LOUTH Town crashed out of the League Cup after a 2-0 second round defeat by Parkgate at Park Avenue last night.
Two second half goals made it a club record seven straight defeats for Town.
The cup fixture offered a welcome break from Louth’s league woes, and Paul Walden was back on the sidelines to direct things as the game kicked off.
If lessons were to be learnt from their recent run of results, it would be for the hosts to start on the front foot and get off to a good start. Town did this by pressing the visitors well, closing them down whenever they received the ball.
The first chance of the game fell to frontman Steve Norton, who turned well to find space inside the box, but l he sliced his shot well over the bar. Norton had another opportunity moments later as he pounced on a poor clearance from the goalkeeper, but the covering defender made up the ground to get back in time to see off the danger.
Parkgate’s first effort on goal came when Nathan Forbes-Swindells almost caught Craig Wherry off balance. The striker hit a spectacular shot from distance but Louth man between the sticks managed to push it onto the bar.
On 35 minutes the lively Worsfold burst into the area before blazing his shot wide of the goal, a rare chance for the visitors.
The best chance of the half came after a Louth corner was cleared to James Archer, who played Norton through on goal but his strike was smashed wide.
Both of Louth’s front men looked lively, with man of the match Jamie Coulson working especially hard throughout the game. Early in the second half he made a daring run through the Steelmen’s defence before a superb block saw off the danger.
As the second half wore on it was Louth who looked the more likely to score the opener. A long ball from defender Danny Stevens found Coulson who brought the ball down and rounded the ‘keeper but he over-ran the ball and the chance was gone.
Then came the incident which turned the game. As Keir Hannity burst down on goal, Stevens made a desperate challenge. Despite it seeming like the ball was won, the referee pointed to the spot. The assured Chris Wood dispatched the penalty to make it 1-0 to the visitors against the run of play.
Louth clearly felt hard-done by with the penalty decision and looked to make amends right away when they had a number of chances in quick succession. First, Dan Pawson dragged a shot wide on the turn and then after a long ball towards Mark Fairburn was beaten away by the keeper, it fell to Coulson whose volley was struck well but parried away.
Louth thought they had equalised from the resulting corner when skipper Carl Martin’s header was cleared off the line.
Forbes-Swindell’s pace continued to be a thorn in Louth’s side. He broke down the right before playing a square ball across to Hannity whose crisply hit shot whistled wide of the post.
And Louth’s misery was confirmed on 83 minutes when Parkgate scored the all important second. After Shepherd slipped the ball through to Worsfold, the striker managed to brush past Louth’s defence and slot the ball past Wherry.
If Louth had been more clinical and disciplined the result could have been very different, but the game ended 2-0, dreams of a cup win postponed until next year.