United claim a higher-grade scalp in friendly opener

Luke Rayner-Mistry (centre) celebrates his goal.
Luke Rayner-Mistry (centre) celebrates his goal.

An excellent team performance saw Skegness United return from Boston Town with a 2-1 victory on Thursday.

Arron Scutt, Sean Chamberlain and John Courtney were unavailable, but United gave run-outs to 16-year-old Kyle Howitt and goalkeeper Travis Portas, both giving a good account of themselves at this level.

Other newcomers in the starting line-up were Travis’ brother Jake, Danny Reid, Jamie Skinner and Harry Ginniff.

The match started with the home side having more of the early play, without causing any serious problems to the United defence.

Once the match settled down, United came more into the game with Kurt Crossley and Danny Reid beginning to keep the home defenders on their toes.

They were well supported from midfield by Ryan O’Loughlin, Luke Rayner-Mistry, Harry Ginniff, plus Corey Cunliffe playing a holding role.

United won a number of free kicks at the latter part of the half, but could not take advantage.

With the half drawing to an end, United took the lead when Rayner-Mistry picked up a loose ball in the area and fired past James Doughty in the home goal.

At the break United were deservedly leading 1-0.

United started the second half looking to increase their lead and for the next 25 minutes they were the controlling side.

It was during this period that Crossley increased United’s lead, firing high into the net past Doughty.

O’Loughlin then struck the Town woodwork with a rising shot as Skegness looked for number three.

The hosts pulled a goal back when a mis-hit shot bounced downwards then looped over Portas in the visitors’ goal.

Boston pushed for an equaliser throughout the final 10 minutes, but good defending from Ross Muirhead, Skinner, Howitt, Jake Portas and Alex Tittcombe limited the home side’s chances.

UNITED: T. Portas, J. Portas, Howitt, Skinner, Muirhead, Cunliffe, Ginniff, Reid, Rayner-Mistry, O’Loughlin, Crossley; Subs (all used): Tittcombe, Ralph, Lovelace, Wolstenholme.

United are away at Grimsby-based Bradley Rovers on Saturday (KO 2pm).

United’s young Development side played their first warm-up match at Spilsby Town Reserves, narrowly losing 1-0. The Development squad are away at Sutton Rovers on Friday (KO 7pm).