A DOMINANT first-half at Droylsden’s Butchers Arms ground saw Skelmersdale United comfortably home and moved them to within two points of the top of the Evo-Stik Premier League.
Leading 2-0 at the interval, Skem added to the lead just before the end, just to confirm what everyone had thought for the previous hour, there was never the slightest doubt that they wouldn’t win the game.
Skelmersdale grabbed control of the match from the start.
In the opening 15 minutes Kenny Strickland saw a free-kick blocked, Kevin Leadbetter fought off a pair of challenges only to see his shot saved by home goalkeeper Dale Latham and after a low cross into the penalty area, new signing Nick Rogan forced the save of the match from Latham, after he sharply turned and fired at goal.
The breakthrough arrived in the 34th minute. The ball was worked through the centre of the park then pushed out wide to Adam Morning who was cutting in from the left, after side-stepping around a defender, Morning drove a curling shot with the outside of his boot, into the far corner of the net, leaving Latham completed flat-footed.
Three minutes later it was 2-0. Morning, seemingly trapped in the left-hand corner of the pitch, nipped past one defender then from a tight angle drove the ball at goal, his effort was too powerful for Latham and the ball went through him.
First to react was Rogan who gleefully pounced on the opportunity to register his first Skelmersdale goal from about a yard.
Skelmersdale’s first-half performance had been a demonstration of dominance and the only criticism anyone could have was that it was only 2-0, but that was down to a deep lying Droylsden defence rather than bad shooting.
The second-half was less one sided, but still Skelmersdale looked the most likely to add to the score.
In the 48th minute Ashley Dunn was kept out by Latham after Morning set him up and the same player was unlucky to find the side-netting later on.
In between Droylsden posed a rare threat but Zac Hibbert sorted that out, saving at his near-post from a Lee Healey header.
Skelmersdale rallied. Joe Holt was thwarted by a great tackle from Matty Ward, Morning fired over the crossbar after Dunn and Rogan combined well to set him up and Latham frustrated Gary Burnett after the striker created a great position himself.
In added time after a succession of corners, summer signing Alan Burton got a deserved goal, driving the ball high into the net after a corner was helped on at the near-post. It was a clinical, professional and comprehensive performance by Skelmersdale and the ease of it can only have been of great help to Tommy Lawson as it let him get some playing time into a number of his players.
l DROYLSDEN: Latham, Hibbert R., Dietye (Crooks, 8 (Flint, 45)), Langford, Grant, McCarthy, Ward, Killeen ©, Maloney (Rouse, 57), Silvero, Healey Subs (not used) Headlam, McLaughlin
l SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Hibbert Z., Strickland ©, Holden, Burton. Wylie, Wright (McIntosh, 81), Holt, Dunn, Rogan, Leadbetter (Burnett, 71), Morning (Short, 83) Subs (not used) Simpson, Luby
l Referee: Duncan Street
l Attendance: 183