UNITED GO DOWN FIGHTING
Witton Albion 5-3 Skelmersdale United
Skelmersdale United's excellent away record came crashing down on Saturday at promotion chasing Witton Albion. United without the suspended strikers James Murphy & Ste Milne after last weeks sending off had a somewhat lopsided look to the starting line up and they were quickly punished, caught napping at the back Witton's leading scorer Duckworth should have done better when free in the box, United didnt heed the warnings and when Callum Lees bundled over Ryan Baxter inside the box, the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot, up stepped Duckworth to make it 1-0 after just 16 minutes.
It got worse for United just 5 minutes later as Hough added the second for the home side, United had not got into any rhythm and looked a shadow of the side that had done so well on the road in recent week, Adbul Djalo made a charging run into the box but his attempt went wide was the best they could muster in a one sided first half.
Witton looked like scoring at will with only the heroics of keeper Joel Torrance and last gasp defending from United's youngster Harry Hagen kept them at bay, United were undone again shortly before the break when No 3 Kennerley headed home at the near post to make it 3-0.
Witton could have made it 4 a minute into the second period a weak back pass gifted Baxter a chance to add to the tally his looping effort over the keeper hitting the bar. Torrance again came to United's rescue pushing a well drilled shot wide for a corner.
The Cheshire men added a fourth on 64 minutes when 6ft 6in defender Oliver Hitchcox rose unopposed to head home from a left wing corner and United's miserable day was done.
United introduced substitute Danny O'Brien and something started to click, Hagen getting on the end of a corner only to see his effort diverted wide and Elliott Morris, unusually quiet all afternoon went on a mazy run that brought out the first real save for opposition keeper Ollie Martin. Prescott and Morris combined well but the youngster couldnt quite find the important finish, it was becoming one way traffic with the boys in blue pinning back the hosts.
United got on the scoresheet when stand in striker Joe Herbert crashed home from short range on 75 minutes, just a minute later Herbert could have had his second only kept out by a fine save down low near the post by Martin and Witton were rattled, Elliott Morris cruised in from the left before crashing home and it was game on.
United were now playing the free flowing football that had seen them gain many a plaudit in recent weeks, O'Brien & Morris combing to give the opposition all kinds of problems
United throwing men forward were likely to get caught out at the back and substitute Putnam was the beneficiary as he got Wittons 5th with just 5 minutes to go but United still came in waves with Joe Hebert reducing the arrears yet again with a fine take and volley to send the away supporters into raptures, with the 90 minutes up Joe Duckworth who had been a thorn in Uniteds side all afternoon was needlessly booked twice in the space of a minute was dismissed, the referee signaled 5 minutes extra the away following dreamt of the biggest comeback since Lazarus.
United had a few chances but nothing concrete and Witton ran out winners of the game but they knew they had been in a game.
SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Torrence Hagan Freeman Jackson Lees Bell Morris Djalo Prescott McLaughlin Gallagher; SUBS: Herbert Osi-Efa O'Brien Unused Grayson,Crofton
WITTON ALBION: Martin Koral Kennerley Hitchcox Harrison Billington Hough Lawrie Baxter Duckworth Rokka; SUBS: McGee Barrow Fogerty Igoe Putnam