Lincoln United Reserves 0, Skegness Town 1
A super strike from new signing Mike Armstrong on the stroke of half time was enough to seal three points for the Lilywhites at league leaders Lincoln United Reserves.
Town travelled to the big city without the influential Liam Parker, Michael Gardner, Jack Smith, Aaron Shelley and Danny Wilkes.
In came Armstrong and fellow new signing from Louth, Rocky Rawlins, Jamie Epton and Ricky Lovelace.
The seasiders performed well enough in the first half to justify a lead at the break, but they had to wait until ten seconds from the end of the first period to break the deadlock. But what a strike!
Former Louth Town striker Armstrong, who had been ably supported by Rocky Rawlins in attack, latched onto the ball 25 yards out and unleashed an unstoppable shot past the Lincoln keeper.
It was no more than the seasiders deserved, but the home side put them under intense pressure in spells after the break.
That said, the seasiders could have pushed the game beyond United’s reach during the first ten minutes of the second half.
Town skipper Ben Davison reached the by-line in the inside right position before firing across the home goal, but McCauley Parker failed to get the all-important touch.
Parker threatened again in the 55th minute but had the ball nicked from his toe end as he was about to double Town’s lead.
Another Parker corner fizzed across the Lincoln goalmouth to the relief of the home defence.
Gradually United hauled themselves back into the game and on the hour the seasiders had a narrow escape when the ball drifted to the far post, only to be fired into the side-netting.
United continued to press, but found Jake Akers and Jack Cotton at the heart of the visitors’ defence, in top form. The closest they came to equalising was just after the hour when a ball into the Skegness penalty box was deflected onto the top of the cross bar.
Lovelace’s goal was otherwise rarely threatened, despite the home midfield dominating possession at times.
The seasiders dug deep and hung onto the three points which enabled them to climb into third place in the league table.
After the game Town boss Nick Chapman said it had been another great test for the Lilywhites with a number of the squad unavailable.
“We played some really entertaining football in the first half, dominating a good 45 minutes and finishing off with a great strike from Armo.
“The second half was just as pleasing, not so much for the football played, but for our desire and commitment to grind out a result,” he said. “For long periods we were under the cosh, but refused to buckle.”
Skegness Town: Ricky Lovelace, Ben Etches, Jamie Epton, Andy Parish, Jake Akers, Jack Cotton, LIam Papworth, Ben Davison, Rocky Rawlins, Mike Armstrong, McCauley Parker, Sam Walker.
The Lilywhites are without a game on Saturday, due to some of their team being involved in the league representative squad’s trip to the Peterborough League in the FA Inter League competition.
They return to action on October 5, when local rivals Skegness United are the visitors to Burgh Road. Part of the gate receipts on that day, along with other fund-raising by the Lilywhites, will be presented to the Ryan Smith Foundation, set up to promote safer cycling to save lives.