Skegness Town 3
Two goals from striker Alex Nichols helped back-to-back champions Skegness Town continue their winning start to the new Lincolnshire League campaign.
Nichols struck twice before the interval against plucky opponents Nettleham at the Vertigo Stadium.
The seasiders found the Nettles a much tougher nut to crack than when they visited the coast last season.
“They made it difficult for us, but I never thought we were going to lose the match,” said Town boss Nick Chapman after the game.
“We played some great football at times. It was another excellent three points.”
With both Corey Cunliffe and Miles Chamberlain unavailable, Chapman drafted in Liam Parker at centre back to partner Daniel Stephens. Jake Gibson joined the midfield following the late withdrawal of Arron Scutt, who was suffering from a back injury.
The game began at a quick pace and the visitors competed for every ball, no doubt anxious to put to bed the memories of their 8-0 and 7-1 drubbings suffered on the 3G pitch last season.
But it was the Lilywhites who drew blood, Nichols volleying home midway through the first half after good work by Jordan Smith.
Smith also had a hand in the second goal, again converted by Nichols, which gave the seasiders a useful lead at the break.
Substitute Sam Turner came off the bench to grab the third goal, his first for the club, with 10 minutes left.
“I didn’t think the result was in doubt. Nettleham worked hard and we struggled to break them down at times, but I thought we were always in control,” said Chapman.
TOWN: Portas, Warren, M. Parker, Stephens, L. Parker, Gibson, Rayner-Mistry, Hobbins, Nichols, Smith, Potts, S. Turner, Drysdale.
Skegness now turn their attention to the defence of their county cup crown with the visit of Louth Old Boys to the Vertigo Stadium in the Lincolnshire FA Junior Cup.
The match, which will kick-off at 2.15pm, has been brought forward seven days because of the seasiders’ involvement in the FA Vase against Sleaford Town on September 9.