Briggs Treble Sees Shields Defeat United
By Simon Driscoll
After a narrow defeat at Colne on Tuesday, United continued on the road with a visit to league leaders South Shields who claimed a 3-1 win thanks to a Robert Briggs hat-trick with United levelling at 1-1 with a Mike Roddy penalty.
The first chance of the afternoon saw United capitalising on a defensive mistake with Tom Hulme piclong out Jordan Darr who in advancing on goal saw his effort saved by Liam Connell. Shields reponded with a chance for Matthew Pattison after he combined with Louis Storey. Callum Roberts saving comfortably.
The hosts went ahead on six minutes as a cross from Craig Baxter saw a short clearance from Phil Mooney with Robert Briggs collecting the ball and rifling a shot which took a huge defection off Arnie Baxendale and sailed over Roberts for 1-0. United came close to drawing level as Tom Molyneux fired towards goal with Darr unlucky not to tap in before Connell tipped away for a corner.
Clever play from Shields saw Baxter link up with Jamie Holmes, the latter drawing a low stop from Roberts and minutes later he collected a pass from Briggs to force a left footed save from Roberts.
A fortunate clearance fell to Molyneux who forced a strong stop from Connell from outside the area but he was unable to prevent United from drawing level on 25 minutes. A mazy run from Darr saw him upended by Julio Arca with Mike Roddy slotting the resuting penalty past Connell for 1-1. The hosts came close to restoring their advantage as Baxter crossed for Holmes with Roberts quelling the danger with a good save.
An angling free-kick from Briggs curled past the post before James Galloway fired past the post at the other end just before half time. Shields regained the lead within three minutes of the restart as Briggs drew a save from Roberts and in collecting the rebound, he looped the ball over Roberts for 2-1.
A third goal for the hosts came close as Storey found Alex Nicholson who sent a shot over the bar and on the hour, Shields did extend the lead as a clever run from Storey saw him find Pattison who went down after apparently being fouled by Liam Hollett, Briggs converted the penalty to complete his hat-trick at 3-1. Briggs was unfortunate not to score a fourth as he volleyed narrowly past the post after United cleared from a corner.
Substitute Jack Devlin forced a save from Roberts before a stunning dash from United substitute Bevan Burey saw him find fellow sub George Withe who forced a strong stop from Connell who also denied an effort from Tom Hulme. The final whistle is usually the end of the action but after the official blew, United defender Baxendale was dismissed after comments made to the officials.
South Shields- Connell, Baxter, Nicholson, Shaw, Morse, Arca (c) (Richardson 82), Storey, Briggs, Armstrong (Juul 65), Pattison, Holmes (Devlin 46). Subs not used- Woolston, Scott.
Skelmersdale United - Roberts, Mooney (Withe 71), Fleming, Roddy (Burey 77), Hollett (c), Wardle, Baxendale, Molyneux, Hulme, Darr, Galloway (Lenehan 80). Subs not used- Mitchell,Cheetham.