Skegness United didn’t show any signs of rust as they returned to action with a 7-1 drubbing of Scamblesby.
After four weeks without a fixture, United remained in fine form as they ended the day nine points clear at the top of the East Lincs Football Combination Division Two.
They were looking to complete a league double over their visitors, having won 8–0 back in September.
United had a full squad to select from and this was reflected in the strong bench.
The hosts started the game on the front foot, and in the early minutes Ryan O’Loughlin was just wide of the target with a shot.
However, it was Scamblesby who took the lead on 10 minutes.
After an effort was fired over the Skegness bar, play was brought back for an infringement, and from the resulting dead ball Jack Minor could not prevent Jack Cunningham’s shot finding the corner of the net.
Within two minutes United were level.
A ball floated into the visitors’ area was acrobatically turned in by Alex Kendrick.
At this stage United were playing some good flowing football and O’Loughlin went just over the bar with chip.
United finally took the lead when a good build up by United was finished off with a neat goal from Kendrick, his second of the match.
Seconds later a trademark free kick from O’Loughlin was heading for the top corner when it was headed out by a visiting defender.
Number three came for United with 10 minutes to half time when a curling shot from 20 yards by Arun Gray found the top corner, giving the visiting keeper no chance.
Keaton Grainger headed just over when well placed.
United went in at half time in a commanding position, and the scoreline could have been even greater.
Early in the second half, United netted number four when a corner floated in by O’Loughlin was powerfully headed home by Kieran Rayner-Mistry, his first goal for the club.
United continued to press with the support of Jamie Lyall and Rayner-Mistry down the wings, aided by Jamie Turner and John Courtney from midfield.
Rhys Mansell got onto the score sheet when he received the ball just outside the area, sliding the ball to the left and firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
United made changes at this stage with Kyle McGuigan, Jonny Hodson and Ashley Reid coming on for Turner, Mansell and Rayner-Mistry.
The next 15 minutes saw Scamblesby have their best spell of the match and they forced a number of corners.
However, the United defence stood strong and gave good protection to Jack Minor in the home goal.
With the game entering the final 10 minutes United scored number six when a clever through ball found Grainger, who rounded the keeper and slotted home from an acute angle.
United continued to look at enhancing their goal tally and, with the final action of the game, Hodsdon battled through the visiting defence and fired home with two defenders in a desperate attempt to clear the ball.
With their nearest rivals Sutton Rover losing at Alford, United increased their lead at the top of the table.
UNITED: J. Minor, Lyall, Rayner-Mistry (Read), Mansell (Hodson), Simpson, Gray, Kendrick, Courtney, Grainger, O’Loughlin, Turner (McGuigan); Subs (not used): Wager, Hayes.
On Saturday United are away at Manby, who play at Wood Lane, Louth, in the Junior Challenge Cup (KO 1.30pm).