North Thoresby 0
Skegness United 2
United travelled to North Thoresby knowing the winners of the game would move clear at the top of the table.
Once again, United had to make changes due to unavailability. Ryan O’Loughlin returned to the starting line up, Conor Minor reverted to right back with Jamie Lyall moving to central defence to form a solid partnership with Alex Simpson.
On a perfect afternoon for football, it was United who made an excellent start after two minutes. United won the ball just inside the home side’s half and Keaton Grainger was sent free down the left and when his cross came in, Ryan O’Loughlin was on hand to knock the ball home from five yards.
Following the goal, the game settled down with neither side taking control. The first shot for the home side came on 15 minutes when, following a corner, the ball was cleared to Ash Sarbutt whose shot went straight into the arms of Jack Minor. Two minutes later, the action returned to the other end when a good passing move by United resulted in Alex Kendrick’s shot being saved by home keeper Jason Stamford.
Then on 25 minutes, Kendrick was played through, however, his final shot was over the bar. O’Loughlin on the right and John Courtney in the middle were causing problems to the home side with their close ball control.
A free kick for United gave O’Loughlin a chance at goal but his attempt went just over the bar. At this stage, United had control with Thoresby getting men behind the ball, however the visitors could not find the final pass to open up the defence.
With the half drawing to a close, Thoresby had their best chance. United failed to clear the ball on the edge of the area and Dave German had a clear run on goal. His shot beat Minor, however, Dan Wager running back cleared the danger.
United went in at half time with a one goal lead, however on balance of play would have liked a bigger advantage.
The home side started brightly at the start of the second half and United had difficulty on two occasions in clearing a couple of balls played into the box. On 55 minutes, United went close to increasing their lead when Kendrick headed against the post from a Minor cross.
At this stage of the game, Thoresby were relying on breakaways, and United had total control of the midfield. The visitors were beginning to open up the home defence and on a number of occasions the home side were desperate to clear their lines. On one of these occasions, Simpson headed over when well placed from a Courtney cross.
United finally went two up when man-of-the-match O’Loughlin received the ball 25 yards out and with a trademark shot found the top corner of the net, giving home keeper Stamford no chance.
United continued to attack the home goal with a number of half chances being created, however they always had to be aware of the home side on the break.
At the final whistle, United had secured the points to go clear at the top in what was one of their best performances of the season. The side was solid from the back to the front.
Skegness United: J. Minor, C. Minor, Wager (Bee), Mansell, Simpson, Lyall, Kendrick, Courtney, Grainger (Hayes), O’Loughlin, Turner (Hodson).
n United now have three home fixtures in the run up to Christmas, the first on Saturday when they entertain North Thoresby in a mini league competition. Kick-off 1.45pm.