MANAGER Tommy Lawson has excused his squad from tonight’s training session after delays meant they returned from Harrogate much later than expected.
A traffic accident caused the Skelmersdale United team bus to be diverted through Leeds on Tuesday night and forced their game with Harrogate Railway Athletic to kick-off nearly an hour late.
Lawson and his squad did return home until 2am on Wednesday and with most of the players back in work a few hours later, the manager felt is necessary to give them a rest.
Preserving the well-being of his squad is of utmost importance to Lawson as they face a run of 15 Evo-Stik First Division North matches between now and the end of April.
Former Blackburn Rovers and Southport player Zac Aley has joined the squad from Warrington Town this week and made a substitute appearance in the 3-2 defeat to Harrogate on Tuesday.
Lawson continues to look for further reinforcements but only has until the end of the month to make any moves.
Accordingly, he has given his players the night off from training ahead of their home game with Warrington on Saturday and then the midweek trip to Ossett Albion.
“We did not get in until 2am on Wednesday morning and most of the lads had to be up for work only a few hours later,” said Lawson.
“Because of that I have given them Thursday night’s training session off. We have a long journey to Ossett next week yet we have a home game with Warrington on Saturday.
“It’s absolutely bizarre the way the fixtures are. Tuesday was quite an horrific night.”
“We did not kick-off until 8.30pm because we were re-routed through Leeds because of a bad accident on the motorway.
He added: “Everything was diverted through Leeds so there was really bad congestion.
“So our preparation wasn’t the best and we looked lethargic on the night, but we won’t use that as an excuse.”
Skem remain top of the table with an eight point lead and with two games in hand over nearest rivals Ramsbottom United.
And on the night they lost to Harrogate, title rivals Mossley and Trafford also dropped points.
Lawson said: “We are entering silly season. Every single week there will be results which make people say ‘how the hell has that happened?’ and ‘what’s going on there?’.
“The pitches are changing and are becoming rock hard. It is a transitional period.”
Aley is ineligible to play in Saturday’s game with Warrington after a gentleman’s agreement between the clubs allowed his release on the basis he would not play in the fixture.