Last Gasp Donnelly Strike Secures United Draw
Newcastle Town 1 Skelmersdale United 1
After a opening loss to 2019, United bounced back with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Newcastle Town which saw two penalties and both sides testing the woodwork.
Town led after 18 minutes through Josh Glover, United saw Michael White's 68th minute penalty saved but went on to secure a point with a last-gasp spot kick from Georgie Donnelly.
Paul McNally's return to the dugout also saw the return of Georgie Donnelly, Michael White, Connor Belger and Kieron Brislen after dual-registration periods while newly signed Henoc Mukendi was named on the bench.
Newcastle started the brighter of the two sides with Josh Glover sweeping a shot across goal in the opening seconds which evaded all comers. United replied with a long range effort from Kieran Brislen and sliding shot from Marvin Molyneux, both saved by Matt Johnson.
Town came close to opening the scoring on 12 minutes as Kyle Stubbs and Jack Van Der Laan combined to find Chris Smith who headed over from close range. Newcastle opened the scoring on 19 minutes with Smit's goalbound effort blocked by Glover who then slotted past Terry Smith for 1-0.
United had a chance to draw level with Dave Moore firing wide of the post before Connor Heath did similar at the other end. Glover had a great chance to claim his second goal as he fired narrowly over the bar on 36 minutes. He should have doubled his tally two minutes later, having collected Smith's pass he then advanced on goal and beat Terry Smith but saw his shot cannon back off both posts before being cleared.
Two great chances for United early in the second half in a matter of seconds, Marvin Molyneux heading Connor Belger's free-kick across goal before Tom Molyneux's hit from the edge of the area cannoned back off the post. Another United free-kick saw Mike White heading over the bar after collecting Ben Jago's lofted pass.
United continued to threaten with Kieron Brislen's lofted shot claimed by Johnson who benefitted from the dipping of the shot. However, Newcastle went even closer to scoring at the other end as Stubbs' low cross forced a diving save from Smith into a scramble which was thankfully cleared. Chances aplenty for United continued as John Keatley connected to a corner but could only flick the ball over the bar.
A defensive error from White allowed Smith in on 62 minutes but his snapshot sailed over the bar. United were given a great chance to level on 67 minutes as Dave Moore was upended by Johnson in attempting to meet Brislen's cross with the referee awarding a penalty, White stepped up and hit low with Johnson saving to redeem himself.
A superb Brislen cross on 84 minutes needed a defensive header right under the bar before a frantic final minute saw United given a superb chance to claim a point. Marvin Molyneux's lofted free-kick created a scramble in the Newcastle defence which ended when Joel Douglas looked to have been taken out with the referee awarding a penalty.
Georgie Donnelly took the responsibility having like previous taker White dispatched many penalties in previous United spells, up he stepped and fired high into the net just over the fingertips of Johnson to make it 1-1 to the joy of the travelling fans and officials.
The final whistle sounded 30 seconds later with United the happier of the two sides as they ended their recent losing run and claimed their first point of the year.
Newcastle Town- Johnson, Bradbury, Stubbs, Scott, Lowe (c), Dennis, Heath (Forbes 77), Van Der Laan, Smith (Attrell 77), Ward, Glover. Subs not used- Antoine, Fraser, Shaw.
Skelmersdale United- Smith (c), Brislen, Coughlan, White, Keatley, T.Molyneux (Douglas 76), Jago (Griffiths 68), M.Molyneux, Donnelly, Belger (Mukendi 76), Moore. Subs not used- Giverin, Grimshaw.