Skelmersdale United are through to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup. Despite not being at the races for most of the match on Saturday at Congleton, coming from a goal down yet again.
The game was a messy affair with neither side being able to gain a good foothold of proceedings, there was raids for both sides but nothing that would trouble the scorers.
Congleton broke the first half deadlock when Arron Johns, a prolific striker at this level found space in the 6 yard box to poke home after 29 minutes United had Ben Barnes in the United goal to thank as a succession of saves kept United from being swamped as they tried desperately to regain some composure.
An equalizer for United came out of the “Blue” as a long ball forward found Emini Adegbenro, beating his marker he raced towards goal and poked home from 18 yards on 39 mins. Skem were spurred on and Josh Peet brought out save from the top draw from Patton in the opposition goal as United finished the half stronger.
The United faithful, basking in the late Autumn sun must have had high hopes of a repeat of the second half performance that destroyed Penistone Church in the last round.
Their hopes were shattered as a succession of attacks from the hosts brought panic at the heart of the defence, only some last ditch defending stopped United from crumbling as an onslaught from the hosts threatened to run riot, Skem, had no answer.
United found an outlet in the 79th minute when a long ball out of defence by Danny Murphy found Adegbenro in space, his run towards goal cut down with the interception from Ryder. The referee had no option to show the defender the red card and award United a free kick just outside the edge of the box.
Up stepped Murphy, who struck a thunderbolt and despite having every man back behind the ball, the shot hit the back of the net with a thump!
Congleton despite being down to 10 men still pressed but couldn’t find a way through. United had the best chance in the final minute as Tom Croughan beat his marker and a run at goal saw his shot comfortably saved. It would have been an unjust score-line at 3-1, as it was United hung on and progressed to the next round.
The draw for the 1st Qualifying round will be made Monday lunchtime with United just 4 long games to reach the First Round proper when they will be up against the League clubs.
It’s a big ask and its 50 years since they last reached the latter stages of the competition, but this is the celebratory season of Wembley 71, who knows what’s in store, you just never know.