Double delight for Town over rivals

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Skegness Town completed a league double over local rivals Horncastle Town – battling the elements as well as the opposition – at a windswept Wong.

The seasiders, who already had a victory by the odd goal in three against Horncastle under their belts this season, repeated the success in the return fixture.

They overcame the challenge of local rivalry, amid blustery conditions, to bag the three points.

Denied by home keeper William Wood during the first half, the Lilywhites took the lead early in the second and Josh Bartlett’s penalty put them in control.

Nathan Rawdon dragged the home side back into the game with a 70th minute strike, but the seasiders had enough quality to see them over the line.

Horncastle had Wood to thank for a couple of early saves, firstly to block Liam Papworth’s point blank effort from five yards after the Skegness player was set up by Jake Gibson, and then to pounce on the rebound of a Ben Davison shot which he had spilled into the path of the ever-alert Gibson.

With a slight advantage from the annoying swirling wind, Skegness enjoyed most of the first half possession, but the two sides turned round all square.

The second half was only two minutes old when the deadlock was broken. Gibson picked up the ball 25 yards out and, spotting Wood off his line, lobbed him with pinpoint accuracy, much to the delight of the visitors and their supporters.

Gibson continued to be a thorn in Horncastle’s side and when he wriggled into the box on the hour he was brought down by a diving Wood to present the Lilywhites with their second. Bartlett stepped up to stroke the penalty home to Wood’s left as the keeper dived to his right.

Home heads dropped and Skegness controlled the game for the next 10 minutes, but they were thrown a lifeline when Skegness struggled to clear a corner and Rawdon steered the loose ball home from 10 yards.

The goal threw the result into doubt and opened things up. Liam Parker and Jack Cotton kept fellow representative squad member Tony Edwards quiet for most of the match, but he created a late chance for himself, only to fire into the side-netting.

At the other end the tenacity of Gibson saw him test Wood at his near post and Papworth dragged a shot across the face of the Horncastle goal when well-placed.

Skegness boss Nick Chapman was delighted with the three points. “We asked the lads to dig deep today because it was always going to be tough against our local rivals and in those conditions,” he said. “They answered the call and at 2-0 we controlled the game, but we gave away a soft goal to give Horncastle hope.”

Horncastle Town: William Wood, Nathan Rawdon, Andrew Shinn, Scott Lowman, Chris Johnson, Stephen Lovett, Michael Harness, Stephen Brown, Tony Edwards, Carl Smith, Gareth Melia, Matthew Low, Callum Low.

Skegness Town: Richard Lovelace, Andy Parish, Jamie Epton, Michael Hardy, Jack Cotton, Liam Parker, Liam Papworth, Ben Davison, Jake Gibson, Josh Bartlett, McCauley Parker, Aaron Shelley, Matt Veall, Josh Clarke.

Skegness Town are organising a casino night with an Elvis tribute.

The fundraising event will be held upstairs at the Marine Boathouse, on Saturday March 22. Tickets are £5.