WEDNESDAY 31st AUGUST 2016
SUTTON ROVERS 1 SKEGNESS UNITED 9
Going into this final pre-season friendly, United had almost a full-strength squad to draw from with only a few faces missing from the line-up. From the start, the young United team took the game to the home side, playing some very attractive flowing football. For the first quarter of an hour, United pressed and pushed Sutton to try gaining the advantage but the home defence stood firm. Finally on 17 minutes, the pace of Dom Murray-Parris proved to be too much when he was able to latch on to a loose ball and then calmly slotted the ball past the hme keeper for the 1st goal of the night. This was nothing more than United deserved for all their pressure. Strangely, against the run of play, Sutton grabbed an equaliser. Whilst still on a high from opening the scoring, United sat back and allowed the Sutton side to work some space, the loose ball found its way to the edge of the area where it was hammered home. 1 - 1.
This seemed to fire up United who then proceeded to grab the game and push harder. Through a combination of solid defensive work and loose passing the game remained tied until the half hour mark when Dom Murray-Parris anticipate a loose pass at the back for Sutton. This left him in acres of space which he used wisely to draw the keeper then slid the ball home. 2-1 United. With half-tie fast approaching, it was that man Dom again who seized a long forward pass to run at the Sutton defence. Calmly rounding the keeper, he slotted home for his hat trick. 3-1 United.
After the restart, the game had barely kicked off when Dom Murray-Parris yet again used his pace to get on the end of a neat through-ball. He out-stripped the chasing defence to slip the ball under the advancing keeper. 4-1 United. Within a couple of minutes, United had extended their lead even further following som eneat interplay, Dom slipped the ball through to Zak Bray who slotted the ball home from a tight angle. 5-1 United.
By now, the young United side were brimming with confidence and the play reflected this. Every ball was chased as they sought to add to their lead. Following a loose pass at the back for Sutton, yet again Dom Murray-Parris seized the ball and slipped the ball past the keeper to make it 5 for him and 6 for United. As the game was drawing to a close, an impressive Sam Green was set free by some neat midfield play and a cool head saw him grab his first goal. 7-1 United. Minutes later, United pushed even further ahead. With the keeper closing the angle, a clever lob by Rhys Mansell dropped neatly into the Sutton net. 8-1 United.
As the final whistle approached, a late tackle brought a penalty for United. With the score sitting as it was, United would have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas. This was clearly not the case. As the ball was placed on the spot Jonny Hodson stepped up to smash the ball into the back of the net to make it 9-1.
An absolutely solid performance from United as they head into the start of the season at the weekend. Everyone played their part in the game and contributed to a fantastic scoreline for the young United side.