Sat 07
Harrogate Town
First Team
D Mitchley (89')
Harrogate Halt United's Historic Emirates FA Cup Run

Harrogate Halt United's Historic Emirates FA Cup Run

By Simon Driscoll
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Harrogate Town 4 Skelmersdale United 1

Skelmersdale United's historic run in the Emirates FA Cup ended on Friday night with a 4-1 defeat to League Two side Harrogate Town at The EnviroVent Stadium.

Paul McNally welcomed Mike Grogan, Jack Grimshaw, Alex Griffiths and Emini Adegbenro back into the starting lineup as he looked to guide United into the second round for the first time in the club's history.

However, it was a nightmare start for Skem as Harrogate took the lead with just 50 seconds on the clock, Calvin Miller slotting past Ben Barnes after collecting a rebound off the post from Tom Walker's shot to make it 1-0.

United could have replied instantly with Emini Adegbenro seeing a shot blocked , Alex Griffiths free-kick caused a scramble on nine minutes but a foul ended the danger. Tom Walker fired high over the target for the hosts before Adegbenro had a shot blocked from close range. Dan Jones swept a header over the bar after connecting to Miller's corner before Jack Muldoon forced a superb low save from Ben Barnes.

United looked to level before the break but Lloyd Ellams could only send a free-kick over the bar and with just second before the interval, Harrogate doubled their lead with a Walker free-kick finding the path of Mark Beck who headed past Barnes for 2-0.

The second half saw Harrogate threaten early on with Barnes tipping a Walker effort over the bar and Jones heading the resulting corner narrowly past the post. Danny Mitchley curled a shot past the post at the other end before Daniel Murphy swept a free-kick over the bar.

Mike Grogan and Josh Peet both tried their luck with chances that were deflected behind and Murphy came close to cutting the gap with a thunderous strike from distance which went over the bar. United's hopes looked to be over on 68 minutes as Harrogate went 3-0 up, substitute George Thomson looping a free-kick which caused a scramble that allowed Jake Lawlor to flick past Barnes.

The hosts continued to threaten with a powerful shot from substitute Aaron Martin hitting the bar and Beck's rebounded effort which drew a stunning goal-line clearance from Joe Herbert, Martin's luck improved a minute later as he connected to James Falkingham's cross to head past Barnes for 4-0.

United made a double change in attack with Gabriel Ellis and Richard Brodie coming on in place of Adegbenro and Jack Grimshaw. Brodie came close to an early impact as he hit achingly past the post from a tight angle and at the other end, fellow substitute Brendan Kiernan drew a low stop from Barnes.

The tie entered the final minutes and both sides had superb chances still to come, Kevin Lokko's shot cannoning off the post safely into the arms of Barnes before a moment that will live forever in United's history came on 89 minutes, free kick saw Murphy flick on for Mitchley who volleyed past Jack Cracknell to become the club's first ever scorer in the first round at 4-1.

The final whistle saw the hosts celebrate equalling their previous best season in the competition while despite defeat, United topped the three previous first round results by virtue of the historic first goal by Mitchley.

Harrogate Town - Cracknell, Jones, Falkingham, Burrell, Beck, Lawlor, Kirby, Muldoon (Martin 69), Miller (Kiernan 63), Walker (Thomson 63), Lokko.Subs not used - Belshaw, Stead, Kerry, Hall.

Skelmersdale United - Barnes, Herbert, Preston, Murphy, Grogan, Peet (Croughan 69), J.Grimshaw (Brodie 74),Ellams, Mitchley, Griffiths, Adegbenro (Ellis 74). Subs not used- Glennon, Webb, Wainwright, Davies.

Referee- R.Madley

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Match details

Match date

Sat 07, Nov 2020