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Match Reports

United vs Stamford Lions



United started their Junior Cup campaign against Stamford Lions who play in the Premier Division of the Peterborough and District League which is two levels above United.

Currently Stamford are in fourth place in their league with just one defeat from their opening six games.

United were missing centre back Alex Simpson out for 6 weeks with an injury and the unavailable Kurt Crossley.

The opening 15 minutes saw very little goal mouth action until on 15 minutes Ryan O’Loughlin was only inches wide of the upright from giving United the lead from a free kick.

However, they only had to wait another 5 minutes from taking the lead when Dom Lyons picked up a ball in midfield and ran across the visitors defence before laying the ball into the path of JOHN COURTNEY who scored with a shot across the visiting keeper into the far corner.

Within two minutes United were two up when a pass out to DOM LYONS split the visitors defence and he went on to place a shot past the Stamford keeper as he came off his line.

Within a minute the visitors were back in the game when they were awarded a penalty for which only the referee knows the reason. Keeper Jack Minor came to the edge of his area and cleared the ball and Jamie Lyall and a visiting forward fell on him as they both went for the ball.

The resulting penalty was duly despatched giving Minor no chance. Within minutes Stamford hit the top of the bar after a cross from the right.

On 24 minutes United restored their two goal advantage when JOHN COURTNEY fired in a free kick from 20 yards into the top corner giving the keeper no chance.

Shortly afterwards O’Loughlin was just wide of the target with a shot. On 32 minutes Stamford again pulled a goal back when, from a corner a player was unmarked in the box and powered his header home.

Then O’Loughlin was again inches away from scoring with a shot from outside the area.

The half time whistle ended the half with United holding a slender lead in which had been an entertaining game with both teams looking to attack at every opportunity.

On 60 minutes the visitors drew level when after a ball had been cleared from the United area a Stamford player picked up the ball and fired past Minor into the top corner.

However, within two minutes United had restored their lead. Again JOHN COURTNEY fired in a free kick from around 20 yards into the top corner giving the keeper no chance, and completed his hat trick.

With 15 minutes to go Stamford came close to drawing level when Lyall diverted a shot at goal out for a corner. Then Minor saved a shot at point-blank range.

At this stage of the game Stamford were putting more balls into the box, however the United defence stood firm and were always dangerous on the break.

With minutes to go United should have been awarded a penalty of their own when Zak Bray who had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes was pulled back after breaking free of the visitors defence.

At the final whistle United had progressed to the next round in which had been one of their best displays over the last couple of seasons.

After the match manager Michael Howard said “What a win and what performance the lads put in today. I could not ask for better. It was a great game to watch, Stamford were big, powerful and it showed through their set pieces at times. However we set out what we needed to achieve by sticking to our game plan. Very proud of the whole team.”

Team: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick, Danny Wager, Jamie Turner, Jamie Lyall, Ross Muirhead, Dom Lyons, Danny Wilkes (Zak Bray), John Courtney, Ryan O’Loughlin and Keaton Grainger.

Unused Subs: Rhys Mansell, Kieran Rayner-Mistry and Jack Ashwell.

Hodgkinson’s Man of Match: Keaton Grainger.


Old Doningtonians vs Skegness United

Old Doningtonians vs Skegness United


United started a new season in the Boston League Division 1 after making the move from the East Lincolnshire Combination League during the close season.

Although missing a number of regular players United came away from Donington with three well-deserved points. The match kick off was delayed 30 minutes due to the non-arrival of the match referee. An official from the Donington team took over the referring duties and came out of the match with full honours.

United started the brighter of the teams and from the kick off took the match to the home side. For the first 20 minutes it was the home goalkeeper who kept the score line blank with some excellent saves. Then United broke the deadlock when a through ball to Callum Barlow making his debut was knocked home as the keeper came of his line.

The style of the match continued for the rest of the half with a combination of United not taking their chances and the excellent form of the home goalkeeper who at times appeared to be taking on the United team single handed. Very little had been seen of the home side as an attacking force until they began to get more into the game by the half time whistle.

United went in a half time with a one goal lead, however on reflection should have had the game out of sight.

Donington started the second half more of an attacking force and began to put in some testing crosses mainly from set pieces into the United box. On a couple of occasion the ball flashed across the United penalty area with no one on hand to add the final touch. United were always dangerous on the counter attack, however in their eagerness to increase their lead found themselves in an off side position on a number of occasion. The visitors were the more likely side to add to the score line and had a couple of penalty appears turned down and hit the crossbar on two occasions. Finally United increased their lead with fifteen minutes to go, and this appeared to settle them down and remainder of the game had further half chances to increase their lead.

Overall it was a satisfactory start the season considering the number of players not available. The score line would have been larger if not for the home keeper who must have made his quote of saves for the whole season

Man of Match: John Courtney

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Skegness Utd vs Sutton Rovers - League Cup Final

Skegness Utd vs Sutton Rovers - League Cup Final




United travelled to Saltfleetby home of Louth Town to play Sutton Rovers in the final of East Lincs Division 2 League Cup Final.

This was the seventh meeting between the two sides with United having losses in three previous cup semi-finals over the last three weeks, were looking to add one cup trophy to their league title.

United had a setback in the warm up when Sam Sleight sustained a knee injury and had to be replaced by Jonny Hodson.

United started the brighter of the two sides and on twelve minutes Keaton Grainger hit the crossbar with a long range shot. The remainder of the half was an even affair with both defences on top and very few scoring opportunies. The only concern for United was an injury to keeper Jack Minor when he came out to collect a ball and collided with a Sutton player. This restricted his kicking for the remainder of the game.

The second half followed the pattern of the first with defences on top. Late in the game, United were under the impression they had won the match with minutes remaining. A ball from the United left into the six yard box was missed by both Marcus Mackay in the Sutton goal and Conor Minor which allowed the ball to roll into the net. The referee appeared to indicate a goal to United by pointing to the centre circle and the players from both sides moved towards the centre. Mackay was injured when colliding with Minor and when he recovered the referee awarded a free kick to Sutton.

The game moved into extra time and with only a couple of minutes remaining in the second period, further drama. Sutton were awarded a penalty after Arun Gray - who had only been on the pitch a few minutes was adjudged to have brought down a Sutton player.

From the resulting penalty kick taken by Adam Cannon keeper Minor dived to his right and saved the kick at the second attempt. In doing so he was injured which resulted in a long delay before the game could continue. As neither side could find the net, the game went into penalties. There was a real sense of déja vu as this had happened the last time both teams met. From the first five mandatory kicks, both sides successfully put their respective penalties away. This took us to sudden death. It was now a real nailbiter! From the sixth penalty both teams scored. The tension for both sides was immense and growing with every kick. United stepped up and scored with their seventh. It was all down to Sutton. As he had done a few minutes before the end of the match, Jack Minor again dived to his right to save the penalty. The cup was United’s!

United’s successful penalty takers were Ryan O’Loughlin, John Courtney, Jonny Hodson, Alex Kendrick, Arun Gray, Jamie Turner and Conor Minor.

It had been a keenly-contested match with both sides giving 100% and was a fitting end to the contests between both teams.

After the match United players also received their title winning medals along with League Cup and medals.

Team: Jack Minor, Jamie Lyall, Kieran Rayner-Mistry, Kyle McGuigan, Alex Simpson (Arun Gray), Jonny Hodson, Alex Kendrick, John Courtney, Keaton Grainger (Conor Minor), Ryan O’Loughlin and Jamie Turner.

The previous evening Wednesday United playing their third semi-final loss to Grimsby Borough Development by 4 – 2 in the Timothy Sales Trophy.

In the first half United played possibly their worst 45 minutes of football of the season and at half time found themselves 4 – 0 down. The second half they played more like their season’s form and pulled two goals back through Ryan O’Loughlin and Kieran Rayner-Mistry. However the margin of 4 goals was two many to claw back against a good footballing Grimsby Borough side.


Sutton Rovers vs Skegness United League Cup



United returned to action for the first time this month when we travelled to Sutton to complete the final game in the Division Two Cup – Group B.

United only had to avoid defeat to top the group and play Alford Town or Chapel Swifts in the semi-final.

It turned out to be match of two halves with United having the first and Sutton coming back to take the second.

The visitors kick off with a stiff breeze in their favour and went close to taking the lead in the first minute when a back pass missed home keeper and the ball rolled out inches wide of the upright. United controlled most of the game during the half, however could not find the final pass to open up the home defence. The nearest United came when the home keeper brought of an excellent save to deny Ryan O’Loughlin.

Arron Nurse was always a danger up front for Sutton and McGuigan and Simpson had to keep a close eye on him.

United went in front on 30 minutes when Zak Bray broke down the right beating three players before laying the ball to JOHN COURTNEY to slot home from the edge of the area. On 40 minutes United went two up when from a free kick floated in by Sam Sleight a home defender headed the ball into the net giving his keeper no chance.

Minutes from half time Sutton got themselves back into the game when they were awarded a penalty when ARRON NURSE was brought down or did he fall, however he got up and sent Jack Minor the wrong way from the spot.

Sutton started the second half looking to get themselves level and for the first 25 minutes had control of the game and United were finding it difficult to string passes together. During this period they drew level with a well worked goal with some neat passing resulted in a good finish from 12 yards.

United felt they should have had a penalty themselves when Bray broke free and was bundled off the ball, but the referee waved play on. Shortly after this, a free kick from O’Loughlin was only inches wide of the post.

With 15 minutes to go Conor Minor came into mid-field and United began to take more control of the game, although Sutton were still dangerous on the break.

The game ended with United taking the point to top the group and then found out they would be playing Chapel Swifts in the semi-final with Sutton playing Ludford in the other.

Team: Jack Minor, Jamie Lyall, Ashley Reid (Richie Hayes), Kyle McGuigan, Alex Simpson, Sam Sleight Conor Minor), Zak Bray (Jack Hayes), Rhys Mansell, Keaton Grainger, Ryan O’Loughlin and John Courtney.

Man of Match: Kyle McGuigan

Skegness United vs Sutton Rovers



United completed their league programme against the only team to beat them in the league this season.

When the match kicked off the rain had ceased, however the pitch would become heavy with the amount of rain over the last few days.

Returning to the squad were Ryan O’Loughlin, Kieran Rayner-Mistry and Jack Hayes.

The first chance of the game came to United on eight minutes when John Courtney was only inches away from opening the scoring from a Keaton Grainger cross.

Four minutes later Courtney was again in the action when his shot from 25 yards was just wide of the upright.

United continued to have most of the play during the half, however they had to be aware of Sutton on break with the league’s leading scorer Arron Nurse always in the action.

The best chance of the half came on 40 minutes when Zak Bray was played through, however his shot hit the post and cleared.

United did take the lead which their play deserved when JOHN COURTNEY was played through the visitor’s defence and he delightfully lobbed the Sutton keeper Adam Brownson has he came of his line.

Two minutes later United went two up when a ball from the right was knocked home from 10 yards by KIERON RAYNER-MISTRY.

United started the second half on the attack and two half chances came the way of Courtney but he could not find the target.

Then on 55 minutes Bray had a chance but his shot was tipped over by Brownson. Two minutes later United went three up when after some good interplay Courtney released ZAK BRAY who slotted home pass Brownson.

Goal number four came on 60 minutes when JONNY HODSON picked up the ball in midfield and went on forceful run before finding space to shoot home from 18 yards into the corner.

Then five minutes later Sutton had their best chance of the match when Nurse found himself in front of goal, however Jack Minor brought of a good save.

On 67 minutes United had a penalty for a foul, however Alex Simpson’s spot kick was saved at the post by Brownson.

At this stage United made a number of substitutions with John Courtney, Sam Sleight and Alex Kendrick being replaced by Jack Hayes, Ashley Read and Ryan O’Loughlin.

At this stage Sutton were begin to show more of an attacking force and Minor had to bring of another save at the expense of a corner.

On 78 minutes United went five up when Hodson played in ZAK BRAY who beat Brownson from 10 yards.

Three minutes the visitor’s got onto the score sheet when United loss the ball on their right and when the cross came in ARRON NURSE was unmarked to knock home his 26th goal of the season.

After the match the Division Two Trophy was presented the United by Management Committee Member Pete Goy.

TEAM: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick (Ashley Read), Kieran Rayner-Mistry, Kyle McGuigan, Alex Simpson, Sam Sleight (Ryan O’Loughlin), Rhys Mansell, Jonny Hodson, Keaton Grainger, John Courtney (Jack Hayes) and Zak Bray.

Man of Match: Rhys Mansell 

Skegness Utd vs Ludford Rovers



United were playing their first home match in 6 weeks when they were looking to complete the double over visitors Ludford Rovers. Having won the title the previous week at Chapel United made just one change to the starting line up with John Courtney coming in for Richie Hayes.

United started on the front foot taking the game to the visitor’s and in the early stages two half chances came their way. On 15 minutes United finally took the lead. From a corner KEATON GRAINGER with his ninth goal of the season got in front of his marker to flick the ball home at the near post past keeper Adam Baxter.

United were having the majority of the play, however they had to be aware of the visitors leading scorer Jordan Kay, however he was kept well in check by the central partnership of Alex Simpson and Kyle McGuigan. With 38 minutes on the clock United went two up which their play deserved. JOHN COURTNEY picked the ball just outside the visitor’s area and managed to get through their defence and knocked the ball past Baxter.

Up to half time United continued on the attack and were always looking dangerous.

Within two minutes of the restart Ludford had their best chance of the match when they broke down the right, and from a good position fired wide of the far post. Zak Bray was causing problems the visitor’s defence with his pace down the right side. From one of these runs United scored the third of the match. Bray beat two players and when his cross came in JOHN COURTNEY was on hand to shoot home via a deflection.

Shortly afterwards Ludford had a great chance of reduce the arrears, but shot wide from 10 yards in front of goal. United were soon back on the attack with Courtney and Alex Kendrick only inches wide of the post from increasing United’s lead. Ludford were more positive in attack at this stage and on a number of occasions Jack Minor in the home goal had to be alert.

Before the final whistle both Bray and Grainger had half chances.

United have one more league match to complete their season against Sutton next week. Then they go onto a number of Cup matches.

TEAM: Jack Minor, Jamie Lyall (Ashley Reid), Alex Kendrick, Kyle McGuigan, Ashley Simpson, Sam Sleight, John Courtney, Rhys Mansell, Keaton Grainger, Jonny Hodson (Richie Hayes) and Zak Bray.

Man of Match: Jack Minor

"Stamus in Victoria Unita"