Hotchen double helps Skegness Town banish the away day blues
Makeshift Skegness Town recorded their first away win of the season in a seven-goal thriller at Hull-based East Yorkshire Carnegie.
The big three points lifted the Lilywhites to 16th in the table when anything less would have seen them drop into the bottom two.
It was a victory that tasted all the more sweeter because of the challenges faced by manager Martyn Bunce as he prepared for the trip across the Humber.
With Bailey Forth, Jordan Smith and Loz Lambley suspended and Arron Scutt and Courtney Warren unavailable, Bunce’s selection headache was made all the more acute by the late withdrawal of Daniel Stevens.
Jacob Fenton, although back in training, is not yet match fit.
So Bunce introduced new signing Tyler Gray to the Northern Counties East League.
He joined Marshall Young, Harry Bunce, Simon Ashton and Richard Ford in defence with Peter Evison starting in midfield with George Hobbins and Nicky Frost, while Nathan Hotchen got his first start of the season.
James Lambley pulled off a point-blank save to deny the home side the lead midway through the first half.
Town opened the scoring in the 37th minute through George Hobbins, who worked his way into the opposition penalty area, beat his man and steered the ball past the Carnegie keeper for his first league goal of the current campaign.
Two minutes later Hotchen opened his account when the ball dropped to him following a corner and he tapped home from close range.
Two minutes into the second period Carnegie halved the deficit through Nyasha Mwamuka after an attempt by Ashton to shield the ball out of play failed.
Before the hour was up Josh Walker levelled the scores and Carnegie were still celebrating the comeback when Hotchen curled a great shot into the corner to restore the seasiders’ lead.
There was 20 minutes left when Daniel Walker brought the game level, but the visitors dug deep and went looking for the winner.
It arrived in the 75th minute. Substitute Jordan Potts picked out Britton with a slide-rule pass and the centre forward side-stepped his marker before firing home.
TOWN: J. Lambley, Young, Gray, Ford, Ashton, H. Bunce, Hotchen, Hobbins, Britton, Frost, Evison, Potts.
On Saturday Skegness take on second-placed Campion at the Vertigo Stadium (KO 3pm).
Lawrence Lambley is expected to return to the squad after his one-match ban, while Courtney Warren and Daniel Stevens should also be available.