Skelmersdale United supporters were given no festive cheer on Saturday as they went down 2-1 at Whitchurch Alport in the North West Counties League.
It has been 7 long weeks since the “Blues” had competitive football, the last game the Televised FA cup game against Harrogate, and the rustiness showed in the opening minutes as the home side created a number of chances, only a last ditch block from young defender James Webb kept the scores level.
United were however undone on 27 minutes by some slack defending as prolific marksman Jud Ellis was left unmarked in the box, his free header parried away by Barnes, but the ball again found Ellis in acres of space to prod home unchallenged.
United gradually got into their stride and Mitchley and Adegbenro both created an opening without troubling the back of the net, the latter should have done better when set up by Grimshaw, only to see his effort tamely veer wide.
As half time approached, the heavens opened, falling on saturated ground, it was nigh on impossible to see the full length of the pitch.
The rain continued to fall as the second period started and within just 30 seconds Danny Mitchley had beaten his marker, slotted home and had the ball back in the centre circle, such was the speed of the attack. It was all United and it was a matter of when United would take the lead but the atrocious conditions were making standing up difficult, and on a rare break for Alport, the ball played through to Ryan Alcock and as two United defenders merged to clear the danger, both found themselves wrong footed in the heavy ground and Alcock strode forward to slip pass Barnes for 2-1.
United made changes bringing on forwards O’Neill, Brodie and Lewis and although they created pressure couldn’t find a way through the stubborn defence, the lively Danny Mitchley hit the post with a fantastic shot on the turn and Alex Griffiths should have drawn the sides level from close range but saw his shot just clip the top of the bar.
It wasn’t to be United’s day, they now face an anxious wait to see if WLBC will allow the facilities at the JMO to be fully utilized before their next game, against Burscough on Tuesday 29th December.