United Edged by Radcliffe
Skelmersdale United 1 Radcliffe 2
By Simon Driscoll
After claiming their first point of the season, Skelmersdale United were edged out on Wednesday night with a 2-1 defeat to league leaders Radcliffe.
Dave Powell handed a debut to 'keeper Scott Moloney on loan from Bury with Terry Smith missing through illness. The early stages saw the visitors go close, Matt Williams' cross narrowly missed the head of Ben Wharton at the far post before Rick Smith's effort deflected past the post after he connected to a free-kick.
At the other end, Dave Moore's run and cross saw Kyle Hawley flick on at the near post but sadly there was no supporting attacker to tap past Ollie Martin. Radcliffe struck the opener on 14 minutes as a long range free kick from Scott Metcalfe found Matt Williams who picked who Smith to head past Moloney for 1-0.
The lead was extended on 28 minutes as Raul Correia linked with Smith to create a scramble in the United defence and amid the melee, Kingsley Williams fired past Moloney into the bottom corner for 2-0. Radcliffe went close to making it 3-0 as a pacy counter attack from Wharton saw him advance on goal and fire a shot just past the far post.
United battled to cut the gap in the second half with Tom Molyneux firing over the bar before an inspired substitution on 54 minutes saw United off the mark. Just seconds after coming off the bench, Will Dunne's first touch saw him whip a long range free kick which thundered past everyone in the area to beat Martin for 2-1.
Dunne tested Martin with another free-kick later on before Radcliffe saw assistant manager Frank Sinclair sent to the stands after a discussion with the referee on 67 minutes and once again Martin had to deny a long rage effort from Dunne.
Radcliffe responded with substitutes Tunde Owolabi and Elliot Rokka failing to find the net with the former also drawing a save from Moloney. United were unable to find an equaliser but coupled with Saturday's point the defeat gives more positives than negatives.
Skelmersdale United - Moloney, Duke, Fleming, Molyneu, Mooney (c), Brownsword, Moore (McLoughlin 90) Griffiths (Dunne 54), Edgar, Hawley, Ennis (Yeldrem 76). Subs not used- Atkinson, Woods.
Radcliffe - Martin, M.Williams, Grogan, Metcalfe, Carr, Haywood, Correia, K.Williams (c), Wharton, Smith (Wood 54), Payne (Owolabi 68). Subs not used- Lacy, Daniels.