Mooney Magic Secures Skem Draw
Trafford 2 Skelmersdale United 2
By Simon Driscoll
After last week's postponement, Skelmersdale United opened the month with a visit to Trafford FC who alike United are draw specialists in the ESN.
The sides drew 1-1 earlier in the season and again couldn’t be separated as they each earned a point in a 2-2 draw, Aaron Burns putting the hosts ahead on the half hour before Jordan Darr levelled with half-time on the horizon. Ally Brown restored the hosts' lead five minutes after the interval before United captain Phil Mooney levelled on the hour mark.
Dave Powell welcomed Mike Roddy back into the squad after a return from Glossop North End while handing debuts to the trio of Ben Lightfoot, James Barrigan and Wade Joyce. The first 20 minutes saw both sides cancel each other out in attack with the first chance of the game seeing Sean Miller head narrowly past the post for the hosts after connecting to a long cross. Minutes later, Trafford went even closer to opening the scoring with Laurence Taylor forcing a low save from Callum Roberts who on the half hour was left helpless to prevent the opener as Miller found Aaron Burns who tapped into an empty net for 1-0.
United twice came close to levelling with Jordan Darr's acrobatic effort forcing a strong stop from Grant Shenton after he connected to a long ball from James Barrigan and minutes later a long range shot from Barrigan saw a superb diving save from Shenton. A great chance for United to level saw Darr put Scott Bakkor in on goal who via pressure from Shenton hit into the side netting. The pressure paid off on 41 minutes as a mazy run from Darr saw him create a combo between Barrigan and Wade Joyce whose lofted cross to the far post saw Darr fire in for 1-1.
Trafford's response saw Miller and Jack Dorney combine with the latter forcing a low save from Roberts before a long rage effort from Lee Neville sailed past the post ahead of the half time whistle. The hosts came close to regaining the lead within two minutes of the restart as a cross from the right side saw Burns head at goal with substitute Jack Lenehan and Roberts combining to clear off the line.
However, the second goal did come on 50 minutes as a looping cross from Neville found Ally Brown at the far post, his headed effort was adjudged to have crossed the line and come back out, the referee awarding the goal for 2-1. United were unlucky not to draw level within minutes as a low cross from Joyce saw Andy Langford flick the ball onto his own post but his blushes were saved as the ball cannoned out of play.
A clever run down the wing from Darr saw him cut inside and force a stop from Shenton who was powerless on to prevent a leveller for United on the hour. An inswinging corner from Barrigan saw Shenton parry the ball under pressure from Mike Roddy and Darr with Phil Mooney capitalising to fire in at the back post for 2-2. Trafford came close to regaining the lead as a clever cross from Neville saw Burns' header clipping the top of the crossbar and at the other end, Shenton tipped a shot from Bakkor narrowly past the post.
Trafford had the ball in the net for a third time as substitute Darius Palma tapped in at the back post after a flick on from Burns with the goal chalked off due to offside. At the other end, substitute Tyler Rufus drew a low save from Shenton before United had a great chance to claim the win.
Good pressure from Bakkor saw him steal the ball from the defender and find substitute Tunde Owolabi who advanced on goal but sadly only found the side netting in what proved to be the final effort on goal before the final whistle. United were the happier of the two sides in claiming a point while Trafford missed the chance to close up on the play-off places.
Trafford - Shenton, Brown (Rydings 63), Neville, Langford, Mason (c) (Palma 77), O'Brien, Taylor, Sephton, Burns, Dorney, Miller (Frost 63). Subs not used- Yeldrem, Linwood.
Skelmersdale United - Roberts, Lightfoot (Lenehan 46), Fleming, Roddy (Owolabi 68), Mooney (c), Wardle, Darr (Rufus 79), Molyneux, Bakkor, Joyce, Barrigan. Subs not used- Whittle, Cheetham.
Referee - J Kenny (Middlewich).