Courtney tames Stamford Lions

John Courtney. Photo: Stephen Willmer.

Skegness United kicked off their county cup campaign with a 4-3 victory over Stamford Lions, who play two levels higher in the Peterborough and District Premier.

John Courtney scored a hat-trick with Dom Lyons also on target.

United were missing centre back Alex Simpson, out for six weeks with injury, and the unavailable Kurt Crossley.

With 15 minutes gone, Ryan O’Loughlin fired inches wide from a free kick.

But they were soon in front as Lyons picked up a ball in midfield and ran across the visitors’ defence before laying the ball into the path of Courtney, who scored with a shot across the visiting keeper.

Two minutes later that lead was doubled as Lyons split the visitors defence in two before placing his shot past the onrushing keeper.

Within a minute the visitors were back in the game when they were awarded a questionable penalty as keeper Jack Minor collided with an opponent as he cleared the ball.

The spotkick was converted and a warning sign arrived when the Lions struck United’s bar.

But it was 3-1 when Courtney fired a 20-yard free kick into the top corner.

O’Loughlin went close either side of Stamford reducing the arrears again, an unmarked opponent heading home from a corner.

The Lions were level on the hour mark when Minor couldn’t stop a strike into his top corner.

But United responded swiftly, Courtney completing his hat-trick from a 20-yard free kick.

Stamford came close to drawing level when Lyall diverted a shot at goal out for a corner and Minor saved a shot at point-blank range.

United felt they should have been awarded a penalty of their own when Zak Bray who was pulled back after breaking free, but it wasn’t given.

Skegness, however, held on for a superb victory.

Manager Michael Howard said: “What a win and what a performance the lads put in today.

“I could not ask for better.

“It was a great game to watch. Stamford were big, powerful and it showed through their set pieces at times.”

UNITED: Minor, Kendrick, Wager, Turner, Lyall, Muirhead, Lyons, Wilkes (Bray), Courtney, O’Loughlin, Grainger; Subs (not used): Mansell, Rayner-Mistry, Ashwell.

Hodgkinson’s Man of Match: Keaton Grainger.

United have no match on Saturday, but return to league action on September 23 at the Grammar School against Swineshead Reserves (KO 2.30pm).

Boston Saturday League

Results from September 9:

Workforce Unlimited Premier Division: Spilsby Town 3 Wyberton Res 3.

Workforce Unlimited Division One: Friskney 1 Horncastle Town Res 3.

Workforce Unlimited Division Three: Skegness Town Res 8 Old Dons Res 1.

Fixtures for September 16:

Workforce Unlimited Division Three: Skegness Town A v College Res (S. Beaumont).

SHS Allum Ltd Fishtoft Cup, round one (KO 2pm): Fosdyke v Skegness Town Res (M. Bruntlett), Friskney v Benington (R. Crozier), Swineshead Inst v Spilsby Town (T. Sharrock).

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