JUST a week in football? Well, Skelmersdale United manager Tommy Lawson has certainly had a typical roller coaster week. He started the week with everything going well, by the middle of the week his season reached its lowest ebb and by Saturday evening, everything was flying again, perhaps at an even higher level, too.
Tommy said after the match at Curzon: “I trusted the lads that have got us where we are this season and told them to go and put Tuesday right and I think it says a lot about them that they did.”
There was a large Skelmersdale following at the Tameside Stadium and Skelmersdale didn’t disappoint, taking the game straight to Curzon and young striker Gary Burnett soon had the home defence chasing shadows. In the third minute he waltzed past two defenders and when a third arrived sent a shot whistling past the post.
Two minutes later, Burnett broke clear again and just outside the penalty area he was scythed down by home goalkeeper Josh Ollerenshaw with the goal wide open behind him. Referee Andrew Smith produced a red card which was waved at Ollerenshaw, and full-back Ben Richardson’s first action on taking over the gloves was to save Louis Corrigan’s free-kick.
Curzon were forced back onto the defensive, but did manage one brief threat as United defender Rob McIntosh headed over his own crossbar from a Matty Purcell cross in the 12th minute.
Richardson was to have a busy afternoon. He saved from a McIntosh header, saw a Corrigan cross flash across his goal, then went full-length to keep out a Warren Bellew shot.
The almost inevitable happened in the 27th minute when Lewis Field’s cross was helped on by Mark Jackson and McIntosh gave Richardson no chance with his header.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0, as a classic build-up down the left resulted in a Bellew cross that Jackson finished off with a diving header.
The pressure continued, Kenny Strickland shot wide, then the inform Bellew combined again with Corrigan, the ball went towards goal, Jackson challenged Richardson and Burnett got his due reward with the third goal.
The second-half started the way the first ended and Richardson made a great save to keep out Antony Hickey. However, in the 55th minute it was 4-0, Strickland put Bellew away down the left, he put a vicious cross into the goalmouth for Burnett, and home defender Michael Powell reached the ball first but just couldn’t avoid diverting the ball into his own net.
Powell was unlucky to score the own goal, but arguably it would have been a goal anyway.
He got some form of ‘own back’ though in the 62nd minute, scoring off a free-kick that was swung into the box. It was unclear how, but the goal is reported to have gone in off his knee.
Tommy Lawson made changes, bringing on debutant Andy Griffiths in midfield, he put Matty Hughes on up front instead of Jackson and Adam Morning replaced Corrigan.
The pace of the game did drop, but Skelmersdale were still dominant.
Morning was unlucky a couple of times especially when he hit the post, while Burnett and Hughes were always dangerous.
In added time Burnett got his second after a rebound from Richardson and Hughes got among the goals after rounding the keeper.
When Skelmersdale left the pitch they found that their main promotion rivals had all dropped points, so it was back to last weekend’s position, but two games further on and Tommy Lawson was on the upward swing again.
CURZON ASHTON: Ollerenshaw, Bowyer, Richardson, Hunt, Powell, Watson R., Purcell (Blackshaw, 76), Walker ©, Evans (McDonagh, 67), Dennis, Metcalfe Subs (not used) Kay, Lakeland, Henderson
SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Ashton, Field, Corrigan (Morning, 69), Hardwick ©, McIntosh, Strickland, Hickey, Woolcott (Griffiths, 59), Jackson (Hughes, 67), Burnett, Bellew Subs (not used) Wright, Phenix
Referee: Andrew Smith (Castleford)