Skegness United went into this game without influential players Chris Snaith, Kurt Crossley, Kyle McGuigan and James Steed and despite matching their hosts for long periods their absence proved too costly as they returned from The Wong without any points.
The game started at a very high pace with a physical nature.
Horncastle Town were playing a very direct style of play getting the ball forward to Michael Stones and Tom Sergeant as early as possible but Tittcomb and Chamberlain, who was deployed as a makeshift centre back due to McGuigan’s absence, dealt with that danger well in the early stages. On 25 minutes the home side were gifted the lead when a needless tackle in the penalty area by Reeson sent Edwards sprawling to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Jackson to slam the ball home for a 1-0 lead.
Rayner-Mistry was causing the Horncastle back-line all sorts of problems with his tireless running not allowing them to have any time on the ball. On one such occasion he picked the pocket of Shinn but shot narrowly wide.
The game became a midfield battle with both teams cancelling each other out with neither fashioning any real clear cut chances.
The half ended with a flurry as first Edwards for the home side then Courtney for United missed chances as the home side went in with a one goal advantage which they just about deserved.
With plenty still to play for United made a sloppy start to the second half and the hosts took full advantage hitting them on the counter attack to increase their lead through Michael Harness.
Both teams huffed and puffed for the rest of the game but very few notable chances were created as the United ran out of ideas while their hosts saw out the game to take all three points.
Manager Mark Hallam said: “After our recent good form it was a huge blow to lose so many key players prior to kick off and despite the boys showing a great desire to get so etching from this game we just didn’t have enough against a strong Horncastle side.”
Team: Martin, Muirhead, Durdey, Tittcomb, Chamberlain, Sleight (Forman), Reeson, Scutt (Cunliffe), Clarke(O’Loughlin) Rayner-Mistry, Courtney.