FOR their final pre-season friendly, Skegness United FC welcomed Ilkeston Town’s U19 Academy side to Alford Town’s ground.
United were missing some key players including skipper Joby Gowshall, Kurt Crossley and John Courtney but former Rushden and Diamonds and Boston United keeper Martyn Margarson made an impressive debut for Skegness on Tuesday August 9.
The rapidly growing Skegness United fan base will have been left excited about what the season will bring after yet another very encouraging performance prior to their opening game of the season at Swineshead on Saturday.
It was Ilkeston though who started the game on the front foot with some excellent passing and movement that had the United chasing shadows in the early stages.
The young Ilkeston side were full of pace and creativity and deservedly took the lead when their striker stole in at the far post to head home following a corner.
The goal seemed to spark United into life. There was a lot more urgency in closing Ilkeston down and not allowing them the space they had enjoyed in the early stages.
Ten minutes before half time United were level. Reeson crossed from the right and the Ilkeston keeper could only carry a rasping first time shot from Watts, but Callum Hyland was on hand to force home the equaliser.
United came out for the second half in a more confident mood and started to take control of the game.
Although Ilkeston kept the ball well and linked their play with real quality in spells it was now United that were creating the better chances and looking most likely to take the lead.
Ben Drysdale showed great determination in closing down the opposing full back to force a corner midway through the second half.
Reeson again delivered a great ball to the back post where young defender Kyle McGuigan beat his marker to head home.
It was nothing less than they deserved after really taking the game to the young Ilkeston side.
United’s third goal owed a lot to new signing Martyn Margarson.
The former Rushden and Diamonds and Boston United keeper made a long clearance that was flicked on by Mikey Hardy for Watts to run on to, and the prolific striker just managed to get to the ball before the onrushing keeper to make the score 3-1.
United created further chances to add to their tally but when the final whistle blew it was the United who had claimed another encouraging win.
The United management team will be delighted to have only suffered one defeat to Boston Town, despite playing some high level opposition during their pre-season schedule, and it really is going to be a tough decision choosing that starting 11 for their opening game against Swineshead on Saturday.