Skelmersdale United produced a stunning display in the Emirates FA Cup 3rd Qualifying round last night, as they overcame fellow North West Counties side Longridge Town 1-0.
It will be the first time since 1972-73 that the club has played in the 4th Qualifying round and the first time the club have won 5 FA Cup games in a season since 1968-68.
Longridge were certainly favourites coming into the game having beaten United 4-0 last season whilst the club were based at Prescot and were 7th in the North West Counties before the season was curtailed.
The hosts showed their intentions straight from the kick off as Harries hit the post within the first minute but United are made of sterner stuff these days and were quickly in the action themselves when Danny Mitchley the United No9 brought out a fine double save from Dovey on 9 minutes.
It was a fast and frantic start that didn’t let up.
United were dealt a triple blow in 5 mad minutes on the half hour, first an Emini Adegbenro goal was ruled out for off side, a minute later Danny Mitchley was upended in the area, missed a resulting penalty. Then Josh Peet, influential in midfield was shown his second yellow and took the early bath. United certainly had it all to do.
As the second half started it was expected that Longridge would go all out for victory with their numerical advantage, only some stout defending and some good saves from Barnes kept United in the game.
The more Longridge pressed the more space United found on the counter attack, Grimshaw and Ellams putting in efforts that tested Dovey and it was from one of these raids in the 71st minute that Adegbenro was brought down in the box, dusting himself down and slotting home to the joyous delight of the 50 or so travelling fans from Skem.
The last 20 minutes, the home side pilled on the pressure, Barnes made a double save from former United star Tom Ince and Murphy made a telling intervention on more than 1 occasion. United were not without chances Danny Mitchley had a shot cannon of the crossbar and Tom Croughan should have wrapped things up in the dying seconds as he shot straight at Dovey.
As it was the one goal was enough to put United in the hat for the 4th qualifying round, alongside former Football League sides Notts County, Chesterfield, Stockport and Wrexham and with United being the lowest ranked team left in the competition there is a great chance that they could be live on the BBC.