Seb Hayes’ Huntingdon Town managed to extend their run of five successive league games to six as they beat Sleaford Town 3-2, in a close encounter both managers will be happy with.
The last time the two sides met was in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, which ended with both teams being disqualified after a late brawl brought the game to a close.
The match started at a slow tempo, with most of the attacking intent left towards the end of the first half. Both teams looked comfortable in possession and there was little margin for error; however in the first 20 minutes they both lacked conviction when carrying the ball forward into their opponent’s half.
The first real chance of the match came in the 27th minute when Huntingdon Town’s Declan Rogers fired a shot from 20 yards out and struck the post. The shot was well cleared by Sleaford’s defence, as central defender Sam Greenwood managed to get to the rebound first and booted the ball out of the penalty box.
Adam Weston opened the scoring in the 35th minute with his third goal for Sleaford Town, as a low driven cross was met by a powerful header from two yards out.
It didn’t take long for Huntingdon to reply though, as top goal scorer Declan Rogers tied the game up a few minutes before half time, with a confident finish around Sleaford’s goalkeeper Philip Mcgann.
Sleaford also saw a late first half effort from striker Tom Siddons cannon off the bar, as Huntingdon’s goalkeeper managed to get a fingertip to it and pushed it up into the crossbar, before gathering it with both hands.
Huntingdon struggled to defend against Sleaford’s attacking threat in the first half, even though both teams had the same number of chances. But it was Sleaford Town who looked more likely to gain a home advantage on a chilly evening at Eslaforde Park.
The second half picked up where the first half left off, with more chances created in front of goal. Both teams held onto the ball better and played a confident passing game in the opposition’s half.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Sleaford managed to win a corner and delivered it near the front post, where Weston was there with his head once again. Unfortunately, he couldn’t convert the header as it went narrowly wide past the far post.
In the 73rd minute Huntingdon’s Michael Hyem took advantage of a loose ball in the box, as he was first to react to it and slotted it neatly into the net giving the Croms a 2-1 lead.
Huntingdon were in control for the majority of the second half, and extended their lead by two goals, when Charlie Death scored his second league goal of the season.
If all was thought to be lost, Sleaford responded well with a close range effort from Ben Garrick, giving them a hope of gaining something from the game.
Huntingdon Town managed to keep their 3-2 lead in the final ten minutes with some solid defending and even managed to create a few chances of their own towards the end of the game.