Skegness Town 1, Skegness United 2

Skegness Town keeper Ricky Lovelace is unable to keep out Aaron Scutt's eighth minute free kick at Burgh Road.
Skegness Town keeper Ricky Lovelace is unable to keep out Aaron Scutt's eighth minute free kick at Burgh Road.

It was never going to be a classic, but this was by no means a positive advert for Lincolnshire League football.

While accepting that there was not just three points at stake, there was no excuse for such a poor afternoon’s entertainment.

Neutral spectators in the crowd of 150-plus will feel cheated by a game littered by petty point-scoring and childish efforts to influence the officials in charge of this local derby.

That said, there were three goals, three yellow cards and a penalty save; so plenty of talking points.

The first highlight was a terrific save by United’s keeper Ben Smith in the fifth minute, when the visiting custodian leapt to his right to dig out a McCauley Parker header destined for the bottom corner of the net.

But it was at the other end that the first blood was drawn. Jack Cotton conceded a cheap free kick in the eighth minute and Aaron Scutt punished the home side by, in the absence of the deadly Ryan O’Loughlin, clipping the setplay over the wall and into the net.

Town struggled to string any passes together in response and there was little fluency in their play for the rest of the half. United were equally ineffective and both keepers had a relatively quiet afternoon.

After the break the Lilywhites went in search of an equaliser, but their finishing let them down. Nerves seemed to get the better of them as they did little more than cancel out their opponents.

It was looking as though one goal was going to settle it when the visitors conjured up a second.

Town were on the attack when the ball fell to Jamie Skinner. He broke out of defence and, unhindered, he pierced the home backline and threaded the ball through to Jordan Smith. Smith still had plenty to do but he lifted the ball over Ricky Lovelace in the home goal to double the visitors’ lead.

Town’s response was immediate and less than a minute after conceding the second goal McCauley Parker steered a cross from Mike Armstrong past Ben Smith in the visiting goal to set up an interesting final ten minutes.

Less than 60 seconds later though United were gifted a chance to put the game beyond their local rivals’ reach. Jack Smith hauled down Kurt Crossley in Town’s penalty area and Jordan Walden stepped forward to claim the spot kick. He fired to his left, but Ricky Lovelace in the Lilywhites’ goal blocked his spot kick. Walden screwed the rebound wide and Smith was booked for joining what was the loudest celebration of the day for the centre half’s miss.

So attention switched to the other end for the last five minutes, but the Lilywhites failed to find the spark to steal a point.

A contribution from the gate receipts and a raffle on the day raised a total of more than £230 for the Ryan Smith Foundation, which promotes safer cycling standards and the wearing of cycle helmets after local teenager Ryan Smith suffered head injuries in a road accident.

Skegness Town: Ricky Lovelace, Liam Parker, Jamie Epton, Andy Parish, Jack Smith, Jack Cotton, Liam Papworth, Ben Davison, Mike Armstrong, Rocky Rawlins, McCauley Parker, Michael Gardner, Jake Akers, Mark Russell, Aaron Shelley, Matt Veall.

Skegness United: Ben Smith, Sean Chamberlain, Andy Appleby, Jordan Walden, David Muirhead, Jamie Skinner, Aaron Scutt, Kyle McGuigan, Luke Rayner-Mistry, Jordan Smith, Kurt Crossley, Michael Howard, Josh Bartlett, Andy Gilbert, Andrew Reeson, Adam Broome.

On Saturday Skegness Town travel to Fulstow Rovers in the Lincolnshire FA Junior Cup, while Skegness United have a trip to Fulbeck United in the same competition.