Some of the results Louth Town reserves have had lately were disappointing and so was this one. At least Gary Pawson got his first goal of the season though.
Despite getting off to a perfect start and playing good football in spells this was another day to forget for Town. In March Nettleham will be Town’s opponents in the Challenge Cup semi final and there must be an improvement to stand any chance of winning.
Gary Pawson broke the deadlock inside two minutes with his first of the campaign. An Ashley Perkins corner found Mark Fairburn who crossed for Gary Pawson to head into the roof of the net.
However, Nettleham were level five minutes later when a long range shot flew into the top right corner. Stand in goalkeeper, James MacCallum, did get his fingertips to the ball but not enough to keep it out.
A couple of efforts were narrowly missed by Nettleham before MacCallum made a brilliant save. A striker was one-on-one with MacCallum and the debutant somehow got down to save at his feet. Ben Smith (the absent first choice goalkeeper) would have been proud of that.
Perkins let fly from a long way out and forced the goalkeeper into a smart stop at his near post. Soon afterwards it was half time and after a fairly even 45 minutes 1-1 was a fair score line.
Town picked up where they left off in the second half and were doing well until Nettleham scored again. At that point things went pair shaped for Town and eventually Nettleham won 4-1.
Early in the half Jamie Coulson surged into the box and pulled the ball back for Danny Marshall who was denied by a fine save. At the other end Jamie Parnell got back in time to block a shot off the line.
The final 20 minutes were a disaster for Town as they conceded three goals in quick succession. First a player raced clear to fire past MacCallum from close range. A couple of minutes later a forward beat the offside trap to make it 3-1. In the 79th minute it went from bad to worse and Town conceded a fourth.
Nettleham could have added gloss to the score, but a few more of their chances were off target and MacCallum saved one with his foot. Right at the end Gary Pawson came close to netting his second goal which would have been a consolation.
Gary Pawson came forward for another set piece that was taken quickly to Fairburn. Fairburn picked out Coulson whose header was blocked. The ball then fell kindly to Gary Pawson; however, he was only able to hit the side netting.
The first 70 minutes were convincing against an excellent side that are now up to third in the Lincs league. If Town had performed like that for 90 minutes then it would have been a different story. On a higher note, Town can still get their revenge by progressing to the Challenge Cup final in just over four months time. Nettleham may have won the battle, but they have not won the war.
Jack Burton is the manager of Louth Town reserves and makes post match comments after their games. He said this: “I felt the lads put in a good shift against a very strong Nettleham side.
“We took control of the game from the start and it looked like a win was on the cards, but defensive mistakes led to Nettleham scoring 3 late goals. All goals we conceded could have easily been prevented. We’ve conceded too many this season which is costing us.”
Match stats: McCallum; Parnell, G.Pawson, D.Pawson, Taylor (Buck 77); Perkins, Carter (S.McSpadden 64), Hallett (c), Fairburn; Marshall, Coulson.
Booked: Fairburn 60.
Sent off: N/AScorer(s): G.Pawson 2.
Man of the match: Coulson.