TOMMY LAWSON believes his Skelmersdale United players did themselves proud as they competed with a Manchester United XI at the West Lancashire College Stadium on Tuesday night.
Skem eventually went down 2-1 to a youthful United side, who were coached by former England World Cup star Nicky Butt.
Lawson’s men, though, emerged with credit for the nature of their performance – with even the official United website praising the quality of their football – and, had it not been for some excellent goalkeeping, could have had more than Peter Wylie’s goal to show for their efforts.
“I thought it was a cracking game,” said Lawson. “We were 2-0 down in the first half, but I genuinely felt we dominated for large parts of the second half and we acquitted ourselves really well.
“These players may not be household names, but if they are at Manchester United then they are the best in the country at that age group. That’s a fact.
“They were as you would expect; pass, pass, pass. But I think the quality of our football was really good. A number of people from United commented afterwards about the way we played, and I think maybe they were a bit surprised that a non-league side would be so committed to passing the ball and trying to play.
“We are proud of the football we play, and I think the United game was a brilliant challenge for us, and one that we stood up to.”
A crowd of 346 were at Stormy Corner, despite the rain showers, and Lawson says there was a good atmosphere between the supporters.
“It was great to see,” he said.
“There was good-natured banter between the Scouse and Mancunian supporters, but that was all it was.
“And at the end, they were shaking hands and wishing each other all the best for the season. That is great to see, considering the bad headlines football supporters can get at times.”
This weekend will see Skem travel to Evo-Stik newcomers Padiham. Lawson says he has been busy trimming down his squad this week, and is anticipating a tough test against a hungry side.
“Any side that wins the North West Counties is deserving of respect,” he said.
“I said to the players that this will be our most difficult test of pre-season, because we are a scalp to Padiham.
“We have had some real good, different challenges in pre-season so far.Padiham will be tough, most definitely.”