Immingham Bluestone went top after a 5-1 win against Mablethorpe Athletic, but this didn’t make up for Gary Kilday’s second broken leg.
Sadly, this top of the table clash between Immingham and Mablethorpe will be remembered for a horrible moment in the 22nd minute. Gary Kilday suffered the second leg break of his career after an innocuous challenge with Mathew Sirett.
Neither of them lunged in dangerously and it was Sirett who appeared to win the ball cleanly. The outcome was Kilday breaking his leg again and Sirett receiving a red card, which was very unfortunate for both players.
Immingham had been playing well in the opening 20 minutes and were leading 1-0 thanks to a good individual goal by Luke Niland. That was before Mablethorpe’s James Ryan pulled off a string of saves to deny Gary Nimmo, Kalen Thompson, Callum Day and Ricky Charman.
The match was exciting until that incident where Sirett was wrongly dismissed and there was a lengthy delay while Kilday received treatment. The game eventually resumed only to be stopped again six minutes later due to another injury.
On that occasion Ryan went to ground to smother a loose ball in his penalty area and somehow tweaked his knee. He was unable to continue so Lee Twigg replaced him and Jamie Pittam took over between the sticks.
Pittam produced a couple of fine saves to deny Day twice and the score remained 1-0 at half time. However, the stand in goalkeeper conceded goals early in the second half by Charman and Ben Cook either side of a brilliant save to thwart Charman.
Soon afterwards he became the third player and second goalkeeper to come off injured. Although it was only some sort of minor leg injury Pittam still needed to be taken off for James Foad and Mablethorpe had lost another goalkeeper.
Mitch Whiley went in goal and did well for an outfield player, punching several crosses away and making a decent save to keep out a shot by Ryan King. He was powerless to prevent Day firing in a fourth goal from 10 yards though.
At 4-0 down Mablethorpe kept going and pulled one back from the penalty spot when King brought down Adam Cannon in the box. Cannon picked himself back up to convert the resulting penalty kick.
Late on Nimmo clipped the outside of the left post with a low drive and scored the last goal with a powerful strike in injury time. That completed an afternoon of misery for Mablethorpe and made the final score 5-1 to Immingham.
Mablethorpe’s skipper should not have been sent off, two goalkeepers were injured and nothing seemed to go right for the visitors. Immingham won convincingly and are now top of the league, but that doesn’t compensate for Kilday’s horrific injury so it wasn’t the way either team wished to start the New Year.
Mablethorpe’s Mick Stubbs was unimpressed with the performance and dismissal. He said: “We had a bad day at the office in what was always going to be our hardest test so far. We didn’t start like we were here to fight for points, our work rate and communication was poor then it just kept getting worse.
“After Mathew Sirett won the ball fairly the referee decided to stop the game as their player was clearly hurt only to pull out his red card to everyone’s surprise. He has never even been booked since I became manager 18 months ago, let alone sent off.
“Also, we lost two goalkeepers which made it even harder for us. The best team on the day won and we can play a lot better than we did. I hope we bounce back next week against North Thoresby.”
Mablethorpe are next in action on Saturday, January 10, away to North Thoresby in the league (1:45 pm).
Mablethorpe (4-4-2): Ryan (Twigg 28); Whiley, Brownson, Bebbington, Billingham; Carter (Williamson 73), Wyer, Pittam (Foad 63), Sirett (c); Cannon, Skeldon.