Toolstation NCEL Division One
Selby Town 4-0 Skegness Town
Sam Cable hit a hat-trick as promotion hopefuls Selby Town enjoyed their best opening day for years by giving new-boys Skegness Town a major reality check.
Cable, who was magnificent in pre-season, continued his fine form by completing his treble by the hour mark. Veteran Gary Collier added the fourth.
What makes the result eye-catching is the fact that magic man Joe Dale and Liam Flanagan – who scored 60 goals between them last season – were unavailable. Christian Fox has clearly assembled an impressive squad with real strength-in-depth – the strongest since the Bob Lyon era.
Selby were ruthless rather than swash-buckling, but it was still a fine performance in front of the highest home attendance at Richard Street since 2013. Selby, known as one of the most friendliest clubs in the NCEL, are only likely to see them increase even further based on this display.
The only criticism that can be thrown at Selby is that they failed to score more than four. Nobody could have argued if six or seven goals had been scored.
Skegness did not help themselves in a few ways. The visitors were error prone at the back and clearly had no plan b as although they admirably tried to play out from the back, on several occasions at crucial moments they lost possession, allowing Selby to counter and score.
Skegness also arrived late at 2.05pm, which cannot have helped preparations. Their mini-bus also caused a traffic jam on Richard Street after the driver stopped at the gate to let their players slowly disembark.
Skegness began at 100mph and forced a strong save out of Peter Lawrie in the opening 60 seconds. The visitors were perhaps on top for ten minutes. Slowly Selby grabbed a foothold and never looked back.
Cable created the opener himself. He cut inside on the left, exchanged a one-two with Charlie Clamp before firing low and hard into the left-hand bottom corner – a fine way to start a season.
The roof fell in for Skegness straight after the interval as their defence resorted to play in a kamikaze way. The visitors stuck their principles by playing out of the back – only to play into Selby’s hands. The Robins pressed high and were rewarded with a second when Collier’s deflected cross was tapped home by Cable.
Selby were cruising, despite being not at full throttle. Their job should been made easier by the referee Alex Sawden who failed to send off Callum Robinson for lashing out at Jordan Snodin.
However, it did not matter as within minutes, Clamp broke down the right and crossed for Speedy Gonzales Cable who made one of his now trademark sprints to the back-post to place the ball into the empty net.
Skegness were again their own enemy for the fourth. Corey Cunliffe decided to have a run forward from his defensive position, only to quickly lose it just over the halfway line. He was out of position and as soon as the ball was lifted forward, Carl Stewart was away. Stewart shrugged off a desperate challenge to bring him down before he was able to cross for Collier to fire home.
The Robins were so dominant that Peter Lawrie was a spectator in the second half. Stewart hit the crossbar as Selby searched for the fifth. In the end they had to settle for four.
Selby Town: Lawrie, Woodhead (Kennedy), Lingard, Berry, Gothard, Ann, Collier (Dacre), Snodin, Stewart, Clamp, Cable (Diamond Junior). Subs unused: Pearse, Bissett.
Skegness Town: Portas, Warren, Robinson, Hobbins, Stevens, Bunce, Fidling, Frost, Britton, Fenton, Elstom. Subs: Cunliffe, Drysdale, Nichols, Payne.