Cup progress as United net quarter-final spot

Lincolnshire Junior Cup

SKEGNESS United are through to the quarter-finals of the Lincolnshire Junior Cup after a win away at Limestone Rangers in tricky conditions.

But although they never looked like losing after weathering a difficult opening spell, a strong wind and small uneven pitch made it an awkward tie for the Skegness team to negotiate.

This was also not helped by the unavailability of several key players, including skipper Paul Watts, Ben Davison, Joby Gowshall and Arron Scutt to name but a few.

After 15 minutes United’s first bit of quality football led to the opening goal.

Kurt Crossley played a delightful ball into the path of 16-year-old Jack Wightwick on the edge of the box, who ran past the last defender and rounded the home keeper for his second goal in as many starts at the club.

Young Wightwick almost doubled the United lead when he played a short corner with Andy Hallam before ghosting past two defenders and firing at goal only to see it hit the post.

The second goal did arrive though when a corner from the left was played into the near post by Andy Hallam and John Courtney got across the front of the defender to volley home with the aid of a slight deflection.

United then added a spectacular third goal from an in-direct free-kick 25-yards out.

The ball was touched to the returning Andi Reeson and he fired it straight into the top corner of the net to give the home keeper no chance.

Limestone were gifted a way back into the game just before half-time when Jamie Skinner’s attempted clearance fell at the feet of the home striker, who was able to steer the ball past a stranded Martyn Margarson to reduce the defecit.

Moments later the home side had another breakaway and Margarson in the United goal had to be alert. He made a good save to keep out an effort from the veteran home striker to ensure United maintained a two-goal cushion going into the break.

The second half started with Limestone obviously lifted by their goal and they put pressure on United without really carving out any clear cut chances.

This was due in part to the solid defensive display by United’s back four of Reeson, Walden, Skinner and Drysdale.

The tackles were beginning to fly in and Keiron Elliott and Jack Wightwick were both replaced as a precaution with joint manager Mark Hallam and Mikey Hardy joining the action.

Although chances were created and Margarson had to be on his toes to make two good saves during the second period, there were no further goals and as a spectacle the game was spoilt by the swirling strong wind and Limestone’s approach to the game.

However, the United management will have been happy with how hard the team worked to book a place in the quarter finals of the competition.

Joint Manager Mark Hallam said: “It was a difficult place to come and the only thing that mattered was booking our place in the next round.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t keep a clean sheet but the work ethic the boys showed in very difficult conditions was top draw.”

United - Margarson, Reeson, Drysdale, Walden (c), Skinner, Hyland, A Hallam, Elliott (M Hallam), Courtney, Wightwick (Hardy), Crossley.

Man of the Match: Martyn Margarson.