Eight goal thriller as Louth Town take on Reserves in first friendly of pre-season

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Louth Town’s players managed to get some valuable time on the pitch under their belts on Wednesday despite their opponents Boston Town cancelling their planned friendly at short notice.

The first team took on the reserves in a thrilling match that finished 4-4 with eight goals by as many different scorers.

New signing Danny Webb put the first team 1-0 up in the 7th minute. Webb ran onto Matt Kennedy’s long ball and lobbed Ben Smith from 10 yards. Minutes later the first team could have doubled their lead when Danny Stevens headed over Mark Sawyer’s cross from the right.

After a slow start the reserves began to improve and trialist Mariusz Pawlowski headed Bobby McSpadden’s cross into the arms of Ian MacTaggert.

As it was a friendly Daryl Clare had experimented by putting a few players in different positions. One of those was Stevens as a centre forward and he shot marginally wide after being played in by Sam Hallett.

Hallett came close himself with a 30 yard effort which narrowly missed the top right corner.

Towards the end of the first half Kennedy forced Smith into a wonderful save. Kennedy cut inside, curled the ball towards the top left corner and Smith dived across his line to palm it round his right post.

At half time both teams made changes. Ross Brown and Frazer Findlay joined the reserves and were replaced by Andy Appleby and Webb. Clare wanted to play too so he came on for Pawlowski who took a short rest.

Clare and Webb both made an instant impact for the reserves. Webb won the ball on the left wing and cut inside to force MacTaggert into a save. Soon afterwards Clare tried an ambitious chip from just inside the box and MacTaggert tipped it behind for a corner.

Smith had already pulled off an excellent save to deny Kennedy in the first half and did so again in the second half.

On that occasion Kennedy surged into the area and Smith did brilliantly to deflect his powerful strike onto the top of the bar.

Chris Ella added a second goal for the first team on the hour mark. Kennedy threaded the ball through to Ella whose delicate lob nestled in the back of the net. Ella then found himself one-on-one with Smith almost straight from the restart only to be thwarted by a last ditch challenge from Appleby.

The reserves pulled a goal back through Mike Armstrong on 66 minutes. MacTaggert came off his line to clear the ball, but Clare picked his pocket and crossed to Armstrong who nodded into the empty net.

Less than two minutes later Luke Burton equalised for the reserves and suddenly it was 2-2. Burton joined an attack from right back and overlapped Dave Pawson to squeeze the ball inside the near post.

The reserves were not back on level terms for long though. Craig Dalton gave away a free kick in a dangerous position which Kennedy scored from. Kennedy swerved his free kick round the reserves’ wall and the ball flew in off Smith’s left post.

Pawlowski came back on while Armstrong took a breather. However, Armstrong was soon on again as Burton limped off with a minor ankle injury.

As the game continued to ebb and flow both sides nearly scored in quick succession. First Kennedy raced clear and was unlucky to skim the bar with a thunderous drive.

At the other end Armstrong set up Webb and the latter fired inches wide.

Stevens netted the first team’s fourth goal of the evening with 6 minutes remaining. His strike partner, Ella, dribbled through the reserves’ defence and squared to Stevens leaving him with a simple finish.

In the last minute of normal time Pawlowski ran onto Armstrong’s ball over the top and stabbed past the onrushing MacTaggert.

MacTaggert had brought the Pole down so as Brown blocked the ball off the line a penalty kick was awarded.

Webb stepped up and made no mistake to make the score 4-3. The first team probably thought it would be nothing more than a consolation goal; however, the reserves had other ideas.

With a few seconds until full time Armstrong sent a hopeful long pass forwards. Jamie Raynor latched onto it, blasted over MacTaggert and the net was bulging.

Immediately afterwards the final whistle was blown and the reserves had somehow salvaged a draw against the first team.