SKELMERSDALE UNITED showed little mercy to Cammell Laird as they stormed into the lead in the fourth minute and a brief hiccup apart never remotely looked like slipping up.
The huge win leaves Tommy Lawson’s men twelve points clear at the top of Evo-Stik Division One North, a position that has been aided greatly by a February record that reads played seven, won six, drawn one.
Matty Hughes grabbed the Skelmersdale opener when he drove the ball low into the net from about eight yards.
Laird’s goalkeeper Kevin Atherton made a terrific save from Josh Hine in the 14th minute. However, Atherton had no chance in the 18th minute when Hughes pounced on the ball and put a vicious curling shot low into the far corner.
The game was an end to end one though, although the Skelmersdale defence nullified most of Laird’s offensive efforts.
The third Skelmersdale goal in the 24th minute was a classic. Right-back Lewis Field set off on a run, then he released Gary Burnett at pace down the right, Burnett clipped the ball to the far side of the penalty box and Hine tapped the ball into the net.
Cammell Laird’s are in the chase for the play-offs on merit and in the 37th minute they pulled a goal back. Former Skelmersdale player Joe Evans made a driving run into the heart of the Skelmersdale defence and was tripped by Tom Hardwick, a penalty was given and Jamie Henders thundered home the spot-kick.
Skelmersdale were in a determined mood and Hughes became provider right on half-time as Hine restored Skelmersdale’s three goal advantage.
After goalkeeper Atherton made a great save to prevent Hine from registering a hat-trick soon after the interval, the game became more of a midfield battle. Laird’s were trying hard to reduce the deficit, but Skelmersdale’s defence were not prepared to allow them that luxury.
Skelmersdale did put their foot down again in the latter stages. Initially in the 74th minute Hughes was desperately unlucky not to complete his hat-trick as his shot thumped against the post.
In the 80th minute a massive scramble in the Laird’s area ended in a great save by Atherton from Mike Phenix, a minute later though it was five, a quick turn and shot from Antony Hickey doing the trick, and Phenix made it six a couple of minutes from time.
It was a comprehensive victory by Skelmersdale, achieved against an inform team, too.
It’s another big step along the road, the destination? A place manager Tommy Lawson would not appreciate mentioning, but everyone knows what is on every Skelmersdale United supporters mind.
SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Ashton, Field, Bellew, Hardwick ©, McIntosh, Strickland (Wright, 64), Hickey, Woolcott, Hine (Phenix, 68), Burnett (Evans T., 68), Hughes Subs (not used) Morning, Jackson
CAMMELL LAIRD: Atherton K., Potter (Ferrigan, 83), Parle, Grogan, O’Brien, Atherton L. ©, Henders, Bowen, Evans J., Foley (Cairns, 64), Holt (Couch, 88) Sub (not used) Richards
Referee: Gary Hilton (Liverpool)