United hit back to save unbeaten run

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Sills and Betteridge

Lincolnshire League

Heckington United 2

Skegness United 2

SKEGNESS United were looking to extend their unbeaten league run to nine league matches in an encounter with Heckington United.

They expected the game to be competitive, as the two previous matches against the same opposition this season had been.

Once again United had to make changes to the starting line up with Martyn Margarson, Ben Davison, Jordan Walden, John Courtney, Kyle McGuigan and Ben Drysdale all missing, and Kurt Crossley only fit enough for the bench.

Danny Stevens was moved between the posts and Jamie Skinner came in for his first match since September due to long term injury.

United were first to threaten after four minutes, when Paul Watts shot over the bar from 20 yards. The next action was again in the Heckington half, when a defender misjudged a ball over the top of their defence, and Callum Hyland ran on to it. Terry half saved his shot and before it could cross the line a defender cleared for a corner.

Heckington were using the pace of Robinson on their right hand side and it was from this area that they opened the scoring after 15 minutes.

Stevens put the ball out for a throw in near the corner flag and before United were able to organise themselves, the throw in was taken quickly and Luke Hollingworth met the long throw, back-heading over Stevens into the net to give the home side the lead.

United pressed forward and Josh Bartlett broke free on the left, but shot into the side netting. After 25 minutes, fine inter-play on the left between Parker and Scutt found Watts, who laid the ball back to Bartlett in the area but he again failed to find the target, firing just over the bar.

Heckington continued to use the ball over the United defence for the pace of Robinson, Hollingworth and Thompson to run onto, and from one of these attacks on 34 minutes, United’s makeshift defence was found napping and Luke Hollingworth ran onto another long ball to beat Stevens and increase Heckington’s lead.

United needed to get back into the game quickly and did so just four mintues later when a delightful Andy Hallam cross from the right was headed home in fine style by leading scorer Paul Watts.

Within two minutes of the restart, United came close to being level when fine passing play down the left between Parker, A Hallam and Watts, resulted in the latter curling his shot just round the far post.

Kurt Crossley came on for Bartlett, and shortly afterwards was brought down in the penalty area after showing great trickery.

Paul Watts stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his hard low shot was turned onto the post by Terry and cleared.

Heckington were now restricted to isolated raids and Joby Gowshall was dominating.

United continued to press forward and on 70 minutes, Crossley headed over from an Andy Reeson cross.

Two minutes later, United did level the scores when Andy Hallam broke down the left, and as he went round Kirwan in the penalty area, he was clearly brought down and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time.

This time, man of the match Joby Gowshall stepped up to take the penalty and fired high into the top corner of the net.

At this stage, joint-manager Mark Hallam replaced Andy Reeson in a last throw of the dice to try and win the game, and United continued to press for the winner, camped in the Heckington half, but could not find a way past their resolute defence.

Skegness Utd: Danny Stevens, Joe Harris, MacCauley Parker, Callum Hyland, Joby Gowshall, Jamie Skinner (Jason Callaby), Andy Reeson (Mark Hallam), Josh Bartlett (Kurt Crossley), Paul Watts, Arron Scutt and Andy Hallam.

On Saturday, Skegness United will entertain Sleaford Town Reserves, with a 2pm kick-off.

This coming Wednesday, November 16, they will be away to Nettleham, 7.45pm kick-off.