FOOTBALL: Opening day delight for Sleaford Town

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United Counties League

Premier Division

Sleaford Town 4

Cogenhoe United 2

Sleaford Town’s first game of the new season went pretty much as well as could be expected, triumphing at home over Cogenhoe United.

But Sleaford fell behind early on as Jack Bowen scored for Cogenhoe after the ball came to him off the post.

Sleaford levelled when Ryan Oliver climbed high to meet a long free kick from Adam Fenton.

However, more poor defending led to Cogenhoe almost immediately retaking the lead as Alfie Taylor outpaced Adam Fenton, before sliding the ball past goalkeeper Phil McGann.

Parity was once more restored, and again it came via Oliver’s head as he glanced in a quality Luke Hollingworth set-piece.

Cogenhoe’s Luke Emery reacted strongly to an innocuous challenge and was sent off.

After half time, it was with some relief when Bradley Hockin struck home from 20-plus yards. It was not the cleanest strike but it was in the corner and more importantly it ended up nestling in the net.

Sleaford were awarded a penalty when Elliott Price’s bucanneering run resulted in him being pulled back as he was about to pull the trigger. Hockin confidently struck the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.

Far from being a vintage performance, it nevertheless garnered three always valuable points and set up a good platform to get the team’s season up and running.

+ Sleaford’s FA Cup campaign begins with a trip to Radford on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.