FOOTBALL: Late Skeldon goal sends Mablethorpe into East Lincs Cup final

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A late winner by Courtney Skeldon gave Mablethorpe Athletic a 2-1 win against CGB Humbertherm Reserves in the East Lincs Cup semi final.

Jake Spybey broke the deadlock for Mablethorpe in the first half before Humbertherm equalized in the second half and it looked like extra time would be required.

That was until Skeldon scored the winner in the 87th minute to send Mablethorpe through to the final.

Mablethorpe began on the front foot and were unlucky not to be awarded an early penalty when Adam Cannon was tripped in the area. Soon afterwards Cannon forced the goalkeeper into a couple of fine saves with a low drive and a free kick.

Spybey opened the scoring on 24 minutes once Skeldon powered into the box and was well tackled by the last defender. The ball then came to Spybey and he lashed it in from 10 yards.

Mablethorpe kept up the good work after scoring with Cannon and Skeldon both coming close. They were effective in attack as was Andrew Wyer in midfield creating chances for Skeldon, Alex Carter and Cannon.

None of them were taken though and Mablethorpe were only 1-0 up at half time despite dominating the first half.

Mablethorpe picked up where they left off in the second half and almost scored again within minutes. Skeldon dribbled into the box and saw his lob tipped onto the crossbar by the goalkeeper.

As Mablethorpe continued to dominate Spybey went on a long run and was cynically chopped down near the edge of the box. It was a very poor challenge which robbed Spybey of good progress and left him injured.

To add insult to injury the offender was only shown a yellow card. The resulting free kick came to nothing.

Moments later Humbertherm got the ball down the other end of the pitch and went on a swift counter attack to equalize against the run of play.

Shortly after the restart a Humbertherm player raced clear and was thwarted by an excellent last ditch challenge from Max Billingham.

With extra time looming Paul Mail found Carter with a pinpoint long ball and he cut inside from the right to square for Skeldon. Skeldon then fired an unstoppable shot into the back of the net leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

After going 2-1 ahead Mablethorpe kept it tight in the last few minutes and hung on for the win. Mablethorpe were worthy winners and now have a cup final to look forward to.

Mick Stubbs was thrilled to reach the final. He said: “It was a hard fought victory today by all the lads.

“We led 1-0 at half time, but it could have been and should have been more. Humbertherm worked hard in the second half to get back on level terms then we dug deep and got the winner.

“There were many good performances and Max Billingham was the man of the match. Well done to all the lads and I can’t wait for the final.”

Mablethorpe are next in action on Saturday, January 31, away to Louth Old Boys in the league (2:30 pm).