FOOTBALL: Louth continue winning streak despite lacklustre performance

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Football ENGPNL00120130210130301

Louth Town 3-2 Hallam

Louth Town claimed all three points for the sixth match in a row with a 3-2 win against Hallam at Park Avenue on Saturday.

But the visitors will certainly be disappointed to be returning to Sheffield empty handed after creating a hat-full of chances during the match against a lacklustre Louth side.

Louth struggled in the opening exchanges as Hallam played long balls over the top and striker Ryan Williams should have scored as he latched onto a through ball but put his lobbed attempt over the bar.

Hallam were made to pay for this miss as the home side took the lead after six minutes. Winger Jack Wightwick cut inside from the left, beating a couple of defenders before calmly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Jack Dennison.

Hallam hit back almost immediately as Williams twisted and turned inside the penalty area before shooting tamely at Scott Drury in the Louth goal.

Leading scorer Jamie Coulson then saw his goal bound effort for the home side deflected wide for a corner. From the resulting set piece skipper Carl Martin headed narrowly over the bar.

Hallam came at Louth again and Williams blazed his shot over the bar as he found himself clean through once more. Moments later and the visitors’ Tom Fairweather headed just wide after a good cross by Michael Blythen before Drury dived bravely at the feet of Williams as he tried to get on the end of Danny Flynn’s low cross.

Coulson was denied a goal as his half volley was spectacularly saved by Dennison before Hallam almost equalised on the stroke of half time as Flynn’s curling shot was well saved by Drury.

The visitors began the second half strongly and Fairweather shot high and wide after capitalising on a slip by Louth defender Craig Lill.

Louth survived an almighty scramble inside the penalty area just seconds later, the ball pinging about before Blythen’s effort was kicked off the line by Danny Stevens.

At the other end, Jordan Smith’s long range effort for Louth was comfortably saved by Dennison. Williams shot for Hallam flew right across the face of the goal before Louth were indebted to Stevens again as he cleared another effort off the line, denying Blythen for the second time in less than five minutes.

It seemed only a matter of time before Hallam would equalise and the leveller duly arrived after 59 minutes as Blythen beat the offside trap before rounding Drury to score.

Chances then came and went at both ends with substitute Danny Kilmore firing weakly at Dennison for Louth before Wightwick fired wide with a long range effort after Dennison scuffed his attempted clearance.

Hallam threatened as Simon Mirfin headed straight at Drury from a corner before Williams headed wide from a good position in the centre of the penalty box.

Louth regained the lead in the 71st minute, somewhat against the run of play as Kilmore’s low cross from the right was prodded home by debutant Aaron Scutt.

Moments later it appeared that the points were safe as Luke Rainer Mistry pounced on a slip and poor clearance by Mirfin to fire the ball under Dennison and into the net.

To their credit Hallam never gave up and got themselves back into the match with six minutes remaining as Williams long shot somehow squirmed past Drury to reduce the arrears.

The visitors continued to press and James Reed saw his 20-yard effort go just over the bar. Louth were relieved to hear the referee blow the final whistle as the White Wolves somewhat fortuitously hung on to claim the points, sending Hallam home bemoaning their luck and feeling they deserved at least a share of the spoils.

However, at this stage of the season it’s results that matter and the three points have moved Louth up to sixth place in the table and into one of the automatic qualification places for next season’s FA Cup.