Lilywhites leave it late to repel fightback

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Sills and Betteridge

Lincolnshire League

Skellingthorpe PFC 2

Skegness Town 3

SKELLINGTHORPE will be wondering what they have to do to earn a win against the Lilywhites.

Twice on successive Saturdays they have fought back from a two-goal deficit, and looked likely to go on and seal the three points.

However, twice on successive Saturdays they have fallen to a sucker punch as unconvincing Town made their chances count.

The seasiders were without strikers Michael Howard, Dan Tuplin and Paul Watts and so leading scorer Liam Papworth took up the number 9 shirt, supported by 16-year-old Kieran Elliott.

It was at the other end, however, where the early drama unfolded, with Alex Mumby, scorer of two goals at Burgh Road a week earlier, powering a header against the foot of a Skegness upright. Colin Wilson’s teasing cross from the left deserved a goal, but this time Mumby was unable to deliver.

Town’s first real chance arrived after 17 minutes when Papworth, the seasiders’ liveliest threat in the early stages, worked his way into the danger area but was thwarted by a diving Kris Nelson.

Two minutes later, the same player had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock, but again Nelson was equal to it.

The first half ended goalless, but Papworth needed just two minutes of the second period to put that right, firing home from close range after a slick interchange of passes during the build up.

Five minutes later, the seasiders were coasting after Papworth’s second, another close range effort which took his tally for the season to 16 goals.

This setback triggered the call from the Akpoveta brothers, Jarrett and Jordache, to warm up.

When Ryan Ashworth’s shot from the right was brilliantly tipped round the post by Michael Emery, the home camp decided to introduce the siblings to the action, and they wasted no time in making their presence felt.

A precision, albeit free, header from Jarrett Akpoveta halved the deficit midway through the second half and Skegness looked to be in trouble.

With memories of the two-goal lead they squandered the previous week, Town struggled to repel the tide of Skellingthorpe attacks, and in the 75th minute Skegness skipper Damian Howland stabbed the ball past his own keeper to level the scores, with Jarrett Akpoveta about to pounce.

Mumby missed a couple more chances before Lewis Cartwright struck at the other end to steal the three points.

Chris Neale’s 89th minute long throw was met at the near post by Cartwright, whose glancing header looped over Nelson, putting paid to Skellingthorpe’s comeback.

Skellingthorpe PFC: Nelson, Kelsey, Steadman, Batchelor, Clay, Ashworth, Atkinson, Stocks, Mehta, Mumby, Wilson, Duffin, Jarrett Atpoveta, Jordache Atpoveta.

Skegness Town: Emery, Needham, Neale, S Sleight, Howland, Cartwright, Veall, Lyon, Papworth, J Sleight, Elliott, Mangnal.

On Saturday, Skegness will be in the Lincoln area again, when they take on Lincoln United Reserves at Ashby Avenue, with a 3pm kick-off.