Sleaford Town FC
Sat 30 Mar 2024  ·  Premier Division North
Ashby Ivanhoe
Sleaford Town Football Club
Sleaford Town FC
F Armond (37'), A Francis (87')
Greens Keep Play-Off Dream Alive

Greens Keep Play-Off Dream Alive

Oliver Atkin30 Mar - 17:45
Share via

Ashby Ivanhoe (A) - Match Report

Sleaford Town kept their play-off hopes alive into another match-week with determined 2-0 victory over Ashby Ivanhoe at Farley Way on Saturday afternoon.


The Greens were comfortable throughout the contest at Ivanhoe’s temporary home in Quorn with goals in each half from Finlay Armond and Akeel Francis propelling the Greens up to 6th position and back to within six of the United Counties League Premier Division North play-off places.

Player/Managers Tom Ward and Nathan Arnold made just two changes from the Greens disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals Boston Town. That saw duel-registered Ollie Brown-Hill drop out of the side altogether while vice-Captain Kyle Watkins dropped to the bench with their places in the starting eleven taken by Finlay Armond and Latrell Patterson who returned from substitute appearances on Wednesday evening. Hosts Ashby Ivanhoe meanwhile were defeated 3-2 by lowly AFC Mansfield on Tuesday evening and they made four changes from that side with Joe Neal, Liam Donaghy, Meisam Shiri and Charlie Adcock dropping out of the side with all but Neal dropping to the bench. In their places came Leavi Oshungbure, Jack Robinson, Josh Thomas, and Ben Bradshaw.

Ward will have no doubt taken confidence from an enterprising start from his side in Leicestershire with Harry Stewart required to put in a fine block to deny Akeel Francis inside the opening two minutes. Francis was involved again on the quarter of an hour when he was fed by Tom Waumsley, but he found home keeper Sam Taylor in fine form – Ivanhoe’s custodian producing a fine save to divert Francis’ attempt away for a corner.

With the pressure mounting though, it was the hosts who responded, Leavi Oshungbure heading James Harrison’s freekick inches over the crossbar in the 20th minute before the Knights did crash an effort home after more fine work from Harrison, but celebrations were soon quashed at the raising of the assistants flag.

The Greens gradually worked themselves back into superiority though and got the lead they likely deserved in the 37th minute through a fine team move finished off by the lively Finlay Armond. It was all instigated by a wonderful, dinked pass from Max Ward to find Tom Waumsley out wide and he in turn fed Armond who, after setting himself, stroked home into the far corner with aplomb to put the visitors ahead. There was a small flurry of opportunities for the Greens to worry about in the lead up to the break, most notably when Latrell Patterson was required to intervene after Stewart had broken through, while Ben Bradshaw’s freekick certainly had swerve and dip but little direction.

The Greens started the second half well too, Finlay Armond blazing over the crossbar after a neat set-up from Tristan Drummond within three minutes of the restart. The hosts were by no means out of the contest either though and they could well have been level when Ben Bradshaw sent Will Groocock through only for the latter to scuff wide when one-on-one. It was Groocock offering the most dangerous outlet for the hosts, and he was involved again a few moments later, with only Charlie Ward’s brilliant last-ditch block denying him an effort on goal.
The Greens began to retake control of the contest after this though, Armond freeing Lennon to scoop over the bar a sign of things to come just beyond the hour. Lennon then turned provider for Akeel Francis to head wide of the post before the same man headed wide when free from Finlay Armond’s cross just three minutes later. Armond was the man involved again a minute later, home keeper Taylor out quickly to foil the midfielder from close range before he was on hand to beat away Akeel Francis’ effort with 10-minutes remaining.

The Greens continued to push, Tristan Drummond sweeping an effort wide before the clincher arrived with just three minutes remaining, Akeel Francis the man on hand to break through the Knights defence and slot comfortably beyond the advancing Taylor to wrap up a deserved victory for the Greens.

The Greens will now immediately turn their focus to the second part of their Easter weekend double-header with a visit to Pinchbeck United on Tuesday evening. Kick-off at the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Tuesday evening is at 7.45PM.

Words: Oliver Atkin

Match details

Match date

Sat 30 Mar 2024




Premier Division North

League position

Sleaford Town
Ashby Ivanhoe
Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

Terraces Sponsor - Castleprint
Shirt & Dugout Sponsor - Baker Plant Hire
Main Stand Sponsor - Morriss & Shaw Garden Houses Ltd
Training Wear Sponsor - Istanbul Barbers
Training Wear Sponsor - FBS Hörmann
Training Wear Sponsor - DWB