Skegness United 1
Hykeham Town 5
A much-changed United side kicked off their Lincolnshire League campaign with a 5-1 home defeat to defending champions Hykeham Town.
It was a tough start to the season for the hosts, who had nine new faces in the side, eight of the squad were aged 20 years and under.
Hykeham took a controversial 25th-minute lead as Ben Wyld headed a free kick beyond goalkeeper Travis Portas.
Arron Scutt received a caution for his protests after believing he should have been awarded the decision instead for an over-the-top challenge.
Danny Reid was causing the visitors some problems with strong running but the lead was doubled before the break as poor defending allowed Callum Chapman a clear run at goal.
Three minutes after the re-start Chris Funnell made it 3-0, picking up a loose ball and slotting home.
United gave themselves a chance on the hour mark as they scored the best goal of the game, Dominic Goddard picking up the ball just outside the Town box and firing high into the net.
At this point, United were having the better of the play and James Cooper had to save a Ryan O’Loughlin shot.
But with less than 15 minutes to go Funnell put the game to bed as he completed his hat-trick.
Manager Gary Edgley said: “We always knew this was going to be a tough game for our young team, but for 45 minutes we matched them.
“The second goal really hurt us, but my players will learn a lot from this match and we move on.”
UNITED: T. Portas, J. Portas, Howitt, Tittcomb, Cunliffe, Drummond (Clarke), Scutt, Reid (Pickett), O’Loughlin, Ginniff (Lonslow), Goddard.
Man of match: Arron Scutt.
On Saturday United travel to face Lincoln Railway (KO 3pm).