Crosby ward off chasers
THIS week Crosby Village SC maintained their slender lead at the top with an excellent 6-0 away demolition over Skelmersdale Wardens A – which sees them with a single point lead from their nearest rival.
The match saw Crosby’s Paul Williams in tremendous form with a fabulous break of 85 in his frame.
Southport Conservative Club continue in second place in the standings after they too ended their evening with maximum points as they demolished Maghull RBL B 6-0.
Maghull RBL A continue in superb form as this time around they defeated Stanley Club A 4-2 to record their seventh successive win.
The result sees them continue in third position in the league table and sit five points off the pace.
Aughton Institute E was another team to grab all the points available this week as they completed a 6-0 demotion of Upholland Social.
Robbie Wilson contributed a fine effort of 54 in his frame.
In other results, Quarry Green TAC shared the points with Scarisbrick NSL in a 3-3 draw.
Olympic BC sealed a solid 4-2 triumph at the expense of Aughton Institute A, their first win for six matches.
Meanwhile, St Cuthberts clinched their first victory since late January as they comprehensively defeated Rainford X SSC 5-1.
SKELMERSDALE United are in a sorry state at the moment and after last Tuesday’s record 10-1 home defeat to Ashton United, they bounced back to a point in the first half against Buxton, matching their opponents for most of the period.
However, after arguably being a bit unfortunate to go a goal down just before half-time, they had defender Michael Vaughan-Muscat sent off for a second yellow card three minutes into the second half and then collapsed defensively, conceding four goals in 14 minutes.
It had all started quite brightly for Skem.
After Buxton’s Niall Doran had fired over the crossbar early on, VaughanMuscat headed over the Buxton crossbar then Seb Bradshaw shot wide, followed on 14 minutes by a Max Allen free-kick that needed to be grasped firmly by Buxton goalkeeper Jan Budtz.
Both teams cancelled each other out for the next 25 minutes or so, the respective abilities to close each other down making the passing and attacking endeavours of both teams scrappy and sporadic.
In the 41st minute that all changed. Joel Bembo-Leta dribbled forward and ran into a Skem midfielder and a freekick was given.
In their armoury Buxton have a leftback called Jamie Green who has played in the Football League for Rotherham United – he is also known for being one of the best dead-ball kickers in the EvoStik League, as Skem were to find out to their cost.
He sent the free-kick over the wall then dipping inside the post to give Buxton a 1-0 interval lead.
Skelmersdale almost tied things up seconds after the break. Rami Howarth got in down the left side of the Buxton defence but his shot was weak.
Buxton went straight down the other end but Glen Cameron got back in time to clear the Skem lines.
In the 48th minute Green played a ball that split the Skem defence and Bradley Grayson chased it, as Skem goalkeeper Chris Cheetham left his area and looked favourite to reach it. But Vaughan-Muscat tripped Grayson, and as he had received a yellow card in the first half, so this one was followed by a red and left Skelmersdale down to 10 men.
Alan Rogers quickly brought on defender Callum Grogan but Buxton took advantage, scoring twice in three minutes both from Green corners. First a diving header from Greg Young crashed the ball high inside the near post, then after a failure to clear the lines, Grayson drilled low into the opposite corner.
Skem didn’t give up but the organisation of the previous 45 minutes was shattered. On 62 minutes former Workington midfielder Joe McGee headed in a Green corner, then from a Green free-kick Liam Hardy headed home.
The shell-shocked Skelmersdale youngsters did recover a level of composure, but Buxton managed one more, Hardy volleying home from an Alastair Taylor cross.
Beleaguered Skelmersdale manager Alan Rogers said in his post match interview: “The first half performance was decent, the lads showed commitment and worked hard, they had a couple of chances. They come out for the secondhalf and the sending off changes everything, after what’s been going on, heads dropped.
“We have what we have, we tried to bring players in on transfer deadline day (March 23), but people want money which we haven’t got. It’s disappointing, but that is the way it is.”
You have to feel sorry for Rogers, he can see the problems but can do nothing about them.
With the financial constraints he is working under it is almost impossible for him to improve things.
There are six games left, Skelmersdale are relegated and damage limitation is what has to go on now.