Workforce Unlimited Division One
Swineshead Reserves 0 Skegness United 4
Skegness United returned to Workforce Unlimited Division One action without a number of senior players - but they still managed a 4-0 victory over Swineshead Reserves.
Jamie Lyall, Ryan O’Loughlin, John Courtney and Danny Wilkes were all absent and United started with a new central defensive partnership of Michael Hardy and Callum Pearce, supported by Zak Bray and Daniel Wager.
The visitors started the game well with Kurt Crossley, Alex Kendrick and Conor Minor controlling the midfield and causing problems to the Swineshead back line.
It was only good goalkeeping by Ben Troops in the home goal, and United’s failing to convert half chances, which prevented the away side taking an early lead.
Little was seen of Swineshead in open play having been kept in check by the United defence.
The only danger to United came from set plays, and from one of these Jack Minor had to be at his best to tip over a free kick.
A flowing move released Keaton Grainger to bring an excellent save from Troops.
Sam Sleight came on for Anthony Hardy and took up a midfield roll, with Kendrick moving to a more right-sided position.
The home side’s best open play move came down their left, forcing Jack Minor to produce a good save to keep the scores level.
On 40 minutes United took the lead when Kurt Crossley flicked a ball into the Swineshead area and Brett Dennis beat Troops to the ball and slotted home.
At the start of the second half Kendrick and Bray changed positions, Bray beginning to cause problems to the Tutes with his pace.
United started the second half in command and on 60 minutes increased their lead.
A corner was not dealt with by the home defence and Daniel Wager was on hand to slam the ball home.
At this stage the home side began to tire on a pitch which had become very heavy down the centre, and Crossley and Minor began to take total control of the midfield.
On 68 minutes United took the game away from the home side.
Conor Minor won the ball on the halfway line and played a one-two with Crossley, going on to make an angle for himself before placing his shot into the corner beyond Troops.
The home side tried to get back into the game but Hardy and Pearce were always first to the ball.
The final goal came on 75 minutes when a 45-yard run from Bray beat two players and he pulled the ball back from the bye line to Grainger who fired home from 10 yards.
United saw the game out, and could have increased their lead.
It was a solid all-round performance in difficult playing conditions.
UNITED: J. Minor, Bray, Wager, Hardy, Pearce, C. Minor (K. Minor), Grainger, Crossley, Dennis, Kendrick, Hardy (Sleight).
Hodgkinson’s Man of Match: Michael Hardy.