Louth Town took on a Boston United XI made up of players from their reserve team, youth team and trialists.
It was a thoroughly entertaining match with plenty of action and goals galore. Town managed to win even though Lee Orry scored a hat-trick and several key players including Andy Appleby, Callum Hyland, Danny Webb, Mark Sawyer and Nick Manders were unavailable.
Town began on the front foot creating plenty of chances. Matt Kennedy’s shot deflected off Scott Dawson and was headed off the line by Niall Delahoy before Daryl Clare missed the rebound.
Clare released Kennedy on the left and he pulled the ball back to Jamie Raynor who struck the base of the left post. Soon afterwards Danny Marshall played in Raynor and he was denied by an impressive save from Andy Hewitt.
Kennedy is a centre forward by trade, but was playing on the left wing and proved to be highly effective in that position too. He had been going on several dangerous runs and one of those ended with him blasting just over the bar.
After dominating the first half hour Town were deservedly rewarded with a goal. Clare won a free kick in Kennedy territory to give Town a chance from a set piece. Kennedy curled his free kick round the wall and sure enough the ball flew into the top right corner.
Boston were back on level terms less than 2 minutes later through Orry. Joe Daubney raced clear of the defence and Ben Smith did well to save the one-on-one. Unfortunately he was powerless to prevent Orry tapping in the rebound. Town needed less than a minute to restore their lead though.
Almost straight from the restart Kennedy went on yet another long run, skipped past a few challenges and threaded the ball through to Raynor. Raynor was then able to fire past Hewitt and put Town back in front.
On the stroke of half time Kennedy won a free kick in a similar position to the one he’d scored from. On that occasion Clare tried his luck and forced Hewitt into a good diving save.
Town picked up where they left off in the second half with Raynor having one header saved and another flash marginally wide of the left post. However, Boston equalized against the run of play in the 54th minute when Orry dribbled a long way to score a fine individual goal.
As the game continued to ebb and flow Raynor headed Clare’s free kick from the left inches wide of the far post. At the other end Sam Hallett made an excellent goal line clearance to keep out Louis Saebe’s effort.Raynor put Town 3-2 ahead midway through the second half. Nathan Walton surged down the left after overlapping Kennedy and his low cross found Raynor. With his back towards goal Raynor twisted, turned and somehow managed to squeeze the ball inside the right post.
Marshall doubled Town’s lead with his first ever goal for the first team. Clare swung a free kick in from the left to Marshall who had ghosted in round the back to fire in from close range.
Marshall latched onto an indirect free kick by Smith and dragged his shot a fraction wide of the left post. Another of Smith’s long kicks came to Raynor and he rounded Dawson only to be thwarted by a great save from Hewitt – as a result Boston netted the final goal of the afternoon.
Once Hewitt had made the save the ball was cleared and found its way to Orry. Orry darted into the penalty box and rifled the ball in to complete his hat-trick and add a consolation goal for the visitors.
Clare was glad to get back to winning ways.
Town’s next pre-season friendly is at home to a Grimsby Town XI on Wednesday July 31, 7.45pm.
Match stats: Smith; Walton, Shackleton (Dalton 68), Hallett, Stevens (c); Kennedy (Ella 75), Rawlings, Armstrong (S.McSpadden 68), Marshall; Clare; Raynor.
Scorer(s): Kennedy 33, Raynor 35, 67, Marshall 82.
Man of the match: Raynor.