BOTTESFORD TOWN 0-1 LOUTH TOWN
AN early goal from top scorer Steve Norton earned Louth Town a 1-0 win at lowly Bottesford Town as the White Wolves’ injury-ravaged squad continue to defy the odds.
It was Town’s second away win by that scoreline in five days after last Tuesday night’s battling win at Dinnington Town and moves them up to 12th in the NCEL Division One table.
Manager Paul Walden welcomed back Andy Appleby and Jamie Archer to the starting XI and Mike Armstrong to the bench.
Town began well and looked to create chances early on, and the game’s only goal came when Norton struck on 17 minutes.
A long throw by Appleby was nodded on by a Bottesford defender, it fell to Steve Norton who turned and steered home his 18th of a fantastic season for the striker.
The first half continued at a hectic pace but few chances fell to either side. With four minutes left before the break Town defender Sam Smith pulled a groin and was replaced by Elliot Broughton.
As expected the home side came out after half time all guns blazing but the visitors’ defence held firm, and were well marshalled throughout by captain Carl Martin and man of the match Craig Dalton.
Town goalkeeper Craig Wherry was called into action on a couple of occasions though, making good saves on each, but in between the pressure Town looked dangerous on the counter.
On 67 minutes Walden threw on 18-year-old midfielder Paul Coulam, with the young Louth lad doing himself no harm in his performance against an experienced Bottesford side.
Mike Armstrong came on with five minutes left as Town looked to keep the ball, but the visitors held out for a valuable three points which sees them leapfrog Hallam into 12th place in the table.
Town faced a tough visit to 17th placed Askern Villa on Tuesday as they looked to move into the top half of the table before they host Shirebrook Town at Park Avenue on Saturday (3pm).
Town officials have called on the club’s fans to go down and support them in their late push for the top half and bid for FA Cup entry next season.