Honours are even in Skegness derby day duel

Hotting up: The Skegness derby heats up on a muddy Burgh Road pitch.

Hotting up: The Skegness derby heats up on a muddy Burgh Road pitch.

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Man of the match for this latest Skegness derby was the groundsman and his team for getting the game played.

Following heavy rain early in the week, they spent hours soaking up water from the surface.

It was playable, but it didn’t make for a spectacle of a match.

United went into the game looking to maintain their 100 per cent record at Burgh Road in the league after three consecutive 2-1 victories.

United welcomed back Arron Scutt and Michael Howard to the starting line-up along with the exciting James Steed who made his debut.

Both sides battled, but the conditions hindered any flowing passing moves.

It was the home side who seemed to adjust to the surface first, with their direct style causing early problems for the United defence, but the first chance of the match fell to Town when a cross from the right was missed by Alex Tittcomb and Will Briton’s first-time shot was spectacularly turned round the post by Chris Snaith for a corner.

The game soon developed into a midfield battle with both sides showing commitment and endeavour without really threatening either goal.

United keeper Snaith pulled off a couple of good saves to keep the scores level and the Lilywhites hit a post, but it was United who took a slender lead into the half- time interval when former Town player Kurt Crossley opened the scoring with a stunning half volley that nestled in the corner after bamboozling the Town defence.

After the break both sides continued to battle against the elements.

Steed pulled his shot wide when well placed and at the other end.

Snaith was at full stretch again to deny Ashley Murrell when Town caught their rivals napping with a quickly taken free kick.

As the second half went on, the home side piled on the pressure, launching the ball forwards at every opportunity.

United were always dangerous on the break with Luke Rayner-Mistry, Scutt and Steed making probing runs at the home defence but they could not find the final ball to calve out a chance to increase their lead.

From a McCauley Parker corner taken from the right, former United man Miles Chamberlain rose unchallenged to head home the equaliser with nine minutes left on the clock.

For the remainder of the half both sides attacked looking to find the winner and Rayner-Mistry looked as though he might have got through on goal but he cut back inside and the Town defence recovered to clear.

As the final whistle blew there was no doubt that the players from both sides had given 100 per cent on a very difficult playing surface and 1–1 had seemed a fair score line for both sides on chances created.

United manager Mark Hallam said: “Despite an awful surface we stuck to our beliefs and tried to play our football and had most of the possession without creating too many clear cut chances. Town’s very direct style caused us problems although I did not see us conceding unless it was a set-piece, which proved to be the case.

“On chances created I think 1-1 was a fair result but we are bitterly disappointed to concede so late in the game.”

Skegness Town manager Nick Chapman said: “It was hard to play football on that surface, but I thought it was a typical local derby.

“It was all huff and puff with no quarter asked or given and I was pleased by the way we kept going and deservedly equalised.”

Town - Andy Hewitt, Ashley Murrell, Jamie Epton, Michael Hardy, Miles Chamberlain, Andy Parish, Liam Papworth, Ben Davison, Will Britton, Kieron Elliott, McCauley Parker, Daniel Reid, Liam Parker, Matt Veall.

United - Chris Snaith, Joe Harris, Luke Durdey, Alex Tittcomb, Kyle McGuigan, Michael Howard, Arron Scutt, Sean Chamberlain, Luke Rayner-Mistry, James Steed, Kurt Crossley, Matt English, Michael Forman, Corey Cunliffe, Andy Reeson, Josh Clark.