Blustery day ends badly for Crowle

Crowle Keys 2 Barnetby 3

KEYS’ opponents are lining up in descending order of rank. Having lost to the league leaders and the team in second position over the last two weeks it was third-placed Barnetby who visited on Sunday.

Windsor Park’s reputation as the windiest ground in Lincolnshire was enhanced by a fierce westerly blowing from the Railway End into the faces of the home team in the first half.

Crowle took the lead with a goal which belied their league position. Josh Simpson won the ball in midfield and held off challenges from three opponents before feeding Danny Smyth with a perfectly-weighted through-ball which Smyth controlled with his first touch and flashed past the keeper with his second. The lead lasted twelve minutes before a Barnetby forward deftly lobbed Graeme Fletcher in Crowle’s goal. Fletcher’s day took a significant turn for the worse on thirty minutes when a scything challenge on an attacker gave the referee little option but to show him the red card.

Winger Aaron Taylor took over between the sticks and kept the visitors out until half-time but the second half wasn’t ten minutes old before Barnetby capitalised on a defensive muddle to go in front. A free header from a corner moved them three-one ahead and against ten men from the bottom of the table they must have thought that the game was as good as over but any team with Josh Simpson will always have a chance.

The indefatigable midfielder intercepted a pass in Barnetby’s defence, waltzed past the last defender, ploughed through the goalkeeper and tapped the ball into an open goal to add a little piquancy to the last ten minutes. Both teams struck the post in the closing stages and Barnetby were also reduced to ten men but the referee blew his whistle for the last time before any change in the scoreline occurred.

Keys are now halfway through their league campaign and have as many points as a broken pencil. Bottesford are the visitors next Sunday morning.