Sills and Betteridge Lincolnshire League
Skegness United 3 Hykeham Town 3
Danny Stevens, Callum Hyland, Michael Howard and Jordan Smith returned to the United starting line-up from the previous weeks draw with Boston United.
The United started the game on the front foot, and were rewarded for their positive start by taking the lead when Jordan Smith, who was causing problems to the visitors defence down the right took the ball to the byeline, before intelligently pulling the ball back to Andy Reeson who beat James Cooper in the visitor’s goal from 10 yards at the second attempt.
On 15 minutes Ben Smith was booked by referee Ruddock for committing a foul outside his area when clearing a through ball. Then shortly afterwards Hykeham drew level when a cross field pass by Stevens was caught in possession and Robin Newman was released to go on and beat Smith.
United responded and Cooper had to be quickly off his line on a couple of occasions to block shots from Crossley and Howard who should have done better.
Despite chances going begging the United scored their second on 25 minutes after another run by Jordan Smith down the right, when his cross came in, Kurt Crossley cleverly lost his marker and smashed the ball past Cooper from 10 yards.
Two minutes later United hit the woodwork for the second time when a short corner routine led to Smith having the ball at the corner of the box and he whipped his shot against the crossbar.
United’s next chance came on 35 minutes when from a Stevens free kick 20 yards out Cooper had to produce an excellent save to knock the ball out for a corner. On 40 minutes Hykeham drew level for the second time when following a corner, the ball was headed out by Stevens, however the ball hit a fellow defender, and the ball landed at the feet of Sam Newton who shot home through a crowd of players. Both sides went in level at the break.
Within two minutes of the restart Hykeham had an excellent chance to take the lead, however Newman headed wide of the target from a good position in front of goal.
On 65 minutes Hykeham took the lead for the first time when a ball through the United defence was picked up by Mike Sullivan who went on to beat Ben Smith. Although the keeper got his body in the way, he could not prevent the ball crossing the line.
Adam Broom then replaced Andy Reeson and United went straight back on the attack. Rayner-Mistry was causing problems to the visitors with his runs, and from one of these, United drew level on 80 minutes.
With a cross field pass by Jamie Skinner, Rayner-Mistry got to the byeline before crossing for Kurt Crossley to knock home from close range for his second of the match.
In the final 10 minutes United threw everything at Hykeham in search of the winner but it wasn’t to be as they slipped further off the pace in the title race.
Manager Mark Hallam said: “We created enough chances to win three games today, but we shot ourselves in the foot with basic defending errors that have cost us dearly in a game we should have had wrapped up at half time. We have got to start learning from our mistakes if we are to challenge for honours this season”.
United team - Ben Smith, Sean Chamberlain, Andy Appleby, Danny Stevens, Michael Howard (Adam Broom), Jamie Skinner, Callum Hyland, Andy Reeson (Mark Hallam), Luke Rayner-Mistry, Jordan Smith and Kurt Crossley. Unused sub - Paul Watts.
Man of Match - Jordan Smith
United do not have a match this coming Saturday.
Their next match is on Saturday December 7, when United are at home to Horncastle Town with a 2pm kick-off.