Skem Suffer Derby Defeat
Skelmersdale United 1 Prescot Cables 6
The dawn of a new year saw Skelmersdale United suffer a heavy derby loss as Prescot Cables stormed to the Evo-Stik summit with a 6-1 victory. A strange game in many ways, Cables playing as the away side in their own stadium for one and former United striker Chris Almond striking four times in the first half ahead of efforts for Lloyd Dean and Dan Burn with Jack Fleming replying for United.
Cables threatened early on with James Edgar sweeping in a dangerous cross which Jack Fleming did well to put behind for a corner. The visitors opened the scoring with just four minutes on the clock as Chris Almond capitalised on a mis-placed pass from Callum Jones, he advanced through the defence before slotting past Callum Roberts in the United goal.
The lead was doubled just three minutes later as a clever move saw Edgar cross to the far post where Almond tapped in for 2-0. United were in deep trouble with just 15 minutes played as Almond completed his hat-trick, he collected a curling free-kick to hit past Roberts for 3-0. Minutes later, Cables raised claims for a penalty after Jordan Wynne looked to have been upended by Jones but the referee waved play on.
Prescot continued to dominate possession and from a curling free-kick forced a strong save from Roberts before a clever cross from Lloyd Dean saw Edgar shoot over the bar after a short Skem clearance. A nightmare first half-hour for United ended with Almond striking his fourth goal of the afternoon as he latched on to an inswinging free-kick from Wynne to tap past Roberts, 4-0.
A sweeping cross from Valter Fernandes found Edgar at the back post whose low shot went across goal and narrowly past the far post. Cables resumed their threat after half-time with Reece Fishwick sweeping a shot wide of the target. United squandered a superb chance to get off the mark as a mistake from Cables 'keeper Ben Barnes after pressure from Bevan Burey saw Chris Hill unable to tap into an empty net.
Just over a minute later, United went even closer to scoring as Alaster Redmayne collected Mike Roddy's free-kick and advanced on goal, his shot beat Barnes but cannone back off the post. The missed chances proved costly as after defending back-to-back Cables corners, United were undone by the third as Lloyd Dean headed in at the back post for 5-0.
United were fortunate not to fall further behind after substitute Jordan Southworth latched on to a defensive mistake but Roberts was on had to dive low and prevent a shot on goal. The sides scuffled minutes later after Jack Fleming's momentum from a tackle saw him sliding into the Cables dugout, though it is unclear who or what started the fracas.
A superb free-kick on the edge of the area from Wynne beat Roberts but cannoned back off the underside of the bar and with the United defence unable to clear, Dan Burn tapped in for 6-0. United finally got off the mark and in superb style as a counter-attack led by Burey and Redmayne saw Tom Molyneux sweep in a cross which Jack Fleming caught on the half-volley to fire past Barnes for 6-1.
The final whistle went with United suffering a fourth consecutive loss while the victory sent Cables to the league's summit.