Feb 20 2014 Ormskirk Advertiser
A DECENT crowd watched as Skelmersdale United Under 18s overcame a very good Marine side in an 11 goal thriller at the West Lancashire College Stadium to reach the final of the Liverpool County Youth Cup final for a second successive year.
The first 20 minutes were very even with Marine and Skelmersdale both creating chances, both sides looking up for what was at stake.
But it was Skelmersdale who took the lead, Josh Nicholson and Jack Hont combining well down the left hand side, with Nicholson picking out Brandon Gaskell with a low driven ball, who fired home to make it 1-0 to Skelmersdale.
It seemed to be the catalyst for Skelmersdale, and they went back at Marine again, Brandon Gaskell firing wide after being put through by Adam Weston.
Marine were in no mood to settle though, and after some good play in the middle of the park, they got back on terms with a good finish.
The game had a real spice to it, with both sides giving their all, and it was Marine who took the lead with another good finish into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
The spectators who made the effort on this cold Sunday morning were not short of entertainment, the game swinging first Marine’s way, then Skelmersdale’s way, and the teams headed into extra time at 4-4.
It had to be said that Skelmersdale were looking the stronger side, and scored a good goal through Jordan Slater to give themselves that advantage.
However Marine again found that little bit of inspiration that the Cup brings, and got themselves back in it with a goal in the second half of extra time.
With one minute of injury time left, Under 17s player Jake Ball, came on for Skelmersdale, primarily with the objective to take a penalty. But Skelmersdale, who kept going to the very end, won a free kick high up the pitch. Josh Nicholson floated a great ball in, and 15 year old Ball rose highest above his marker, and bulleted a header into the top corner of the net, with only seconds remaining. Astonishing scenes for the young man and everyone involved.
Credit has to be given to Marine, it was a thrilling contest and both sides are a credit to their respective managers and clubs.
But for the second year running Skelmersdale United Under 18s have another cup final to look forward to. Credit to everyone involved in the club, all players and management and everyone concerned.
The Under 17s’ match was again called off, but will be playing on Glenburn 3G against Appley Bridge FC in the quarter final of the league cup, 2pm kick off this Sunday.