FOOTBALL: A disappointing end to Louth Town Reserves year

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Louth Town’s second string failed to end the year on a high note losing 4-1 at Wyberton last weekend.

Not for the first time this season Louth Town’s reserve team only had 11 players available and struggled. Town battled tirelessly for 90 minutes, but with limited options it was always going to be difficult.

Wyberton began brightly and took an early lead through Kurt Yeatman who latched onto a through ball by Daniel Woods and slotted into the bottom left corner. Town responded well to the early setback and equalised sooner rather than later.

Rocky Rawlings picked out Chris Ella with a pinpoint long pass and he laid the ball off for Lance Johnson to fire in from 20-yards. Wyberton nearly restored their lead within minutes when Woods crossed the ball in and Ben Jacques connected with a diving header that hit the left post.

On 26 minutes Wyberton went ahead under fortuitous circumstances. Elliot Pogson’s attempted cross eluded every player in the box and somehow found its way into the back of the net.

Wyberton kept up the pressure and Dan Maddison rattled the crossbar with a free kick before Yeatman flicked a corner by Woods across goal to Pogson and he missed from close range.

Soon afterwards Woods volleyed in a ball over the top by Maddison only to see his goal disallowed for offside. Moments later Yeatman let fly from outside the box and his effort flew inches wide of the left post.

Towards the end of the half Wyberton were presented with a golden opportunity from the penalty spot after Ella brought down Yeatman in the area. However, stand in goalkeeper Liam Stainton came to Town’s rescue with an excellent penalty save.

On the stroke of half time Woods beat the offside trap to run onto Chris Shipley’s through ball and blasted wide. That was before an even better chance went begging in the first minute of the second half.

Wyberton attacked straight from the restart and Maddison played in Yeatman, whose shot was well saved by Stainton. The rebound fell kindly to Jacques who inexplicably missed with the goal at his mercy.

In the 53rd minute Wyberton doubled their advantage with another fortunate goal. A free kick by Woods took a heavy deflection off Town’s wall and crept just inside the left post.

Wyberton kept going in search of a fourth goal and nearly got it when Ben Jacques raced clear and narrowly missed the target. John McCullough also saw a powerful volley fly just over after Town failed to clear their lines.

At the other end Bradley Coulam and Johnson both came close from distance. As Town went through a good spell a team move involving Rocky Rawlings, Matthew Buck and Nathan Walton ended with Paul Coulam blasting wide from the edge of the box.

Late on Wyberton were denied by the woodwork yet again when Yeatman clipped the outside of the left post from long range. Then in the 88th minute Wyberton finished off Town with their fourth goal of the afternoon.

Substitute Ryan Williams found Jacques in a crowded penalty area and he slid in to score.

Louth’s Ben Humphrey said: “Only 11 players were available today and none of them were goalkeepers.

“One of them had to be our goalkeeper and Liam Stainton kindly volunteered. He did fine for somebody who has never played there before and made a great penalty save. The other lads played well too and I thought Lance Johnson was man of the match.

“Hopefully some new players will join the squad after Christmas and we’ll get more commitment. We have a few weeks until our next game and can get lots of training in before then.”

Town are next in action on Saturday, January 10, against Market Rasen Town in the Lincs League (2pm).

Town (4-4-2): Stainton; Buck, J.Marshall, Whiley, B.Coulam; Rawlings, Ella, P.Coulam (c), D.Marshall; Johnson, Walton.