Market Rasen Town 2-1 Louth United Res.
Nine out of a possible nine Lincolnshire Football League points would have been top of Market Rasen Town’s Christmas list this year and another dogged display against Louth Town on Saturday brought those points home to Rase Park.
Victories over Horncastle Town and Grimsby Borough prior to Saturday meant Rasen went into the New Year with much optimism.
Two Scott Lowman goals, the second the sweetest of strikes from 25–yards, saw Rasen overcome a strong Louth second string to avenge an early season reverse at Louth’s Park Avenue.
Manager Ian Williams again tinkered with the line–up that dominated the previous fixture against Grimsby Borough, welcoming back the experienced Dom Revill to the back line to join Drew Norburn in the centre of defence.
This meant that Ed Bruntlett was able to revert to his familiar right back slot and Matt Rutherford to the left back role.
Rasen also welcomed back Adam Brumpton, but he had to settle for a place on the bench alongside Drew Marshall and Aaron Mettam.
After a scrappy opening, skipper Joe Osbourne brought a fine save from the visiting keeper. Good work from James Bennett meant that Osbourne found space in the Louth area and his fist time volley required the keeper to fend the ball away from nestling in the top corner.
Bennett continued to cause trouble among the Louth defence and a Matt Rutherford free kick on 25 minutes found Bennett rising again above his marker at the far post, his goal–bound header was only stopped from giving Rasen a deserved lead by a defender’s hand,
Rasen were awarded a penalty and the culprit entered the referee’s notebook after protests from the visitors. Scott Lowman smashed home the resulting spot kick.
This should have pushed Rasen onto the front foot, however on countless occasions possession was surrendered far too easily and their play was frustrating at times, especially as the midfield and defence dealt excellently with any Louth attacks.
Guy Smith again revelled in the holding midfield role and Rasen ‘keeper Dale Christie dominated his area, punching and gathering the ball when needed.
Early in the second half an exquisite Ed Bruntlett ball into the channel found an onrushing James Bennett. Just as Bennett looked to be bearing down on goal he was bundled to the floor by his marker for what looked like a sure fire penalty. The officials saw otherwise to the dismay of the home supporters.
Rasen continued to surrender the ball too easily in the final third of the field, however they got their reward for their defensive efforts when Kyle Paul squared to Scott Lowman from the left side,
Lowman opened himself up from 25–yards to unleash a superb first time strike into the net, just desserts for a typical display from the swashbuckling midfield man.
Aaron Mettam, Adam Brumpton and Drew Marshall were all introduced in a bid to provide some fluency to the Rasen attacks, and shortly after, Bennett was again shoved to the floor in a carbon copy of the earlier coming together with his opponent.
This time the referee agreed with the pleas for action from the sidelines, giving Rasen a free kick just outside the area and dismissing the offender to the dressing rooms.
The melee surrounding the sending off saw the referee send another Louth player off for what looked like dissent leaving Louth to play the final five minutes with nine men.
The nine men, rather than wilt, actually forced the Rasen backline to be hesitant in the final throws of the game.
Rasen failed to clear their lines when allowing the ball to bounce unchallenged in the Rasen area. Louth’s Calvin Taylor was left to execute the most perfect of overhead kicks giving Dale Christie no chance from eight–yards out.
The final whistle followed soon after for another deserved three points for Rasen.
Rasen’s two goal hero Scott Lowman was pleased with the win. He said: “I thought we battled hard and were unlucky not to score more goals.
“The back four were excellent and Benno (James Bennett) had his best game for us up front.
“We have done well in the last three games and Heckington will be another chance for us next weekend.”
The win saw Rasen move further up the league table and with games in hand over most of the side’s mid–table, things are looking positive for the rest of the season
Rasen are at home again next Saturday when an improving Heckington United come to Rase Park for a 2pm kick off.