Louth Town 1-0 Hallam FC
LOUTH Town showed great heart to return to winning ways on Bank Holiday Monday with a narrow 1-0 victory over Hallam FC at Park Avenue.
Just 48 hours after their 4-1 collapse at AFC Emley, the White Wolves were able to find their form again and returned to ninth in the NCEL Division One thanks to Jamie Coulson’s strike midway through the second half.
Town were in good spirits prior to the game and began well in drizzly conditions with top scorer Steve Norton having two early shots well saved by the visitors’ goalkeeper.
The side from Sheffield began to make an impact as the first half wore on, but good challenges by youngsters Craig Dalton and Paul Coulam took the pressure off.
Matt Kennedy then had a shy at goal for the hosts after linking with Jamie Coulson, with Kennedy’s shot flashing across the face of the goal.
Shortly after some quick thinking by Andy Appleby at the throw in found James Archer, the defender clipped in towards Norton who headed just wide of the near post.
Mid-table Hallam then got themselves on the front foot and forced a corner which Craig Getliff headed just over before, at the other end, Paul Coulam missed the target.
Town continued to attack in search of that elusive opener and had another chance when Norton turned and saw his shot blocked by a flying visitors defender before Hallam’s O’Kane played in Johnson who shot wide.
Town continued their search for a goal as the second half kicked off and Coulson and Norton both had half-chances before the latter shot wide after an error from a Hallam defender.
The visitors looked dangerous on the break and earned a free kick after a slick passing move which saw both Norton and Hallam’s Getliff find themselves booked for an off-the-ball incident. The resulting free kick was hit straight into Town’s wall.
Louth boss Paul Walden took off the hard working Paul Coulam for the fresh legs of Danny Warvill in a bid to get things going again but saw a rare lapse by Mark Wood almost let in Wiltshire who shot wide.
Then on 64 minutes Town broke the deadlock thanks to Coulson’s eighth strike of the season. A great interception from Dan Pawson found Norton, the striker cleverly playing in Coulson who made no mistake to give the home side the lead.
The Countrymen searched for the equaliser but failed to test Town’s stand-in goalkeeper Scott Drury with skipper Carl Martin marshalling his troops well at the back.
Walden then sent on Elliot Broughton for the tiring Coulson and the substitute linked well with Warvill on a number of occasions.
Hallam boss Julian Watts threw on two substitutes as he looked to get his side back level but it wasn’t to be as Town held out for a battling eighth home win of the season.
Thanks go to match sponsors Lincs Motorhomes Ltd of South Reston and John Darke Ltd of Louth who sponsored the match ball.
Walden’s men now sit ninth in the NCEL Division One table with two games left to play, both at home, against Worksop Parramore (April 4) and Rossington Main on the final day of the season (April 28 – both games 3pm).
Town can still emulate last season’s sixth placed finish but are reliant upon the teams above them failing to capitalise on games in hand.