Skegness United 2, Boston United Res 2

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Sills and Betteridge Lincolnshire League

United entertained the current league leaders with Ben Smith returning in goal in place of Michael Howard, the only change from the team that won the previous week at Horncastle in the Junior Cup.

The game kicked off in perfect conditions and the home team had the first half chance in the first minute when a ball over the visitors defence for Paul Watts to run onto was just slightly over hit and goalkeeper Andy Hewitt was quickly off his line to gather the ball.

The first real chance for either side came on 8 minutes for Skegness United when a cross from Sean Chamberlain was headed goal wards by Kurt Crossley, but was just wide of the upright.

The first 20 minutes belonged to the home side and they won a number of free kicks, however they did not test Hewitt as much as they should have.

Ben Smith in the United goal was spectator during this period only dealing with through balls, and back passes.

Boston’s first chance came on 28 minutes when following a free kick the ball fell to Lee Orrey, but his shot lacked power and was easily gathered by Smith.

The game continued towards the visitor’s goal, however the defence held strong and gave good protection to Hewitt.

With five minutes of the half remaining Boston were controversially awarded a penalty when Jamie Skinner was adjudged to have brought down Lee Orrey just inside the area which was a decision made by the assistant referee despite the referee being just as close to the incident.

The United players were furious and from the resulting penalty, Elliott Price sent Smith the wrong way from the spot.

Then, three minutes later, from a United corner the ball bounced around the Boston six yard box after hitting the post before being collected by Hewitt before a United player could make a connection.

Shortly afterwards the half time whistle blew with Boston holding onto their lead, however United will have felt aggrieved after being on top for most of the half.

The second half started with Boston taking the game to United and on 55 minutes Boston doubled their lead after a quick break away from a United corner when Michael Gardner ran the length of the United right hand side before putting over a cross which was knocked home at the far post by Lee Orrey from close range after Price’s initial shot fell kindly for him.

Callum Hyland and Danny Stevens were introduced in place of Andy Reeson and Kyle McGuigan early in the half.

Two minutes later United replied when a shot from Arron Scutt was just wide of the target. Since the second Boston goal it was now all United and Watts was just off target with a header from a free kick.

Another turning point in the game then came when Boston’s Charlie Ward was harshly sent off after receiving his second yellow card.

United sensed the opportunity to get back into the game and a chip shot by Scutt over Hewitt was just over the bar.

Entering the final ten minutes United won a number of corners, however their finishing let them down as chances came and went.

Then with five minutes to go, United got themselves back into the game when Michael Howard who had come on 10 minutes previous was brought down in the area.

Despite the defender being the last man no card was shown to the dismay of the United players. Howard brushed himself off and took the spot kick himself sending the keeper the wrong way to reduce the deficit.

United sensed an opportunity and threw everything at the league leaders and with added time approaching Luke Rayner-Mistry fired home a stunning goal from the edge of the area through a crowded goalmouth to send the home crowd into raptures.

With seconds to go, United had one final chance to win it as Rayner-Mistry charged through on goal, but he was inches away from getting the final touch to get the winner.

At the final whistle, United had secured a point and on the balance of play, they more than deserved, although Boston will have been disappointed to give away a two goal lead so late in the game.

Manager Mark Hallam said: “We played well first half without being at our best, but the shocking penalty decision brought them into the game just before half time which was very harsh on our players.

After giving away a sloppy second goal on the counter I have to credit the players with showing great character to come back and steal a point in injury time but it still feels like two points dropped based on the whole game.”

Team: B Smith, Chamberlain, Appleby, Broom, McGuigan (Stevens), Skinner, Scutt, Watts (Howard), Rayner-Mistry, Reeson (Hyland), and Crossley.

Man of Match: Arron Scutt.

Next Saturday (November 23) United are at home to another top four side in Hykeham Town with a 2pm kick off.