Skegness Town 7
Skegness Town sealed the Balcan Lighting Supplies Lincolnshire League title for the second consecutive year with a comprehensive win over Nettleham.
In front of a large crowd on the 3G pitch at the Vertigo Stadium, the Lilywhites wasted no time asserting their authority over a young Nettleham side and took the lead within the first minute.
For the rest of the half the visitors’ goal led a charmed life as the seasiders raided at will, guilty of overplaying on occasions.
But early in the second half they added to their 2-0 interval lead and the floodgates opened. They reached 6-0 within the hour, before taking their foot off the gas.
Nettleham pulled a goal back from the penalty spot before Jordan Potts capped a fine individual performance with a peach of a goal in the last minute.
Still smarting from the 8-0 drubbing they suffered at the Vertigo Stadium in the county cup semi-final, the visitors were not relishing another trip to the seaside and were forced to sign on three players just before kick-off.
These included keeper Ryan Ohanraham, who must have wondered what he had let himself in for when the lethal Will Britton forced the ball home at the far post within the first 60 seconds.
It should have been 2-0 a minute later, but Courtney Warren headed wide of a gaping goal.
Nettleham were chasing shadows during this early period, but a tamely hit shot from Potts failed to trouble their keeper.
Nine minutes in, a strong challenge from the visitors’ skipper Jake Keyworth resulted in an injury to Ben Davison, which saw him having to limp off shortly afterwards, to be replaced by Arron Scutt.
A Potts cross from the left deceived Ohanraham and rebounded from his left hand post and in the 25th minute the keeper dived to his right to push Warren’s fierce drive onto his other upright.
Two minutes later Britton appeared to have doubled his tally when he raced through to reach the ball before the Nettleham keeper, but his lob bounced wide of the target.
Alex Nichols was the next to rattle the frame of the goal, when he fired a right foot shot from 18 yards that had Ohanraham beaten but rebounded to safety off the top of his left hand post.
At the other end Nettleham fired a warning shot when Callum Gray latched onto a poor clearance from keeper Travis Portas and raced goalwards. He slid the ball past the Skegness custodian, only for Andy Parish to clear off the line.
Town finally doubled their lead in the 35th minute when an overhit corner from the right was retrieved by Parish, who crossed back into the danger area. The ball was half cleared by the visitors, but Nichols hooked the ball back over his head, presenting the unmarked Stevens an easy chance to head home from close range.
Britton’s frustrating afternoon continued when he blasted a 36th minute chance over the bar. So the score at the break remained 2-0.
The second half was less than five minutes old when Potts and Jamie Epton worked an opening down the left before setting up George Hobbins, who from 18 yards lifted the ball over Ohanraham with the outside of his right boot to make the score 3-0.
McCauley Parker, a 50th minute substitute for Epton, wasted no time in getting onto the scoresheet, crashing an outstanding shot in off the far post from the acutest of angles.
It was exhibition stuff now and fellow substitute Luke Rayner-Mistry volleyed home from close range after a mesmerising passing move involving Potts, Parker and Hobbins.
Britton made it 6-0 in the 58th minute when he capitalised on a mistake in the Nettleham defence before sliding the ball past the helpless keeper.
The Nettles managed to stem the tide and in the 73rd minute they were awarded a penalty, which David Coyde slotted home.
Ohanraham denied Britton his hat-trick with 15 minutes to go when he dived to his right with a strong hand, before Keyworth fired over when well placed at the other end.
The Nettleham keeper pulled off another fine save down to his left when Britton tried to finish another great move involving Parish, Rayner-Mistry and Hobbins.
The striker went even closer to completing his hat-trick in the 80th minute, but a shot with the outside of his right foot went inches wide.
Potts opened his Lincolnshire League account with the final goal in the dying seconds, when he found the top corner from 18 yards.
After the match the team were presented with the championship trophy by the league sponsor Julian Rinfret of Balcan Lighting Supplies Lincolnshire League, accompanied by League chairman Keith Weaver.
Skegness Town: Portas, Warren, Epton, Stevens, Parish, Hobbins, Cunliffe, Davison, Britton, Nichols, Potts, Rayner-Mistry, Parker, Scutt.
On Wednesday Skegness Town travel to Wyberton for their final league game in a dress rehearsal of their Lincolnshire FA Junior Cup Final. Kick-off at the Causeway is 6.30pm.
Their final match of the season will be the county cup final at Sincil Bank on Friday, April 28 (Kick-off 7.45pm).
Pictured at their new Vertigo Stadium are, from the left, back row: manager Nick Chapman, Arron Scutt, Jamie Epton, Luke Rayner-Mistry, Travis Portas, George Hobbins, Alex Nichols, Corey Cunliffe, Ben Davison; Front row: Courtney Warren, Jordan Potts, Will Britton, Andy Parish, McCauley Parker, Daniel Stevens.
Alo celebrating were assistant manager Jason Smith and coach Brian Sargeant,