident of maintaining their winning form in Division Five of the competition.
The made a fine start with plenty of possession and Ben Fidling - playing in a central midfield role, linked nicely with Callum Low.
Ashley Bullivant, starting his first game for weeks, settled in well and created some decent chances for strikers Luke Blondel and Tom Sewell.
Eventually, Town’s pressure paid off and a fine ball from Callum Hotchin found Bullivant, who fired in a great cross which Blondel rifled into the back of the net.
Town pressed on looking for another goal while Newtoft’s only threat was from corners and other set pieces.
The second half did not begin well for Town and the level of their performance was below par.
That led to opportunities for Newtoft who levelled with a strong finish from a corner that gave Town ‘keeper Liam Smith no chance.
The goal should have served as a wake-up call to Town but it was Newtoft who grew in confidence and it was no surprise when they took the lead with another excellent strike.
Town dug in and finally found their form again. Centre half Dave Maplethorpe found right winger Gerorge Swift who beat his man and linked with Fidling and Bullivant’s blistering half volley from the edge of the box did the rest.
The last 20 minutes resulted in openings for both sides.
Newtoft’s direct style led to a couple of half chances. Town continued to try and get their passing game going and eventually a fine slide rule pass into Swift led to him being one on one with the ‘keeper, but he shot just wide of the post.
Simmons said, “We had a lot of changes in personnel which didn’t help, but we weren’t good enough.
“The desire and work rate was missing - a bad day at the office. It happens in football.”