SKELMERSDALE EDGED OUT BY FIRST-HALF GOAL
AFC FYLDE 1 SKELMERSDALE UNITED 0
By Neil Leatherbarrow
A first-half goal was enough to deny Skelmersdale United the Doodson Sports League Cup on Sunday afternoon, in a game that generated few chances and from an early stage was only ever going to be decided by the one goal, as two of the Evo-Stik Premier Division’s most attacking teams virtually cancelled each other out in the Edgeley Park sun.
In the early stages the best either team could produce were speculative efforts and it was the eighteenth minute before either team came close to scoring. Skelmersdale’s Aaron Turner seeing his powerful near post header go inches wide of the Fylde goal after Mark Jackson and Peter Wylie combined well after a right-wing throw-in.
Fylde had a short spell on the offensive around the half-hour mark and it eventually brought about a goal. In the 30th minute Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick blazed a shot from a good position wide of Skelmersdale’s far post. Five minutes later Sean Cooke set up what proved to be the winner. The number ten hoisted in a cross from the right, two Fylde forwards went for the ball, Harry Winter won the race and looped a header over Skelmersdale’s Zac Hibbert into the net.
Before the interval Skelmersdale came closest to equalizing when a shot from Sean Miller was blocked by Fylde’s Josh Langley in the 44th minute.
The first quarter-hour of the second-half was just like the first period, close, with both forward lines having their best endeavours smothered.
In the 64th minute briefly threatened but Karl Noon headed wide after Fylde’s best player Cooke held the ball up then crossed.
It was the last twelve minutes before the crowd got some real excitement. Jackson shooting wide after a surging run by Skelmersdale defender Lewis Field unsettled the Fylde back four.
Skelmersdale had to try something to grab an equalizer in the latter stages and this left more space for a Fylde counterattack and after one of these Michael Barnes fired wide.
Miller came close to getting a reward for his none stop running up front for Skelmersdale in the 84th minute but his shot went off target after he forced an error out of Fylde defender Andy Russell.
Adam Morning had the last go for Skelmersdale in the 89th minute, but his attempt finished up the same way as the previous Skem efforts.
As a spectacle the game was a disappointment, both sets of defenders keeping a strangle hold on play. The 35th minute goal gave Fylde the edge because it meant they didn’t have to force play, but even that wasn’t a goal that was particularly memorable.
AFC FYLDE: Hinchliffe, Hughes C., Sumner (Gregory, 74), Langley, Russell, Barnes B. ©, Booth (Barnes M., 70), Winter, Noon (Blinkhorn, 71), Cooke, Lloyd- McGoldrick Subs (not used) Mullen, Allen
SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Hibbert, Field, Holden, Hardwick ©, Wylie, Dunn, Strickland (Carden, 79), Burton, Miller, Jackson, Turner (Morning, 55) Subs (not used) O’Reilly, Ince, Paxton
Referee: Thomas Bramall (Sheffield)