It’s all to play for as Sleaford keep pressure on

​Sleaford Town kept their play-off hopes alive into another match-week with determined 2-0 victory over Ashby Ivanhoe at Farley Way on Saturday afternoon, with other results also doing them some favours.
Akeel Francis slides home the second Sleaford goal. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.Akeel Francis slides home the second Sleaford goal. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.
Akeel Francis slides home the second Sleaford goal. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.

The Greens were comfortable throughout the contest at Ivanhoe’s temporary home in Quorn with goals in each half from Finlay Armond and Akeel Francis propelling them up to sixth position and back to within six of the United Counties League Premier Division North play-off places, that remaining the case with fifth-placed Skegness Town losing both of their Easter games.

Sleaford’s game in hand was on Tuesday night (2nd) at Pinchbeck, after this week’s Standard went to press, where a win would have put them three points behind Skegness with two games each to play, although Skegness have a superior goal difference.

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Sleaford began well on Saturday with Ashby’s Harry Stewart required to put in a fine block to deny Francis inside the opening two minutes. Francis was involved again on the quarter of an hour when he was fed by Tom Waumsley, but he found home keeper Sam Taylor in fine form – Ivanhoe’s custodian producing a fine save to divert Francis’ attempt away for a corner.

The Greens got the lead they likely deserved in the 37th minute through a fine team move finished off by the lively Armond. It was all instigated by a wonderful, dinked pass from Max Ward to find Waumsley out wide and he in turn fed Armond who stroked home into the far corner to put the visitors ahead.

The Greens started the second half well too, Armond blazing over the crossbar after a neat set-up from Tristan Drummond within three minutes of the restart.

The hosts were by no means out of the contest either though and they could well have been level when Ben Bradshaw sent Will Groocock through only for the latter to scuff wide when one-on-one.

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The Greens began to retake control of the contest after this though, Lennon, Francis and Tristan Drummond all going close before the clincher arrived with just three minutes remaining, Francis the man on hand to break through the Knights defence and slot comfortably beyond the advancing Taylor.

Sleaford end the regular campaign with home games against Eastwood (April 6) and Belper United (April 13)

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