A BATTLING victory at Witton’s Help For Heroes Stadium makes it four wins on the run for Skelmersdale United and extends their unbeaten run to seven in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Skelmersdale struck after just six minutes when a patient build-up burst into life when after looking one way and then the other, Kenny Strickland put a superbly weighted ball behind the Witton defence to Nick Rogan who surged into the inside right channel and slammed the ball past home goalkeeper Matt Cooper to make it 1-0.
Witton bounced back and in the 14th minute levelled. Dereece Gardner sent a sweeping ball from the left into Skelmersdale penalty area. Arguably Skelmersdale should have put their foot through the ball and cleared, they didn’t and the ball bounced invitingly 25 yards from goal.
Albion midfielder Danny Andrews chested the ball down and hit a bullet of a shot into the Skelmersdale net to equalise.
Skelmersdale until that point had had the better of the play and it took them around a minute to restore their advantage. Adam Morning sent a 35 yard ball from left to right, Joe Holt was too nippy for his marker, entered the penalty area and despite Cooper getting a touch his powerful shot billowed the net.
The game instead of tightening up became quite open and by the interval it wouldn’t have been a shock if Skelmersdale had led 4-2 or even 5-3, such was the intensity of attacking intention by both teams.
Nicky Platt hit the Skelmersdale post, Morning brought one magnificent save out of Cooper, then had one cleared off the line and Kevin Leadbetter saw a shot deflected wide before in a final salvo before the interval, Zac Hibbert made a great save himself that kept United’s lead intact.
In the 68th minute Leadbetter stormed down the right-wing and sent the ball to the far post, Rogan got in first, but the ball went wide. However, three minutes later Rogan’s experienced played a huge part in making it 3-1. After Skelmersdale pressure forced a back pass to Cooper, Rogan cleverly closed the keeper down, he blocked the kicked clearance and the ball ran to Morning, who drove the ball low under a diving Cooper.
Skelmersdale looked comfortable at 3-1 and but for a manufactured penalty it is probable it would have remained that way, but in the 81st minute Witton won a spot kick. Andrews cut in from the right and ran straight at Skelmersdale left-back Shaun Holden who backed off covering the move, Andrews pushed the ball behind Holden then ran straight at the defender, sending both of them to the floor. The whistle went and Alan Clayton awarded a penalty. Josh Hancock stepped up to launch a thunderbolt shot high inside Hibbert’s left hand post.
l WITTON ALBION: Cooper, Moyo, Connors, Harrison, Joseph , Platt, Dawson (Moseley, 71), Powell, Wilson, Gardner (Hancock, 71), Andrews Subs (not used) Sheehan, Glover, Purcell
l SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Hibbert, Strickland, Holden, Hardwick , Wylie, Dunn, Holt, Burton, Rogan (Burnett, 87), Leadbetter, Morning Subs (not used) McIntosh, Wright, Dean, Paxton
l Referee: Alan Clayton
l Attendance: 293