Skegness Town FC
Ground Number: 590
Wednesday 11th May 2016
Skegness Town 4-3 Wyberton
As it was nearing the end of the season I was keen to get as many games in as possible. There were a few grounds closing and I was keen to get as many of the ones I'd not done as I could. Skegness Town were a bit out of my comfort zone at below step 6 of the pyramid but when I saw that their last ever game at their old ground had been abandoned due to heavy rain I was keen to get to the rematch. I kept an eye on Twitter for news of a rearrangement and was happy when it was put on a date when I had no other commitments. I'd need help with fuel costs though, and was happy when Chris made the trip possible by telling me he would be available.
SKEGNESS TOWN were founded in 1946 as a successor to the town's two pre-war clubs, Skegness United & Skegness Blue Rovers. They were founder members of the Lincolnshire League in 1948 but in the late 50's switched to the Midland League. That league folded in 1960 which saw them complete the 1960-61 season without a competitive league fixture. When the league reformed the following season they struggled at first but never finished in a relegation place. Things gradually improved and by the 1978-79 season, they had their best ever placing in that particular league when they finished as runners-up to Boston Town on goal difference. A sole season was spent in the Northern Counties East League in its inaugural year of 1982/83 but after an 18th placed finish they rejoined the Lincolnshire League the following season. They have remained there ever since and this season have been crowned Champions for a sixth time. With a new ground in the offing there is potential for promotion to the United Counties or Northern Counties East League should they so desire.
In terms of cups they used to be regulars in many of the FA's competitions. The first few FA Cup ties were goalfests with a 6-4 defeat to Alford United and a 10-3 defeat to Boston United. On their third attempt in the 1951-52 season they finally got it right when they beat Ashby Institute 6-3. They'd go on to reach the 4th Qualifying Round that year, gaining revenge on local rivals Boston United for the previous years defeat with a 2-1 victory in the Third Qualifying Round. The dream would end in the final qualifying Round with a defeat to Rawmarsh Welfare but they did reach the 1st Round proper a few years later only to crash out to Worksop Town who beat them 4-0. The FA Trophy never bought a huge amount of success with them failing to get past the Qualifying Rounds but the introduction of the FA Vase bought some salvation. Their best run came in 1982 when they got to the 5th round, only to lose to eventual finalists Rainworth Miners Welfare.
In terms of local competitions the club won the Lincolnshire League Cup in 1952 and 1954 and various incarnations of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup on 10 occasions. Amonsgt their former players is the former Doncaster Rovers legend Charlie Williams who appeared on TV in the 1970s, most famously in the politically incorrect stand up show 'The Comedians' The town itself although more famous for tourism was birthplace of former England keeper Ray Clemence and was home to the first ever Butlin's holiday resort in the 1930s
On the day of the game I was up for work at 4am and was still pretty tired from the previous night’s excursion to Cradley but I soon perked up after some breakfast. Luckily it was a fairly easy day at work and I was out by midday. I came home and had lunch and a bath before researching the history of tonights hosts. Given the recent rainfall I was constantly checking the weather, but it had been dry in Skegness all day so I didn’t foresee any problems. I left just before 3PM, driving through torrential rain and meeting Chris at his work in Milton Keynes just after 4. He was there waiting for me and we were soon on the way. There was a huge queue at the Black Cat Roundabout to get on the A1 and so Chris knew a nice little back route which saved us 40 minutes delay. We also avoided Peterborough but where the A1 meets the A47 we were delayed for 20 minutes as someone had an accident just after our junction and we were caught in the hold up. Apart from a 5 minute hold up at a level crossing, the rest of the journey was decent. I was hoping to visit the town’s Wetherspoons for dinner but we arrived 20 minutes before kick off and had to go straight in.
Paying £2 for entry plus £1 for a programme the first stop was at the bar. Strongbow is pretty crap at the best of times, but when it’s warm due to being at the bottom of the barrel it’s even worse. At least I can claim to have had one of the last ever pints of it at the old ground. The whole place had an aura of closing down about it with the last few items being sold off. From there we went outside and had a bacon burger and chips for £4.50 which was pretty decent. As for the game, I’d usually love a 4-3 goalfest but for whatever reason I couldn’t really get into it and stood chatting to other hoppers, including Anders who had made his way over from Norway for the game. Maybe I was feeling jaded after only a few hours sleep the previous night, or was getting a bit fatigued after so many games this season. In reality through it’s probably as it was all rushed and a bit mechanical as I do like to make a day of the game and have a decent pre match. For the record Curtis Revell gave Wyberton the lead on 10 minutes. The hosts equalised through Will Britton on 24 minutes. They took the lead on 38 minutes with a Ben Davison goal on 38 minutes. It was 3-1 on the stroke of half time as Luke Raymer-Mistry netted. The second half saw Luke Orrey reduce the arrears on 50 minutes before Davison got his second to make it 4-2 on 67 minutes. Finally a minute from time Ben Jacques pulled another back for the visitors.Light was getting pretty poor towards the end of the game thanks to the earlier dull weather.
We left just before 9PM, choosing not to watch the post match presentation to mark the closing of the ground as we both wanted to get back. The journey started off well enough and we listened to the football on Radio 5 at the start of the journey. That gave way to the Two Mikes podcast after all the games had finished. It was all going swimmingly until we got to the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Not my favourite place at the best of times owing to their football franchise thievery, it was made even worse by a load of road closures that led to a 20 minute delay and several miles being added to the journey. Thanks to Chris’s local knowledge we found a way through the back streets as I dropped him off at 11.05. 45 minutes later I was back home, with me watching Coronation Street before going to sleep. I was pretty tired the next morning with me up at 4am and caught up with a sleep the following afternoon. Next up for me will probably be something in Hertfordshire on Saturday, possibly the County FA ground for the Anagram Cup final. I had hoped to get for a revisit to Ebbsfleet for the Conference South playoff final but owing to building work the game is all ticket and has a reduced capacity, so supply has outstripped demand.