Win over Wombwell Town lifts Louth Town into the top 10 for first time this season

Depleted Louth Town hit the NCEL top 10 for the first time this season with Saturday's excellent 3-2 home win over play-off chasers Wombwell Town.
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That win followed two frustrating postponements and was achieved with eight players unavailable.

“We always said after Christmas it would be good to be there or thereabouts chasing the play-offs,” said manager Carl Martin.

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“It looks like that ship has now sailed. But our new target is top 10 and we're now in there for the first time.

Harry Crawford, right, challenges for the ball for Louth against Wombwell on Saturday.Harry Crawford, right, challenges for the ball for Louth against Wombwell on Saturday.
Harry Crawford, right, challenges for the ball for Louth against Wombwell on Saturday.

“We also have a few games in hand on sides around us, though we'd rather have the points.

“But to finish top 10 in our first season back at this level would be a monumental achievement.”

On Saturday's win, he said: “That was a really good performance and the first half was the best 45 minutes of football we've produced all season.

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“We were 3-0 up inside half an hour and full value for it with our tempo, energy and quality.

“The 3-0 probably flattered Wombwell a bit as we should have scored four or five and been out of sight. It was even more impressive considering we had eight players unavailable.”

However, a 10-minute sin-bin for striker Jordan Smith saw Wombwell hit back.

“Smudge going into the sin-bin for dissent did not help us at all and eight minutes later they had clawed two goals back and it was nip and tuck,” said Martin.

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“But we dug in, got back on the front foot again, looked dangerous every time we went forward, and were worthy winners.

“Smudge apologised afterwards for letting everyone down.

“Our discipline this season has not been good. We have spoken about it but fallen foul of it too many times. We are still not learning as a group and we need to learn quickly.”

Martin also praised a superb display from veteran keeper Ian MacTaggert.

“Alex Lait was unavailable so Ian stepped up from the reserves in goal and he was absolutely flawless,” he said.

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“It was a real masterclass from him. He is very experienced and he did superbly for us.”

Saturday's game was third time lucky for Louth after successive postponements and Martin said: “We now face another enforced 10-day lay-off as we don't have another fixture until 9th March which is really frustrating.

“Having games postponed and now this blank weekend does not allow you to gain any momentum.

“I may look to try to sort us a friendly out for the middle of next week just to keep us going.”

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On Saturday Louth were ahead on 10 minutes as Bailey Wright cut inside and made the keeper work, the ball falling to Finlay Drakes, who had a simple finish.

Six minutes later the ball fell for Kieran Perry in the box and he finished hard and low to double the lead.

MacTaggert made a great one on one save before Wright added the third on 29 minutes with a delightful chip over the keeper into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Smith also hit the bar from range as they went in 3-0 up.

But on 51 minutes Smith was sin-binned for backchat to the referee and, while short-handed, Louth conceded replies by Eddie Agnew on 57 minutes and Kane Reece on 62 minutes.

However, Louth saw it out and Wombwell ended the game with 10 men as Harley Wilson was shown a second yellow in the seventh added minute at the end.

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