THE crowd at the West Lancashire College Stadium were treated to a six goal thriller against the visitors from Derbyshire.
Although, the result ends United’s 100 per cent league record they are still the last team with an unbeaten record in all three Evo-Stik divisions, New Mills equalising three times.
The winning record was gone but Skelmersdale manager Tommy Lawson was still very bullish after the game, commenting: “If someone had told me we would win eight and draw one of our opening nine games, I would have snatched their hand off, it’s a great start.”
The game took ten minutes to get going but when it did it was enthralling.
In the tenth minute a slick move started by Josh Hine then involving Mark Jackson and Warren Bellew, resulted in Hine just failing to reach a ball that fizzed across the goalmouth.
However, a minute later Hine did convert, after a visionary through ball from Antony Hickey. Within three minutes it was almost 2-0; Hine got his head to a Louis Corrigan cross but saw the ball go over the crossbar.
In the quarter-hour before the interval, Mills had their best period of the game.
United keeper Sam Ashton nipping from his line to save at Luke Horrocks feet in the 33rd minute before Tom Hardwick sent a dangerous looking ball to safety in the 41st minute. The two attempts sandwiching a successful effort from New Mills, a rebound off the crossbar fell to Steve Moore, who forced the ball into the net.
In the opening 14 minutes of the second-half, Bellew put a header just over the crossbar; Hine was denied by a desperate block and also put a shot inches wide after a knockdown found him. On the hour New Mills didn’t have such luck, Hickey finding the net after Corrigan set him up.
Within a minute, with their first chance of the half, New Mills levelled.
Substitute Russ Headley cutting inside from the right-wing before sending the ball to Moore, who flicked the ball past Ashton.
Skelmersdale went back onto the offensive. Andy Mills the visitor’s keeper saved at his near-post from Hine, and then he pressured Hine enough to force him wide after Woolcott put him in, before a Kenny Strickland shot rippled the roof of the net from 25 yards.
A cynical foul by New Mills Michael Bowler caused a free-kick in the 74th minute and it was punished perfectly. Strickland thundered the free-kick home via a deflection to make it 3-2 to Skelmersdale.
But back came New Mills and with their second quality effort of the half they equalised again. This time Horrocks firing home after a surging run down the left.
Tommy Lawson added after the game: “We had far more chances than them, but they finished theirs better, we could easily have got five.” Skelmersdale travel to Witton Albion in the FA Trophy on Saturday, before venturing up the A59 to Clitheroe on Tuesday night, their next home game is against Ossett Town on Saturday November 3rd.
SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Ashton, Field, Corrigan, Hardwick (c), McIntosh, Strickland, Hickey, Woolcott, Jackson, Hine (Burnett, 89), Bellew (Morning, 89). Subs (not used) Rendell, Wright, Saleh
NEW MILLS: Mills, Bowler, Fitzpatrick, Grimshaw (Headley, 60), Chadwick, Weston, Meakin, Young (c) (Innes, 77), Fish, Moore (Cox, 87), Horrocks Subs (not used) Armstrong, Burgess