Sills and Betteridge
Skegness Town 4
Skegness Town booked themselves a place in the quarter-finals of the Supplementary Cup with victory over Nettleham, who finished the tie with 10 men.
The Nettles stung the Lilywhites by taking a 28th-minute lead, but league leaders Town bounced back to level just before the break and then scored three second half goals to ensure they will finish top of Group B.
It was a repeat of the scoreline when the two sides met at Burgh Road in the same competition earlier in the season.
Nettleham set themselves up with a five-man defence, four across the middle, with Jason Barratt a lone striker.
Organised and disciplined, they soaked up the pressure and frustrated the visitors’ strikers, who resorted to long range efforts that failed to trouble keeper Rory McCracken.
Leading scorer Daniel Reid almost made the breakthrough after 15 minutes when he burst into the box, but steered his effort into the side netting while Michael Hardy headed over at the far post when well placed.
New signing Andy Hewitt in Town’s goal was largely a spectator, but he was suddenly called upon in the 28th minute when Barratt chased down a back pass from Miles Chamberlain.
Hewitt’s clearance smacked against Barratt’s body and fell perfectly for the striker to slot home into an unguarded net.
The seasiders were rocked by the goal and it took some time for them to regain their stranglehold.
And just when it seemed Nettleham were going to take their lead into the half time interval, disaster struck.
McCracken spilled a 44th-minute cross from the right and Reid stabbed the ball home from close range.
There was worse to come for the home side when they conceded a penalty within 60 seconds of the restart.
Andy Parish stepped forward to score his first goal of the season from the spot.
Having worked so hard to stay in the game the home side’s frustration was understandable, but losing their discipline didn’t help their cause.
Referee David Avison dished out a smattering of yellow cards, and something Jonathan Drabble said to the official after his caution for a foul on Town skipper Ben Davison earned his a straight red.
Nettleham continued to battle and could well have drawn level when Barratt brought out a timely save from Hewitt.
It was a reminder that the seasiders still had work to do. Hardy stung McCracken’s fingers with a fierce drive and then Davison had the keeper at full stretch to keep out a back post header.
From the resultant corner sub Matt Veall was on the edge of the area and he steered home his first of the season through a crowd of players.
In the dying minutes Joby Gowshall rose at the back stick to open his account for the season with a firm header.
Town manager Nick Chapman was delighted to have qualified for the quarter-finals with one group match, against Horncastle, to play.
“We struggled to break them down until we stepped up the tempo,” he said, “but the important thing is we kept our composure and got our just reward.”
Skegness Town: Andy Hewitt, Ashley Murrell, Jamie Epton, Michael Hardy, Andy Parish, Miles Chamberlain, Liam Papworth, Ben Davison, Will Britton, Daniel Reid, McCauley Parker, Ben Drysdale, Matt Veall, Joby Gowshall.