United stage an amazing comeback in the county cup

Captain Sam Sleight after scoring United's second goal.
Captain Sam Sleight after scoring United's second goal.

Lincolnshire County 
Junior Cup – Round One

Coningsby Fc 3 Skegness United 4 (aet)

Skegness United came into the game with skipper Kurt Crossley, Arron Scutt and Joe Harris amongst those unavailable due to injury and work commitments.

New signing’s Alex Tittcomb and Adam Lyon made their debuts.

The first goalmouth action came after only two minutes when Rhys Mansell played in Luke Rayner-Mistry, however his shot lacked power and was easily saved by home keeper Andy Carr.

Then in the home side’s first serious attack on the visitors’ goal they took the lead.

United failed to clear their lines after miscommunication between Sleight and Chamberlain and, when the ball was played into their area, Sam Miller nipped in to beat Chris Snaith to the ball to make it 1-0.

United’s passing was sporadic and they were being outworked in all areas of the pitch by the home side. Ten minutes later the home side doubled their lead in controversial circumstances.

Alex Tittcomb had made an excellent tackle to clear the ball.

However, referee Mr Webster awarded a free kick and also issued a caution to Tittcomb.

From the resulting free kick, Snaith made an excellent block, but the ball fell to

Sam Miller to knock it home for his second of the match.

With their two-goal cushion, Coningsby got 11 players behind the ball every time they lost possession and the United just didn’t have the answers to break them down going into the half time break.

United’s players were obviously read the riot act as they came out with a lot more urgency and a change of formation in an attempt to haul themselves back into the game.

In the opening 15 minutes of the half it was all United, but they could not find the final ball to open up the stubborn Coningsby defence.

Then against the run of play disaster struck when Sam Sleight played a simple ball back to Snaith.

However, it hit a divot as he went to clear and went past the keeper to open up a three goal advantage to the home side.

At 3-0 with 28 minutes to go, that should have been the final nail in the coffin.

But this goal and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding it seemed to galvanise the team and they hit back within two minutes when a run down the left by Rayner-Mistry ended with him playing the ball into Josh Clarke who went on to beat Carr with a low shot.

Two minutes later the United scored again when a free kick taken by Rayner-Mistry was knocked out by Carr into the path of Sam Sleight who guided the ball home from five yards to drag United back into the game.

It was now all one way traffic towards the home goal and with the extra fitness of the United players, Coningsby had to work overtime to keep their lead.

However, the United players weren’t to be denied and they drew level with 10 minutes to go when, from a corner, the ball was cleared to Josh Clarke who fired in a low shot under Carr to delirious celebrations.

United pressed to get the winner in normal time, however time ran out and the match went into 30 minutes of extra time.

During extra time the United were camped in the Coningsby half but just could not find their way through as the home side looked to hold on for penalties.

However with three minutes left on the clock, the United got the winner and what a goal to win a cup tie.

Luke Rayner-Mistry controlled the ball exquisitely in midfield before setting off towards goal. He danced past three challenges before cutting inside onto his right foot and firing a low shot from 20 yards past Carr into the bottom corner before being mobbed by his teammates.

United moved into the second round draw on Monday but it was their fitness and overall ability which had overcome a Coningsby side who had shown 100 per cent commitment and taken their chances when they came.

Manager Mark Hallam said: “The first 45 minutes was as bad as I can remember from a United side. Credit to the Coningsby players who treated the game as their cup final and fully deserved their half time lead. The character we showed though from 3-0 down with less than half an hour to go is part of the DNA of this football club. We never know when we are beaten and despite being far from our best today I’m proud of how we reacted to what was said at half-time as all that mattered was being in the hat for Monday’s draw.”

Team - Chris Snaith, Adam Lyon, Luke Durdey, Alex Tittcomb, Ross Muirhead, Sam Sleight, Corey Cunliffe, Sean Chamberlain, Luke Rayner-Mistry, Josh Clarke, Rhys Mansell, Danny Wilkes, Charlie Mclenning,

Man of the Match - Luke Rayner-Mistry