Ruston Sports 0, Skegness United 3

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UNITED travelled to Ruston hoping to close the gap on league leaders Cleethorpes.

And they took the lead on 30 minutes in spectacular fashion.

Kyle McGuigan, who was just inside his own half, played a long ball down the centre which home keeper Clifton mis-judged in the strong wind and the ball flew into the net to open the scoring.

United took control of the game and Wightwick played a great through ball into Andy Hallam who just fired wide of the goal.

On 35 minutes United increased their lead when Kurt Crossley received the ball in midfield and beat the last defender and placed the ball past Clifton to make it 2-0.

Moments before half time Paul Watts hit the crossbar from 25 yards with a thunderous effort and as Crossley was about to head in the rebound he appeared to be pushed in the back by a defender and headed over the bar.

Despite very loud appeals the referee and linesman waved play on and Rustons cleared the ball to safety.

Skegness started the second half where they left off and added a third goal in the 52nd minute from a corner. Kurt Crossley helped the ball on to Paul Watts who scored from close range.

The squally wind had by now increased again in favour of Ruston, and they were still looking to gain something from the game, but played too many of their balls too long.

The nearest they came to a goal was when a free kick on the edge of the United area was headed over the bar by Jamie Skinner.

Then Wightwick played in Reeson whose shot was saved by the home keeper. Arron Scutt then had a shot turned round for a corner.

Ruston had a half-chance when Hutton shot wide from a good position following a right wing cross.

But it was United who finished the stronger and could have increased their lead from chances for John Atkinson (twice) and Wightwick.

The visitors thought they had added a fourth in the final minutes when Wightwick ran onto Hallam’s through ball and beat Clifton in the home goal but it was ruled out for off-side.

Joint Manager Mark Hallam said: “The squad showed its strength again by putting in a solid performance despite some key absentees.

“Once we scored the first goal we controlled the game and should really have added more goals.”

Man of the Match: Danny Stevens

Team: Ben Prichard, Kyle McGuigan, Neil Thorpe, Callum Hyland (Mark Hallam), Dan Stevens, Jamie Skinner, Andy Reeson, Andy Hallam (Arron Scutt), Paul Watts (John Atkinson), Jack Wightwick and Kurt Crossley.

United now have six home games on the trot (five being in the league) starting this Saturday when they entertain Market Rasen Town at 2pm.

February Fixtures: (Sat 4th) Hykeham (Sat 11th) Louth Town Res. (Sat 18th) League Leaders Cleethorpes Town (Sat 25th) Horncastle Town. (All 2pm Kick Off).