FC KIRTON 1 SKEGNESS UNITED 2
United moved into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup with a hard fought victory over FC Kirton for which keeper Tom Martin was their star man. In the quarter-finals United will meet fellow Division One side Friskney at the Grammar School who beat Wrangle 4 – 0.
On a cold bright afternoon United put pressure on the home defence from the kick off with Alex Kendrick down the right and Callum Barlow and Keaton Grainger down the left causing problems on each attack. However, for all United’s pressure they failed to make a clear cut chance. Both Ryan O’Loughlin and Callum Barlow came close to opening the scoring, and Martin made a number of timely interventions. Little was seen of the home side as an attacking force and Jack Minor in the United goal was mainly dealing with long range shots. Both sides went in level at half-time with all to play for in the second, however United feel they deserved the lead on the balance of play.
Within three minutes of the second half United finally took the lead when Kendrick down the right found RYAN O’LOUGHLIN with a nicely placed pass just inside the Kirton area, and he picked his spot and fired low into the corner. The home side had a chance to draw level with their best chance of the game when they broke free of the visitor’s defence, but Minor was quickly off his line to smoother the shot, and the ball was cleared. United went two up on 58 minutes when Kendrick found O’Loughlin who in turn played KEATON GRAINGER in whose first shot was well saved by Martin, however he followed up and neatly lifted the ball over the keeper into the net.
At this stage of the game it was all United and how many would they score. However, with 20 minutes to go Kirton got themselves back into the match. From a free kick around 25 yards out JORDAN GILLIARD found the top corner with what may be his best strike of the season. Following the goal Kirton had their best period of the game, however United quickly returned to take the advantage and like the first half attacked the home side on both wings, however as in the first they could not find the final touch. Again Martin in the home goal produced a number of fine saves, and the post/cross bar saved him on a couple of occasions.
Team: Jack Minor, Jamie Lyall, Daniel Wager (Elliott Clark), John Courtney, Anthony Miller, Sam Sleight, Alex Kendrick, Daniel Howitt (Zak Bray), Callum Bray, Ryan O’Loughlin and Keaton Grainger.
Hodgkinson Man of Match: Callum Barlow. He was closely followed by Alex Kendrick