Late fightback denies United a place in the cup final

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Lincolnshire Challenge Cup

Skegness United 2

Hykeham Town 3

Skegness United missed out on a place in the Lincolnshire League’s Challenge Cup final after Hykeham Town scored two late goals to come from behind.

The contest was switched to Skegness Grammar School due to the current state of United’s regular pitch at Wainfleet Road, and the match kicked off with both sides looking to attack each other from the start.

The opening exchanges were mainly with the visitors, however United were always dangerous on the break with the aerial power of James Gray and the pace of Danny Reid.

Hykeham took the lead midway through the first half, a long ball over the United defence allowed Josh Raby to come in on the blind side and steer his shot across Travis Portas into the far corner of the net.

United continued to try and open up the Hykeham defence, but good defending by Matty Easton and Ben Wyld denied them any clear-cut chances.

The hosts got themselves back into the game five minutes into the second half when in a goalmouth scramble allowed George Hobbins to poke the ball home from close range.

United took the lead 15 minutes later, again from a scramble in the visitors’ area, this time Reid getting the final touch.

Hykeham had a chance to draw level when a penalty was awarded against Jake Portas, in what looked like a case of ball-to-hand.

But from the resultant spot kick, Travis Portas saved his brother’s blushes as he pulled off a great save from Steve Mehta.

However, Hykeham kept throwing long balls into the United area and were rewarded with two identical goals.

Firstly, Robin Newman found himself unmarked at the back post to head home past Portas, and then Easton was in the same position to head Hykeham into the lead.

United pressed to the end but could not find the final opening to take the match into extra time.

The final action of the match saw the referee to issue a red card to Hobbins for a remark made to him.

UNITED: T. Portas, J. Portas, Howitt, Gray (Howard), Cunliffe, Wetton, Kendrick, Hobbins, Gray, Ginniff (Murray-Parris), Reid.

Men of Match: Travis Portas and Corey Cunliffe.