Sills and Beteridge Lincolnshire League
Challenge Cup Quarter Final
Grimsby Borough Reserves 1 - 8 Skegness United
The United recovered from a poor first half performance to hit eight goals and play some fantastic football in the second half against the Grimsby side booking a semi final place against Ruston Sports in the process.
Man of the Match Danny Stevens stole the show with a debut hat-trick with two sublime free kicks and a penalty, while doubles for skipper Kurt Crossley and Arron Scutt alongside a Callum Hyland header completed a second half rout.
The United were without the injured Kyle McGuigan while Jordan Walden and Ben Smith were unavailable which meant Michael Howard kept goal for the away side.
In a very scrappy opening period neither side were able to really get a grip of the game with too many passes going astray and final balls lacking any real accuracy. It was the home side who had the first real chance as they hit the United on the counter attack but hesitation from Nimmo allowed the defence to recover and clear. It was Borough who made the break through though on 15 minutes when Jordan Smith was robbed of the ball just inside his own half and from a full 40 yards Stewart lofted the ball over Howard and into the back of the net superbly.
The United were clearly suffering a hangover from last weeks defeat as frustration crept into their play and they looked devoid of any real confidence which was not helped by the home keeper making 3 stunning saves. Despite his heroics he could do nothing to prevent United’s equaliser right on the stroke of half time. Danny Stevens lined up a free kick fully 30 yards from goal and struck a superb shot that flew into the keepers left top corner, leaving him rooted to the spot. This was the moment of magic that United needed, taking them in level at half time.
Whatever was said at half time seemed to have an immediate impact as the United players tempo and passing were unrecognisable to that in the first half and they took the lead after just three minutes when Kurt Crossley converted a penalty.
On 56 minutes Arron Scutt made it 3-1 with a clever finish before adding his second six minutes later which was the goal of the game. A passing move involving nearly the whole team led to Crossley finding Scutt on the edge of the area and he cut inside his marker before bending a shot in off the underside of the crossbar right in the top corner of the goal.
It was a goal fitting for the Match of the Day studio.
Luke Rayner-Mistry was then introduced in place of Jordan Smith. Three minutes later Danny Stevens lined up another free kick 25 yards from goal and he expertly bent it low around the wall and into the bottom corner.
Corey Cunliffe then replaced Adam Broom. On 75 minutes Stevens completed his hat-trick after his skipper Kurt Crossley allowed him to score from the penalty spot to make it 6-1 after Rayner-Mistry had been brought down.
Number seven arrived only a minute later as United stole the ball straight from the restart and Crossley cleverly finished after a Chamberlain cross from the right.
Callum Hyland completed the second half rout when he headed home via a slight deflection after a cross from Reeson.
Manager Mark Hallam said: “After the first 45 minutes where we were complacent and lacked any real cutting edge, we produced a stunning second 45 minutes of flowing football which has to be the standard we strive for now for the remainder of the season.”
Man of the Match: Danny Stevens
Team: Howard, Chamberlain, Appleby, Stevens, Skinner, Broom (Cunliffe), Hyland, Reeson, J Smith (Rayner-Mistry), Scutt, Crossley.
Next Saturday the United travel to Horncastle in the Lincs Junior Cup for a 1.30pm Kick Off. They will be buoyed by the recent signing of former captain Paul Watts who has returned to the club having captained them to a Supplementary Cup triumph in 2012 and will go straight into the squad this Saturday.
Manager Mark Hallam said: “Everybody at the club is delighted that Watty has been able to return to the club after prematurely retiring due to work commitments. His experience and the example he sets for the young players is priceless as are the goals we know he will bring to the team.”