Skem’s Trophy hopes hit by fine margins
IN football there is a phrase that is often used - ‘fine margins’. It often refers to situations or incidents in a football match that can often be pivotal to the whole outcome of a game.
It is perhaps an appropriate term to describe the ending of Skelmersdale’s FA Trophy hopes at a wet Seel Park on Saturday.
With 15 minutes remaining and 2-1 down, Skem were piling the pressure on Mossley.
Then centre-forward Andy Owens was denied an equaliser by a superb goalline clearance by Mossley, the ball then quickly found its way to the other end and Mossley went 3-1 up. Hence some fine margins.
The match couldn’t have started better for Skelmersdale who looked lively, Lewis Codling had a ninth minute shot saved by home goalkeeper Ollie Martin. Then Owens won a corner on the lefthand side in the 11th minute.
Codling drove the ball into the nearpost area, Mossley full-back Caldon Henson jumped up for the ball, but only succeeded in diverting it into his own goal, giving Skem a 1-0 lead.
The first-half itself was anything but a classic but that suited the team that was leading, especially as Mossley were not generating a great deal to worry about in attack. Skelmersdale were in control.
Arguably the main talking point of the half was the rash of yellow cards that was issued, and it would not be too wide of the mark to describe referee Mr Bruce as a little pedantic in what constituted a yellow card offence in a game that was mainly played in a good spirit.
Mossley were kicking down the Seel Park hill in the second-half and they soon caused Skelmersdale problems and equalised in the 51st minute. Liam Ellis played a cross field ball to an on the run Adam Latham who got behind the Skem defence, faced with goalkeeper Jack Sims closing him down he played the ball across him and the ball rolled inside the far post.
With momentum behind them, five minutes later Mossley struck again to grab the lead.
A free-kick was lofted into the penalty area, home number five Tom Dean got up to head at goal, Sims saved but the ball ran to his right, Ellis pounced and forced the ball into the net.
Skelmersdale almost instantly levelled, a ball over the top found Owens clean in on goal, however, as keeper Martin closed him down he played his shot, only to see it go agonisingly just wide.
Owens’ chance gave Skem confidence and they pushed Mossley back, one great opportunity fell to substitute Callum Mahoney, latching onto a head on, he released his shot early catching Martin out but again the shot went wide, a goal was on the cards.
Skelmersdale were well in the game and looking likely to score.
The vital game deciding moments arrived in the 75th minute.
Martin saved from a Skelmersdale free-kick but the ball ran free, Owens leapt onto the ball and his effort was going right into the middle of the goal, a defender scrambled back and it was superbly cleared.
Moments later at the other end a Mason Duffy shot struck Sims’ far post and Danny McLaughlin had a simple task of making it 3-1 to Mossley.
When you haven’t won a game since August 26 your confidence is bound to be fragile and with 15 minutes left the goal killed Skelmersdale off. Yes they continued to push forward but it wasn’t with the same zeal that it had before, Mossley were now able to smother Skem and solely rely on the counterattack, there was just no way back.
Skelmersdale manager Dave Powell brought on Bevan Burey and Kevin Cringle, it made no difference, lady luck “fine margins” had been against Skelmersdale, it could easily have been 2-2 but 3-1 was too much to ask.