Sills & Betteridge Lincolnshire league
Skegness United 6 Nettleham 0
Keen to close the gap between themselves and Cleethorpes Town Reserves at the top, the United players put in a scintillating attacking display to hit fourth place Nettleham for six.
On a day when Kurt Crossley and Kyle McGuigan became the first players to make 50 appearances for the club, the Wainfleet Road crowd were treated to some fantastic finishing.
The game started brightly for United when in the first couple of minutes, they forced a corner. However, O’Loughlin’s kick was headed over the bar by Walden.
The first 10 minutes continued to be a scrappy, end-to-end affair with both teams having attempts on goal, but the scores still level.
This was until the 13th minute, when a jinking run from Ryan O’Loughlin resulted in him being brought down in the Nettleham area for a penalty.
Skipper Kurt Crossley confidently stepped up and converted to give United the lead.
Some good play in the middle of the first half between Ryan O’Loughlin and Luke Rayner-Mistry saw United have the upper hand and numerous attempts on the Nettleham goal saw no reward.
On 34 minutes, young Wes McLening came on to make his debut for Ross Muirhead, who had to be replaced due to a tickly cough.
On 42 minutes, United almost doubled their lead when O’Loughlin played through Crossley, who controlled before whipping a shot to the far post, only for the keeper to make a great save. Crossley was then rewarded when on the stroke of half time he chased down a ball from defence and won possession, before squaring to O’Loughlin in the penalty area, who slotted home to give the United a 2-0 lead at half time.
The second half began slowly, with the only memorable attempt coming from a Nettleham free-kick which Munro smashed straight at keeper Ben Martin.
This was until United stepped it up a gear and a free-kick whipped in by O’Loughlin, was met by the head of Crossley to make it 3-0 to the United, giving Nettleham a mountain to climb. Moments later United made it 4-0 when a switched ball from O’Loughlin found the electric Rayner-Mistry who skipped past the full back before cutting inside and blasting home the ball to all but secure the points.
Michael Howard then came on for Jobe Stainton on 64 minutes.
Skipper Kurt Crossley, on a hat-trick, made it 5-0 on 75 minutes with a left-footed shot that floated into the top-left corner of the Nettleham goal for his 22nd goal of the season. His 16th goal in his last 7 games.
The final United substitution was Sam Walker for young Jordan Smith.
The game continued to be mostly all United and Rayner-Mistry put the icing on the cake by slotting home number 6 to cap another marvellous display and send United top of the league with 5 games in hand heading into a crucial Christmas fixture period.
After the match, assistant manager Jason Smith said of the victory “Our front 3 of Kurt, Luke and Ryan were fantastic today and could and should have had more goals with better decision making. All in all though it was a fantastic result that sets us up for next week’s top of the table clash.”
United’s next match is on Saturday December 1, against Cleethorpes Town Reserves.
Kick-off is 2pm at Wainfleet Road.
Squad - Martin, Stainton (Howard), Walden, Muirhead (McLening), Skinner, McGuigan, Sleight, Smith (Walker), Rayner-Mistry, O’Loughlin, Crossley. Not Used - Clarke.
Man of the Match - Kurt Crossley.