Willoughby shows the way as Louth reserves beat Heckington 3-1

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Andy Willoughby netted a brace as Louth Town Reserves overcame Heckington United 3-1 at the weekend, writes James Derlien.

For the second week in a row the first team’s match had been postponed and, as the reserves were short of players, a handful of first teamers including manager Daryl Clare stepped in.

A couple of those first team regulars, Willoughby and Goodhand, combined for the first goal with barely three minutes played. Goodhand found Willoughby in the box and his shot was deflected into the bottom left corner.

Ben Smith made a very good stop to deny the visitors an equalizer. A player cut inside from the right and Smith went down bravely saving at his feet.

Soon afterwards Smith pulled off another decent save before Willoughby nearly scored again at the other end. Clare whipped in a low corner from the left and Willoughby stabbed it onto the outside of the near post.

On 37 minutes Rawlings added a second goal which meant Town were 2-0 up at half time. Rawlings beat the goalkeeper to a Mike Armstrong pass and rounded him before tapping into an empty net.

Early in the second half Sam Hallett thought he’d scored - only to see his effort disallowed for offside. Willoughby twisted and turned on the edge of the box then squared to Hallett who drilled the ball in. However, his joy was short lived as the linesman had his flag up.

Town’s player/manager, Craig Dalton, brought on Sam McSpadden and Bradley Coulam for Goodhand and Armstrong. Those changes almost paid off instantly when Sam McSpadden’s cross was flicked on by Bradley Coulam and came to Rawlings who forced the goalkeeper into a save. Both substitutes also tried ambitious long range efforts – neither of them were on target though.

In the 71st minute Willoughby put the result beyond doubt with his second and Town’s third of the afternoon. Clare floated in a free kick on the left side of the pitch and Willoughby slid in to score from seven yards.

It didn’t take Heckington long to pull one back – a player of theirs skipped past the Town defence and fired the ball in leaving Smith without a chance. It was a fine individual goal, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.

Late on Town were the team that came closest to another goal. Clare took a corner from the left and found Hallett near the penalty spot. Hallett lashed the ball towards the bottom left corner and the goalkeeper got down quickly to make a save.

It didn’t matter too much and at full time Town were 3-1 winners.

Craig Dalton was pleased with another victory, “It looked like the game was ours when we were 2-0 up at half time and it’s a shame we didn’t kick on to win by more.

Overall it was a good performance though. Willo was man of the match and scored two goals.”

Town are hoping to win their third consecutive fixture away at Boston Town reserves on Saturday December 22 at 2pm.