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Match Reports

Horncastle Town Res vs United

Horncastle Town Res vs United


United returned to league action at the Wong, Horncastle against the current league leaders Horncastle Town Res.

The match kicked off on a warm October afternoon and the first action came from the visitors when a long range shot from Rhys Mansell was only just over the bar.

United controlled the early stages of the match and took the lead on 18 minutes when Zak Bray broke clear of the Horncastle defence and was brought down by home keeper Liam Stephenson. The resulting penalty was dispatched in style by JOHN COURTNEY.

Five minutes later Horncastle drew level when a throw in was incorrectly awarded to the home side. The ball was played across the United area to PAUL COX who with a delightful strike found the corner of Jack Minor’s goal. This was the first goal conceded by United in the league this season.

United continued to have the upper hand, however Horncastle were looking to use the channels to get behind United’s defence and on a couple of occasions Minor had to be quickly of his line to clear the danger.

On 40 minutes United regained the lead when a mix up in the home defence trying to clear from Bray allowed KEATON GRAINGER to gather the ball and round Stephenson before placing the ball into the empty net.

With half time only seconds away United scored number three. A cross from United’s left by Courtney was missed by the Horncastle defence and RHYS MANSELL hit the ball on the volley into the corner of the net.

The visitors went in a half time with a commanding lead.

United started off the second half where they left off and the end of the first. Home keeper had to be alert to save from Bray and Nathan Wetton resulting in corners.

On 55 minutes a cross from Courtney was headed over by Kieran Rayner-Mistry when well placed.

Horncastle were seeing plenty of the ball at this stage of the match, however could not make any great use of it in as an attacking force being well marshalled by the United defence of Alex Kendrick, Jamie Lyall, Dan Wager and Rayner-Mistry.

United went four up in the 75 minute when a throw in by Rayner-Mistry to NATHAN WETTON on the edge of the Horncastle was hit on the volley into the top of the net giving Stephenson no chance.

The visitors were causing problems to the home defence down the left with interplay between Dom Lyons, Courtney and Rayner-Mistry.

On 82 minutes another long range shot by Mansell was tipped round the post by the home keeper for a corner. With five minutes to go a ball into Elliott Clarke was laid off to KIERAN RAYNER-MISTRY who ran into the area and fired past Stephenson.

In the final minute a long ball into the Horncastle area was not dealt with by the home defence and ELLIOTT CLARK got the final touch to knock it pass the keeper for number six.

At the final whistle United had maintained their 100% league record and moved up to second place one point behind new leaders Kirton Town with two games in hand.

TEAM: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick, Dan Wager, Kieran Rayner-Mistry, Jamie Lyall, Nathan Wetton, John Courtney, Rhys Mansell, Zak Bray (Elliott Clark), Dom Lyons and Keaton Grainger.

Hodgkinson’s Man of Match: Nathan Wetton

Epworth Town vs United

Epworth Town vs United


For the second week United were involved in a high scoring match in this second round Lincs Junior Cup match. However this time they were on the wrong end of the scoreline.

The scoreline does not do justice to United who played a major part in the match, but the home side took their chances when they arose.

Epworth started the match on the front foot with United playing against a stiff breeze. The first strike on goal came from United on 10 minutes, but Keaton Granger’s shot lacked power and was easily save by home keeper Scott Burdett.

Shortly afterwards United had a great chance to take the lead when Danny Wilkes was played through by Ryan O’Loughlin, however in trying to round Burdett, the keeper snatched the ball from him.

Although the home side were seeing plenty of the ball, they failed to produce any real danger to Jack Minor’s goal. Epworth did have a half chance when a long range shot hit the bar, but the danger was saved.

Zak Bray broke free down the right for United, but was crowed out before getting a shot in. On 22 minutes United took the lead when good play between Bray and Wilkes ended in the latter releasing Keaton Granger on the left who beat Burdett has he advanced from his goal.

The home side drew level with half time approaching a long range shot hit the back of Danny Wager and left Minor with no chance of saving.

Both sides went in at half time with all to play for, and on reflection United had the better of the chances during the half although the home side having more of the ball.

Within three minutes after the break Epworth went into the lead. The ball crossed the United area a couple of times before GARY MOMENT knocked the ball home from close range. During the build up to the goal Sam Sleight had to leave the field and replaced by Jack Bradley. This resulted in United losing their midfield defensive cover which had an effect on the final result.

On 55 minutes O’Loughlin had a half chance but could not get the ball from under his feet and the chance had gone. On 60 minutes the home side went three up when JOE JACKSON headed home from inside the six yard box.

Five minutes later Epworth scored number four when Jamie Lyall was harshly adjusted to have given away a penalty. From the resulting spot kick JOE JACKSON sent Minor the wrong way.

United were moving the ball well in midfield, however could not open up the home defence to cause problems for Burdett in the home goal. O’Loughlin was only inches away with a free kick.

Epworth were finding space in midfield with United losing Sleight has the defensive cover, and this resulted in the fifth goal with ten minutes to go. NATHAN BARNETT was played through and placed his shot pass Minor has he came of his line.

Epworth deserved to move into the next round based on their second half display, although United played their part in an entertaining game. The home side are an experienced side with two good central defenders. They have not had the best of times in their own league, and therefore shows the strength of the Scunthorpe League.

Team: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick, Kieran Rayner-Mistry, Jamie Lyall, Daniel Wager, Sam Sleight (Jack Bradley), Daniel Wilkes, John Courtney, Keaton Grainger, Ryan O’Loughlin and Zak Bray

Man of Match: Ryan O’Loughlin

United vs Boston Athletic

United vs Boston Athletic


United once again were in cup action, this time in the first round of the Challenge Cup and again changes had to be made due to unavailability of players.

This game had everything in a football match - 10 goals, extra time and two red cards.

United unusually started slowly and could not get into the game until after 15 minutes by which time they found themselves two goals down. Firstly on 4 minutes Athletic were awarded a free kick just on the area which appeared a harsh decision, however ANDY BROWN bent his free kick round the ball and into the top corner.

Then on 14 minutes United were two down when DARREN ROYAL was on hand to knock a loose ball home.

Four minutes later, United were back in the game when Ryan O’Loughlin’s shot was pushed out by visiting keeper Alvis Risbergs into the path of KEATON GRAINGER who slotted home into the far corner.

The next action came on 27 minutes when O’Loughlin was only inches away from making the scores level when his shot flashed past the post.

The pressure continued and three minutes later O’Loughlin had two shots blocked in the six yard box. On 38 minutes a cross by O’Loughlin was headed into the arms of keeper Risbergs by John Courtney.

At half time Athletic still held their one goal advantage, however they had to work hard to keep the lead with some excellent defence in blocking shots and good goalkeeping.

The second began as it ended, with United on the front foot. Five minutes into it, United drew level when good work by O’Loughlin on the right released JOHN COURTNEY who fired home. At this stage of the game it was all United with attack after attack however some excellent goalkeeping and last minute blocking by the visiting defence kept the score level.

On 75 minutes United did take the lead when, from an O’Loughlin corner DANNY WAGER headed powerfully home from the edge of the six yard box.

Five minutes later Athletic drew level when United cleared a ball out of their area and it fell to CALLUM PUGH who from 25 yards hit the shot of his career into the top corner.

Soon afterwards an altercation between Tom Owen and United’s Kurt Crossley resulted in a red card for both which on reflection seem harsh to both players.

After 90 minutes the game was still level and therefore an extra 30 minutes of extra time was required. From the start of the first period a number of Athletic players appeared out on their feet with the work they put in to get to extra time.

Eight minutes into the extra period United took the lead when RYAN O’LOUGHLIN beat three players and fired into the corner of the net. In the last 10 minutes of the match United scored a further three goals. Firstly O’Loughlin played on KEATON GRAINGER who placed his shot pass Risbergs. Then further goals from RYAN O’LOUGHLIN and JACK BRADLEY rounded off the scoring.

Every Athletic player had put in 100%, however at the end the extra class of United had come through.

Team: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick, Danny Wager, Jamie Turner, Jamie Lyall, Ross Muirhead, Keaton Grainger, Rhys Mansell (Sam Sleight), John Courtney (Jack Bradley), Ryan O’Loughlin and Kurt Crossley.

Man of Match: Ryan O’Loughlin

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

  • image 870 Old Doningtonians vs Skegness United
  • image 871 Old Doningtonians vs Skegness United
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  • image 873 Old Doningtonians vs Skegness United

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.


"Stamus in Victoria Unita"