Sunday, 6 May 2012

Cleethorpes Town v Skegness United Saturday 14th April 2012 Lincolnshire Premier Division

No game for Boro today and locally there was only one place to be, The Linden Homes Ground, home of Cleethorpes Town, for their top of the table clash with Skegness United , with a victory for Cleethorpes over their nearest rivals sealing the Championship.

Sign on the side of the Clubhouse

A big crowd was expected today and I chose to park across the way from the ground, parking up behind a car with Sheffield Wednesday stickers and a scarf draped across the back window, which could only mean Matt from Louth was here too.There was a good sprinkling of people I knew and someone that I used to see at games from about 20 odd years ago who I had not seen for years!
The pitch is set past the Clubhouse with a cricket pitch between it and the road. There is no cover and no hard standing but there is a smart wooden fence around the far side of the pitch and the two ends.

End at the right

The side nearest the cricket pitch is simply taped off for the game. 

Cricket side

On the far side of the pitch there are two dugouts which look like the ones that were at their previous ground at Lucarley's.

The dugouts

The other end of the ground is flanked with trees and is also railed off.

End to the left

The weather is pretty dull and just before the game starts the heavens open resulting in a fair number of umbrellas making an appearance. The game starts in difficult conditions and Skegness settle far quicker than their hosts and they capitalised on this good start when they took the lead on 18 minutes with a volley from Kyle McGuigan. 

Cleethorpes' Mascall heads the ball back into the box

Cleethorpes chances were  few and far between, very surprising considering the number of goals they have scored this season. Their best chance fell to former Boro player Luke Mascall but he put his shot wide and with no further score Skegness went into half time with their one goal advantage.

A flying Ricky Belding

Cleethorpes started the second half better and were level on 56 minutes when a great through ball put Mascall away who rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home. 1-1 and game on! To their credit, Skegness buckled down and a minute later hit the woodwork. They continued to come forward and retook the lead on 64 minutes. Callum Hyland got into the Cleethorpes box and was pulled back by a Cleethorpes player and from my position it was a clear penalty. Jordan Walden stepped up to take the penalty and calmly slotted it home to put Skegness back in front.

Cleethorpes keeper Drury goes the wrong way

Cleethorpes made a couple of substitutions and one of them, Luke Neul, nearly equalised when a shot cum cross only just went over the bar. The pressure was on Skegness now and an equaliser looked more likely as the game went on. Ten minutes from the end Cleethorpes equalised when a long range shot from Daniel Barrett was palmed away by Skegness keeper Pritchard into the path of Darren Hanslip who calmly slotted the ball home.

Cleethorpes' Drury punches away under pressure

The momentum now swung Cleethorpes' way and two minutes later Cleethorpes took the lead for the first time in the match when Luke Todd laid the ball off for Alex Flett to smash home causing pandemonium on the touchlines. Skegness made a brave effort to snatch an equaliser but were punished in time added on when Cleethorpes launched a counter attack which resulted in Jonathan Oglesby rounding the keeper and scoring  a fourth for Cleethorpes. The final whistle saw celebrations allover the ground as Cleethorpes were confirmed the Sills & Betteridge Lincolnshire League Champions. 

The Trophy

The trophy was then presented after the game in front of the Clubhouse by officials of the Lincs F.A.

The captain gets his hands on the trophy

So congratulations to Cleethorpes on their great win.

More pictures here.

CleethorpesTown 4-2 Skegness United
Att: 280
Admission: £1
Programme: £1

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