Sills and Betteridge Lincolnshire League
Skegness Town 2 Nettleham 1
Skegness Town climbed into second in the table when they completed a league and cup treble over Nettleham, writes Nigel West.
Had they repeated their pair of 4-1 Supplementary Cup wins over the Nettles they’d have risen to the summit, but they had to dig deep to secure three points at a boggy Burgh Road.
Midweek rain had produced a tricky surface and both sides struggled to play any passing football.
The seasiders took the lead midway through the first half when skipper Ben Davison netted.
But the visitors will feel unlucky to have gone in at the break behind, after Carl Newberry twice went close to levelling late in the half.
The Nettleham number 7 was inches away from connecting when he slid in at the far post after 35 minutes, and five minutes later the same player dragged another effort just wide of the target as the Nettles threatened.
The Lilywhites, without the energetic Michael Hardy in their squad because of illness, huffed and puffed after the break, but they were hampered by the conditions.
Nettleham’s leading scorer Jonathan Drabble had home keeper Andy Hewitt at full stretch to keep out a free kick, and there was panic created when the seasiders struggled to clear a corner minutes later.
Town substitute McCauley Parker joined the action with 20 minutes left and he made an immediate impact, whipping in a corner from the right with his left foot. His unmarked brother Liam rose at the far post to head home what proved to be the winner.
The two-goal advantage was halved with six minutes left when the home defence failed to deal with a free kick launched into their penalty area. Substitute Jake Jones swept home the loose ball from close range to made for an interesting last five minutes.
Town’s main threat came from corners and Miles Chamberlain headed narrowly wide when he met McCauley Parker’s inswinger at the changing rooms end.
The Skegness front line was led by Daniel Reid, whose pace frightened the visitors’ defence all afternoon, but he was thwarted by some excellent last ditch tackles.
A three-goal victory would have seen the champions back at the top of the league, but that place is occupied by Horncastle Town on goal difference after their win at Sleaford Town Reserves.
l On Saturday, Skegness Town travel to Lincoln-based Ruston Sports in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup (kick-off 1.30pm).