SKEGNESS UNITED 7 BOSTON ATHLETIC 3
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