Sills and Betteridge Lincolnshire League
Grimsby Borough Reserves 1
Skegness Town 4
ALREADY without the services of defender Joby Gowshall, the last news the Lilywhites wanted to hear when they pulled up at the impressive Bradley Community Stadium was that Borough’s first team’s game had been rained off.
Two-hundred yards away, the Reserves’ pitch was declared fit and the home side had a number of willing volunteers with Northern Counties East League experience to help them battle for much needed Lincolnshire League points.
In came John Toyne, Lewis Buckthorpe, Rick Creer and Simon Draper, to strengthen a side which has struggled to get out of the bottom three all season.
There was worse to come for the seasiders, as within two minutes of the kick-off they were reduced to ten men when referee Paul Goodhand red carded goalkeeper Michael Emery for handling outside his penalty area.
From the resultant free kick Buckthorpe gave Borough the lead and Skegness were on the ropes.
The diminutive Jamie Sleight took over between the sticks and Town settled for one up top for the final 88 minutes.
Despite being a man down, the visitors hauled themselves back into the game midway through the first half when Liam Papworth broke down the left and crossed for Arron Scutt to score his sixth of the season.
With the wind and the slope in their favour Grimsby pressed for the rest of the half, while Town relied on the counter attack for their chances.
Buckthorpe twice went close to restoring the home side’s lead, but the teams switched ends with the scores locked at 1-1.
Five minutes after the break, Skegness almost took the lead when Howard found himself one-on-one with his defender and as the Grimsby player back peddled Howard released Papworth, who fired over.
The visitors edged in front on the hour when Howard took on three defenders before firing past a helpless Garth Johnson in the Grimsby goal.
Borough huffed and puffed looking for an equaliser but found Skegness resolute in defence.
At the other end, Borough were in disarray when Matt Veall set up Papworth for his first of the day, a simple tap-in with 15 minutes to go.
Five minutes from the end, Papworth grabbed his 11th of the season when he raced clear of the defence and blasted a right foot shot past Johnson.
The result consolidated Town’s second place in the table and closed the gap at the top to nine points.
Grimsby Borough Res: G Johnson, Pearson, Toyne, Gilby, A Johnson, D Newby, Parker, Buckthorpe, McFarland, Creer, Draper, Deeming, Beattie, G Newby, Finnegan.
Skegness Town: Emery, Trestrail, Beresford, S Sleight, Howland, Cartwright, Scutt, Lyon, Howard, J Sleight, Papworth, Needham, Veall, Elliott.
On Saturday, Skegness will host Skellingthorpe PFC at Burgh Road, with a 2pm kick-off.
Results: Grimsby Borough Reserves 1 Skegness Town 4; Heckington United 1 Cleethorpes Town 2; Horncastle Town 1 Boston United Reserves 0; Hykeham Town 4 CGB Humbertherm 0; Ruston Sports 1 Lincoln United Reserves 7.
Postponed: Supplementary Cup Round Two – Louth Town Reserves v Skellingthorpe PFC.