Sleaford Town Res 1
Skegness Town 0
Having done the hard bit, dismissing neighbours United in the quarter-finals, a depleted Skegness Town went out with a whimper against a strong Sleaford Town second string.
It was a disappointing end to their cup run with a number of factors conspiring against them.
Easter Saturday commitments, both work and social, dealt them the biggest blow, affecting the availability of both management and players.
Then key defender Liam Parker pulled up in the warm up with a troublesome calf injury.
The body language of some of the squad suggested this was the final nail in the coffin of any hope of progressing into the final showpiece against Lincoln United Reserves on May 4.
So they didn’t need further excuses, like a dodgy playing surface and the postponement of Sleaford’s United Counties League fixture.
The Lilywhites had already been to Eslaforde Park in the league, winning 4-1 back in September. But this was a totally different Sleaford squad. Only two of the 14 players had survived and buoyed by recent improved results, they approached this fixture with real belief.
The seasiders, on the other hand, looked to be feeling sorry for themselves and failed to seriously test the home keeper for the entire 90 minutes.
Sleaford were also restricted to half chances during the first half until a harmless looking cross from the right bobbled up to the hand of Andy Reeson. Nathan Holland made no mistake with the 45th minute spot kick.
The Lilywhites needed to up their game if they were going to stay in the competition, but they got little change from Adam Fenton, Kris Jones and Shaun Popple at the heart of the home defence.
Apart from a couple of crosses Sleaford keeper Garry Doran had a pretty quiet afternoon, while Macauley Parker cleared off the line at the other end to keep the visitors in the game.
Even the diehard spectators who had braved the biting wind must have been grateful that the seasiders were unable to force 30 minutes extra time. Some suggested that it was a good job that Sleaford had been awarded the penalty because neither side looked capable of adding to the score.
Skegness Town: Ryan Thompson, Ben Drysdale, Macauley Parker, Andy Parish, Jake Akers, Ben Davison, Andy Reeson, Jamie Epton, Liam Papworth, Greg Brown, James Bland, Damian Howland, Michael Parnham.
On Saturday the Lilywhites are at home to Lincoln United Reserves in what should have been a dress rehearsal of the Supplementary Cup Final (kick-off 3pm).
On Tuesday evening they entertain Boston United Reserves (kick-off 6.30pm) and two days later welcome Horncastle Town to Burgh Road.