FOOTBALL: Horncastle retain top spot with second league double

Lincoln Saturday Football League

It was back to league action this week as the penultimate month of the season saw four games scheduled.

League leaders Horncastle Town Reserves went into the day, two points clear with six games to play, including their trip to Retford Town. They were after a third win in a row and second league double of the season, while Retford were out to prevent a third defeat in succession.

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On the day, Horncastle secured their league double with a 4-2 scoreline, much thanks to a first hat trick of the season from Luke Blondel (his 12th goal this season). Also scoring his 12th of the season was Rob Morey, while Retford’s goals came from Dan Law (his 11th of the season) and Joel Turner.

In reality, just four clubs are left in contention for the title but, that said, three of those teams, Fulbeck United, Cherry Willingham and Birchwood United could find their run-in overloaded with outstanding league games and cup matches.

Birchwood have no less than nine league games to play and saw their match with bottom side Saxilby postponed, so have not played a league game for a month. Of the others Fulbeck have six left and Cherry seven after this weekend’s games.

With Birchwood’s game off and Cherry Willingham inactive, just Fulbeck United of the other contenders were in action. They visited Ruston Sports, also looking for a league double (their third), having won 3-1 in their last game.

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Since that defeat Rustons had won one and lost one with the win, their first home win since November. Perhaps securing a surprise win, they made it back to back wins for the first time this season with two goals from Will Halton (his first for the team) and one from Scott Morrison.

Fulbeck goals came from Tom Vertigan (his sixth of the season) and Dean Jones. For Fulbeck it was their first league defeat of the season and without doubt it will have dented their title hopes.

The final game was between sixth placed AFC Crown and Arrows and eighth placed Railway Inn. The home side was after a first win in three games while Railway were in unchartered waters, after a fourth successive win for the first time.

These two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the opening week of the season but on this occasion it was the city side who took the bragging rights with a 3-1 win. Their goals came from James Manley (2) and Paul Walker, while Alan Forwood scored for Railway.

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n The annual award for the Charles Hammond Top Scorer for the Season is decided on league goals scored.

At the present time, two Horncastle players just lead the way with 10 goals apiece, namely Rob Morey and Luke Blondel.

One goal behind on nine are Danny Bee (AFC Crown and Arrows), Dan Law (Retford Town) and Callum Clay (Fulbeck United).