Mahoney Strike Seals Skem Success
Skelmersdale United 2 Mossley 1
Skelmersdale United ended a two-game stay at the Marine Travel Arena with a 2-1 win over Mossley to extend their unbeaten league run to four matches.
After defensive trio Liam Hollett, Callum Jones and Casey Reid suffered injuries in the previous game, United included new signings Josh Wardle and Tom Mitchell in their along with a return to the club for Josh Dobie. A rapid start from the Lillywhites saw Dieter Downey put Michael Fish in on goal inside 20 seconds, the forward benefiting from a mix-up between Callum Roberts and Phil Mooney but with the goal at his mercy, his shot went past the near post. United's first chance of the afternoon saw Jack Fleming swing a free-kick to the near post, Mo Ali preventing Nathan Randell from getting a header on target. At the other end, debutant Rory Fallon tested the United defence with a flicked pass for Marko Basic, Mooney dealing with the threat.
United broke the deadlock with a bizarre strike in the 18th minute from set-piece specialist Andy Owens. After being fouled by Keenan Quansah, Owens sent the resulting free-kick towards goal but in attempting to save the shot, Oliver Martin parried the ball into his own net. Mossley responded with a Jack Tuohy chance which Roberts saved comfortably. After his earlier strike, Owens tried his luck with a free-kick from a similar position but saw his effort blaze over the bar.
Skem opened up a 2-0 advantage on 31 minutes, Callum Mahoney benefiting from a poor clearance to rifle a shot which cannoned off captain Tom Dean and past the despairing Martin. A clever through pass from Owens saw Burey force a strong save from Martin from range before Rob Bourne swept a shot over the bar.
Just before half-time, Owens took advantage of a defensive mistake to supply Mahoney; the forward's effort drew a superb diving save from Martin. Mossley came close to reducing the deficit within minutes of the restart with Ali heading narrowly past the post from a free-kick. The visitors took just five minutes of the second half to get off the mark as a long cross to the back post saw Caldon Henson connect to head past Roberts for 2-1.
United came close to regaining a two-goal advantage as Mahoney sent a shot past the post after a clever combination between Roddy and Burey before Burey was involved again as he raced towards goal from a Randell pass, but was unable to repay his supplier on the edge of the area. A nicely worked play from the visitors saw Quansah climb above Owens at the back post to force a corner.
The resulting set-piece saw the taker force a clearance before sending a shot past the near post and Mossley continued their push for an equaliser with Mooney preventing a chance after Fish's through pass. As the game entered added time, a long free-kick from the visitors saw a headed effort saved superbly by Roberts who's lunge also denied a potential connection from Danny McLaughlin at the near post.
In the final seconds, a long throw into the United box look to hit the arm of Ali, Hill cleared the danger before one last push from the visitors saw Tom Mitchell clear ahead of the final whistle which drew rapturous celebrations both on and off the pitch for United as they claimed a third win in four league games.
United - Roberts, Baxendale, Fleming (Mitchell), Roddy, Mooney, Wardle, Randell (Dobie), Bourne (Hill), Owens, Mahoney, Burey. Subs not used - Blackburn, Sims.
Mossley- Martin, Henson, Downey, Ali, Dean, Quansah, Fallon, Basic (McLaughlin), Fish (Howell ), Tuohy (Latham), Duffy. Sub not used - McLean-Oppong.