Sills and Betteriddge Lincolnshire League
Skegness United 1 Boston United Reserves 0
After securing the Sills & Betteridge league title last week at Gainsborough Town, the pressure was off the United going into the last home game of the season against in form Boston United Reserves at Wainfleet Road which had attracted another large crowd.
From the kick-off, it was clear that United wanted to leave the home fixture season on a high and they were determined to show the United supporters the high quality of football that had secured the league title.
The flowing football started immediately and great play from Ryan O’Loughlin and Luke Rayner-Mistry caused havoc with the Boston defence. Indeed, it was early on in the match that O’Loughlin fired over the Boston bar, signalling his intent to restart his scoring form that was apparent for the majority of the season.
His hunger to score was rewarded when he was awarded a free-kick on the 20-yard line after being brought down. O’Loughlin and Mark Hallam stood over the free-kick but it was Ryan’s sweet left-footed swerving shot that nestled into the bottom left hand corner of the Boston goal with the keeper unsighted.
United continued to pile on pressure playing some excellent football and Michael Howard and Kyle McGuigan were putting in excellent performances in the more forward midfield positions and up-front.
In fact it was the impressive way the United team were defending from the front that was making it difficult for Boston to make any real impact on the game. Man of the match Adam Broom was dominant, working alongside manager Hallam in the midfield, which meant United looked solid, allowing the attacking players to express themselves.
Chances went back and forth, but United remained the most potent and were constantly battling the wind elements to search for another goal, but were left hungry at half-time, still leading 1-0.
Following the interval United’s defensive pairing of Jamie Skinner and Michael Twigge were giving no change to the Boston strikers and Ben Martin was therefore rarely troubled in the United goal.
On 60 minutes, Hallam was replaced by Jordan Smith, who instantly made an impact and injected further pace into the tie.
Further substitutions of Josh Clarke replacing O’Loughlin and Dales replacing Howard added some new impetus to proceedings but apart from a penalty appeal that was waved away when Dales was brought down, United saw out the game far more comfortably than expected.
After the final whistle, the celebrations began in earnest as the United squad were presented with the Linconshire League trophy and individual player trophies.
The champagne flowed and it was clear that Hallam had built a solid team with a fantastic team spirit.
After the match, manager Mark Hallam said: “I thought we were excellent today. We were missing our two skippers in Kurt Crossley and Jordan Walden and yet we still dominated a Boston side that was arguably the form side in the league, coming into this game.
It was great to finally get our hands on the trophy and the jubilation on the faces of the players and the supporters has made all the hard work worthwhile.”
United’s final match is away at Ruston Sports on Monday May 6. Kick-off is 3pm.