Lack of finishing power has been Town’s downfall

Sleaford Town comment

By Lloyd Harmston

TOWN manager Glen Maddison admitted that he realistically expected little from the game at Newport Pagnall on Saturday but decided to ‘give it a go’ and see if his side could cause an upset.

In the event, they came close but, to coin a phrase, not close enough. Once again it was the lack of finishing power despite the side enjoying as many, if not more, openings than their opponents, particularly in the first half.

Maddison said: “We just can’t seem to score enough goals and that is despite having six or seven players who should be capable of hitting the net more often.

“Those strikers include the likes of Edwards, Oliver, Tunstall, Sargeant, Shaw, Hollingworth and Murrell, all of whom should be capable of scoring goals. It is just not happening and that is the story of our season so far.”

He added: “We caused problems in mid-week in the cup-tie against Quorn and against Pagnall on Saturday from some really good attacking moves, and from corners, but just could not find that elusive finish. In contrast, Pagnall’s Lawless had three opportunities and put two of them away.

“Thankfully, I cannot fault the work-rate and the desire to win; no-one is giving up and we are fighting to the end.”

Wins on Saturday for Yaxley, a surprising 2-1 away to Cogenhoe, and for Irchester 2-1 at home to Desborough, have pushed Town back down the table two places to eighteenth, or fourth bottom.

There was another Tuesday evening game last night with a trip to newcomers Shepshed. Then, on Saturday, the current league leaders St Ives come to Eslaforde Park. They remain unbeaten and have a goal difference better than any other club.

It will be a real test for the Sleaford defence, whose ‘goals against’ column is actually better than any other club in the bottom half of the table.

The following Tuesday evening (October 2) there is a home tie in the Lincs Senior Trophy against Division One newcomers Harrowby.

United Counties League Challenge Cup

Sleaford Town 0 Quorn 1

TOWN were despatched from the League Knock-Out Cup at the first time of asking at home in this midweek tie against league newcomer Quorn (Leics). Currently going well towards the top end of the Premier Division, Quorn were always going to provide tough opposition, yet in the event it was Town who deserved more from the game.

Once again the opportunity to turn possession and promising openings into goals failed to bring its dividends.

Town were just as good as their visitors in the first half and yet it was Quorn who were to take the lead with their first opening of the evening. It came on nine minutes following a corner, the ball given the slightest of flick headers by Liam Turner, with keeper Hewitt rooted to his line and the defence looking as if they were all leaving the challenge to each other.

Town continued to press but without actually making visiting keeper Joe Shaw work too hard.

It was the same story after the break when the home play actually picked up even more. Somehow, the ball just would not go in and Quorn were to leave Eslaforde Park knowing they had been let off the hook.

Sleaford Town: 1 Hewitt; 2 Rawdon; 3 Fenton; 4 Braithwaite; 5 Bishop; 6 Popple, 7 Murrell; 8 McCormack; 9 Tunstall; 10 Lovett; 11 Hollingworth. Subs: Llewellyn, Shaw, Sargeant, Oliver, Jones