Sills and Betteridge Lincolnshire League
Skegness United 1 Nettleham 1
Skegness United were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Nettleham.
United were without Kurt Crossley, Arron Scutt, Jack Knight, Danny Wilkes and Michael Howard, seeing Mikey Forman, Josh Clarke, Corey Cunliffe and Joe Harris come into the side.
The match kicked off on a perfect afternoon for football.
However, the early stages were played out in the midfield area with neither keeper being tested.
During this period United began to take control of the match by dominating possession, but they could not find the telling ball to open up the visitors’ defence.
In fact it was not until the 23rd minute that we had the first goal mouth action when Ryan O’Loughlin picked up the ball half way inside the Nettleham half, moved forward beating two players before his final shot was just wide of the post.
The visitors took the lead on 30 minutes in their first serious attack of the match.
United had committed men forward while on the attack but Ryan O’Loughlin’s pass was intercepted just outside the Nettleham area.
The away side quickly broke with the ball and, after a mix-up between Ross Muirhead and Chris Snaith, Jamie Cains was allowed a free run on goal and placed the ball into an empty net.
United replied with a raid down their left and Cunliffe put a cross into the visitor’s six yard box.
However, there was no one on hand to apply the finishing touch.
From this point it was United who had the upper hand but could not make their advantage pay and went in at half time still trailing by the single goal.
United started the second half as they finished the first, looking to get on level terms.
For the first five minutes they were encamped in the Nettleham half without causing any problems to Richard Duffin in the visitor’s goal.
The first chance of the half came on 52 minutes when, from an O’Loughlin free kick, Ross Muirhead was just wide of the post with his header with Duffin well beaten.
The next minute Nettleham had their best chance since the goal. Cairns broke free on the right and when well placed shot across the goal.
On 55 minutes United finally drew level when Luke Rayner-Mistry picked up a loose ball on the right and played in Ryan O’Loughlin who side stepped his marker and placed his shot from 15 yards past Duffin into the corner of the net.
The game was now opening up more and a passing move involving Clarke and O’Loughlin found Rhys Mansell on the right whose shot was tipped over by Duffin for a corner.
From the resulting corner Rayner-Mistry headed agonisingly over the bar when unmarked inside the six yard box.
With five minutes left on the clock a ball across the face of goal was missed by Mansell when well placed.
When the final whistle went, the United players and management were clearly disappointed to have dropped another two points after dominating the game without creating too many clear-cut chances.
Assistant Manager Jason Smith said: “They came with a game plan of getting 10 men behind the ball and hitting us on the counter and we struggled to break them down without the likes of Kurt, Scutty and Michael in the side.
“We carried a few players today which is disappointing but there were plenty of positives and with several players back next week, we will look to get back to winning ways.”
Team - Snaith, Mansell (Durdey), Forman, Muirhead, Reeson, Harris, Hallam, Clarke, Rayner-Mistry, O’Loughlin and Cunliffe (McLening).
Man of Match: Ross Muirhead.