United Counties League: Sleaford Town hit by late Northampton sucker-punch

Player shortages meant Town boss Jamie Shaw was forced to don his boots once more as a substitute EMN-170814-124441002
Player shortages meant Town boss Jamie Shaw was forced to don his boots once more as a substitute EMN-170814-124441002

There was injury time heartbreak for Sleaford Town on Saturday when they were beaten with virtually the last kick of the game.

Town faced Northampton Sileby Rangers in their first home game of the season and looked to be heading for a point when Ben Machin delighted home fans with an equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time.

But boss Jamie Shaw blamed inexperience as Rangers hit back in the very next minute through Andrew Hall to grab a 3-2 win at Eslaforde Park.

Ryan Anderson gave the home side their first league goal of the season and a half-time lead when he slid in to finish under the keeper.

The visitors levelled from the penalty spot after a handball and Jory Mann looked to have hit the winner or Northamton with five minutes to go before the injury time fireworks.

The result leaves Town without a point and bottom of the United Counties League Premier after two games.

Despite the disappointment, Shaw is hopeful his side is gradually evolving to meet the demands of Premier Division football.

“It was very frustrating as we equalised in injury time only to give away the winner moments later, unfortunately due to our own naivety,” Shaw said.

“I felt on the whole we showed that as a side we are improving match by match.

“But we still have a lot to learn about how to a manage a game and that it was an opportunity lost to get our first point on the board.”

Town’s new manager is continuing to strengthen his squad after being faced with an extensive rebuilding job following many close season departures.

He added: “We have added to the squad over the last week, bringing in Kemal Yenibertiz, Liam Hargrave and Ryan Parnell and we’ll continue to look to strengthen where we can.

“But we’re also continuing to work with the players at the club to get us to where we want to be.”

Town were due to travel to Wisbech Town last night (Tuesday), but are home again on Saturday when they host ninth-placed Daventry Town. Kick-off is 3pm.