SKELMERSDALE UNITED 1 RUNCORN LINNETS 4
By Neil Leatherbarrow
For precisely three minutes it all looked fairly good for new Skelmersdale United manager Richard Brodie, his side had arguably just edged a close first-half and had burst into the second period with a spectacular goal from his star forward to give them a 1-0 lead.
However three minutes later their opponents levelled and the lift it gave them saw Skem second best.
The story of the game is really the story of the second-half and after only twenty seconds Skem struck. A wonderful ball over the top by Kenny Strickland left the Runcorn defence completely out of it leaving Elliott Morris to do what he does best, score goals, giving visiting goalkeeper Danny Taberner no chance.
On 48 minutes Runcorn number nine Nialle Rodney headed down a ball into the box, it was helped on and Sidi Fotana curled a lovely shot into the corner of the net for the equaliser.
Just after the hour mark Runcorn took the lead and it was an all former Skem players goal, a James Short shot rebounded and Jamie Rainford headed home his third goal of the season for the Linnets to make it 2-1.
Runcorn could have been reduced to ten men on 57 minutes as a challenge by Lewis Doyle on Abdul Djallo was only followed by a yellow card from referee Aaron Williams, much to the chagrin of the Skem supporters, it was an opinion decision and you could easily justify it being a sending off, but just as easily justify it only being a booking.
The visitors seemed to be energised and were now out competing the hosts and left-back Short made it 3-1 on 72 minutes, his free kick going low through a Skelmersdale defensive wall and going into the net.
As the full-time whistle beckoned Runcorn rubbed salt into the Skelmersdale wounds, a mistake by goalkeeper Andy Coughlin left Jacques Welsh in possession he squared the ball to Rainford who made it 4-1.
The scoreline could be said to have flattered Runcorn somewhat but they were the better team over ninety minutes. Skelmersdale had been handicapped by losing experienced defender Mike Grogan, injured in the warm up.
After the game in an interview with the Skelmersdale United media team Richard Brodie said how delighted he is to be handed the Skelmersdale managers job and how much he knows about the team, going on about the performance on the night he added: “In the second-half we didn’t match their intensity, we didn’t deal with it.”
SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Coughlin, Griffiths, Hont, Herbert, Lees, Strickland ©, Morris, Sheen, Mitchley, Djallo, Southworth Subs Adegbenro, Benaly, Croughan, Barnes, Brannigan
RUNCORN LINNETS: Taberner, Brown, Short, O’Mahoney, Heathcote, Olarewaju, Hayes, Rodney, Fotana, Clark Subs Rainford, Turner, Moore, Welsh
Referee: Aaron Williams