Frustration for Sleaford Town after successive narrow defeats

Tom Siddons fires in an effort on his return to Town colours against Harborough. Picture: David Dawson EMN-191102-163931002
Tom Siddons fires in an effort on his return to Town colours against Harborough. Picture: David Dawson EMN-191102-163931002

Sleaford Town drew a frustrating blank after back-to-back United Counties League fixtures left them empty-handed.

A narrow 2-1 defeat at high-flying Deeping Rangers could have offered encouragement against opponents who had reached the last 16 of the FA Vase.

Harborough clear the danger as Scott Coupland lurks Picture: David Dawson EMN-191102-163909002

Harborough clear the danger as Scott Coupland lurks Picture: David Dawson EMN-191102-163909002

But disappointment followed on Saturday as they were edged out 1-0 at home by Harborough Town.

Town dropped to 15th in the Premier Division after a run of six defeats in seven, but remain within a handful of points of mid-table with 12 games of the season remaining.

Sleaford fell behind within five minutes at Deeping last Tuesday evening as Scott Mooney struck his 25th goal of the season.

But after weathering a spell of pressure, with Adams making a couple of good saves, the visitors were level after 26 minutes.

Town captain Michael Hayden scored against Deeping, but could not repeat the trick on Saturday Picture: David Dawson EMN-191102-163920002

Town captain Michael Hayden scored against Deeping, but could not repeat the trick on Saturday Picture: David Dawson EMN-191102-163920002

Ben Machin’s long pass appeared to have found skipper Michael Hayden offside, but no flag came and he went on to slot past advancing Deeping keeper Lewis Elsom.

George Couzens then shot wide of the post, but Rangers were back in front by half-time when Schiavi’s 25-yard free-kick curled inside the near post, beating Adams’ dive.

The second half was less eventful with Town unable to break down a resolute home defence.

Mooney’s overhead effort was cleared off the line by Shepherd, while Adams saved well from Johnson as the hosts went for a killer third.

For Sleaford, Moyses’ inswinging corner caused a scramble, but there was no way through.

Town boss Jamie Shaw immediately drafted in forward Tom Siddons back into the starting XI for Saturday’s visit of Harborough following his midweek return to the club.

And the hosts started well, with Bean shooting just wide from a Hockin corner, and Coupland’s overhead kick leading to strong appeals for a penalty for handball.

While there were few moments of high quality on a heavy pitch, Town continued to pose the bigger threat as Machin’s great effort forced a good save, and Coupland’s effort just cleared the bar.

But the Leicestershire side claimed the decisive goal six minutes before the break when Town switched off at a corner, allowing Daniel Forbes to net.

Town were almost level in the next minute, but the post denied them, and the near-miss would prove costly.

Siddons was narrowly off-target as he looked to finish a great move and claim a debut goal, but despite plenty of second-half effort, Town could not find the end-product.

Next up for Shaw’s side is Saturday’s visit to Desborough who sit ninth after five wins in their last seven. Kick-off is 3pm.