Sleaford Town impress on return to form

Scott Coupland put Town ahead with his seventh goal since re-signing for Sleaford in September EMN-181218-090015002
Scott Coupland put Town ahead with his seventh goal since re-signing for Sleaford in September EMN-181218-090015002

Sleaford Town served up one of their best performances of the season on Saturday as they look to rediscover their early season form.

Jamie Shaw’s side had established themselves in the top seven of the United Counties League Premier in a highly encouraging opening few months of the campaign.

Yet Town headed to Oadby Town on a poor run which had seen them beaten six times in seven matches and having dropped into the bottom half of the table.

But goals from Scott Coupland and Brad Hockin gave the Green Army a deserved 2-1 win at a good Oadby side who started the day in sixth.

“I was really happy with both the result and the overall performance on Saturday,” said Shaw.

“In really difficult conditions we were very solid, maintained a high tempo throughout, and were just more consistent in our ability to do the basics well than we had been over the previous weeks.”

Sleaford were ahead within eight minutes when a break engineered by George Couzens saw the ball run loose for Coupland who drove in his seventh goal for the club this season.

The visitors continued to threaten after a slow start and Couzens went close to doubling the lead after 18 minutes when his 25-yard thunderbolt smashed against the post.

Hayden forced a save and Coupland headed past the post from Millard’s cross before putting another chance wide as Town searched for a deserved two-goal cushion.

And their generosity was punished with a sucker-punch just three minutes into the second half when Oadby equalised from a free-kick.

But, with the game continuing at a frantic pace, Town were crucially back in front just seven minutes later when Hockin headed in Town’s second.

Chances became harder to carve out as already poor conditions worsened, but Oadby almost pinched a point in the final minute when Adams was forced into a great save to wrap up Town’s seventh league win of the season.

The ebb and flow of the game showed Town’s resilience and character, qualities which pleased their boss.

“Although we conceded an equaliser early in the second half, we regrouped well to retake the lead shortly after and were able to control the game from then on,” Shaw added.

Sleaford stayed 13th, but moved within two points of the top 10 as they approach the busy festive period.

On Saturday they entertain Peterborough Northern Star at Eslaforde Park, and next Wednesday make the short trip to Boston Town for the Boxing Day derby.

Both matches kick off at 3pm.