Skelmersdale United travelled to Winsford United on Saturday in the final League game of the St Luke’s Cup, knowing that only a win by 2 clear goals would send them through to next weeks final, a game that supporters would be allowed to attend.
United were given a massive boost prior to kick off, with the inclusion in the starting line-up of club legend Kenny Strickland, making his debut for the club back in 2010, he made 311 appearances, scoring 31 goals before moving to Marine in 2017, where he featured in this season’s FA Cup 3rd round tie for the Mariners against Tottenham.
It didn’t take Kenny long to get into the action, as a free kick from 25 yds was duly despatched for a 1-0 lead to Skem, 2 minutes later and the bar came to the rescue of the hosts as another freekick from Strickland went agonisingly close and on the half hour a 3rd free kick again went close.
United were dealt a blow before half time as influential full back Alex Davies received a nasty knock, which saw him taken to hospital with a badly damaged ankle.
Dowling levelled the scores after 50 minutes after some good work from Keogh and United still had to find another two goals, Brodie, Adegbenro and Jones all went close and Stricklands 4th free kick of the afternoon went just wide of the post, you had the feeling it wasn’t to be Skems day.
Duckworth added to the Skem misfortune as a mazy run saw him slip the ball under keeper Barnes on 71 minutes. Mitchley and Adegbenro combined well a short time later, with the latter firing home to make it 2-2 and give United a bit of hope, but Duckworth again found the back of the net and it was game over.
Its been a good exercise for Paul McNally’s men, he has been allowed to blood some youngsters in Traynor, Carnell, Niblock and Jones without the pressures of league football and has seen some of his “older” stagers put in some fine performances.
The United players will take a short break before coming back refreshed for the start of pre-season fixtures which begin in July before the North West Counties season starts on 31st July, hopefully with spectators allowed.