Skegness United 3, Cleethorpes Town Reserves 0
United finally got back to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Cleethorpes on a very windy afternoon at Wainfleet Road.
Luke Rayner-Mistry stole the show with two goals and an excellent all-round performance while returning full-back Nathan Wetton got the other with a fortuitous strike.
Striker Nathan Hotchen came straight into the starting 11 to make his debut while Ben Martin and Ryan O’Loughlin made welcome returns.
United got off to a positive start with a real show of intent as they took the game to the visitors.
An early chance for Hotchen was just wide after the striker showed great initial control. Rayner-Mistry and O’Loughlin were causing all kinds of problems down the flanks as they tormented the visiting full-backs with their penetrating runs but their final ball let them down on a few occasions.
United took a deserved lead after 15 minutes when great work down the right by O’Loughlin led to him crossing to the back post where Luke Rayner-Mistry rose the highest to head home.
United continued to pile on the pressure with the wind at their backs and Chamberlain had a shot from distance that sailed over the bar.
Skegness extended their lead in rather fortuitous fashion 10 minutes later when a cross from the left from Nathan Wetton eluded the keeper and bounced into the back of the net to give them a two goal cushion.
Ryan O’Loughlin had a direct free-kick brilliantly saved and Jamie Skinner headed wide from close range as United dominated up to the break.
Despite the strong wind the second half was a similar affair as United pressured and probed the opposition, making it hard for them to have any time on the ball.
Kurt Crossley was introduced on 50 minutes for Nathan Hotchen who had made a very encouraging debut. Cleethorpes then created their first real chance of the afternoon when their striker volleyed at goal but Ben Martin made a superb reaction save to tip the ball over for a corner.
United finally made the game safe on 62 minutes when inter-play between Smith and Crossley found Rayner-Mistry in the area and he finished clinically with his left foot for his second.
Cleethorpes tried to use the wind to their advantage but found no way past the United defence, marshalled by Stevens and Skinner at the heart and encouraging performances from Reeson and Wetton at full-back.
United ran out deserved winners, which will give them confidence going into next week’s difficult trip to York Street.
Team: Martin, Reeson, Wetton, Stevens (Hallam), Skinner, S Chamberlain, McGuigan, J Smith, O’Loughlin, Rayner-Mistry, Hotchen (Crossley). Man of the Match: Luke Rayner-Mistry. Match Sponsor: ALLCARS Match Ball Sponsor: Hallgate Lincs Ltd.
Elsewhere Skegness United Reserves secured an impressive away victory over high-flying Freiston Reserves after Jordan Houlston fired a hatrick and Zach Bray hit a brace.