Run halted as Skem undone in first half
SKELMERSDALE United’s unbeaten six league game run came to an end on Saturday, at just a day short of a two month stretch.
The reason was probably a poor first half performance by Dave Powell’s team in which they conceded twice, leaving them a mountain to climb after the break and despite having most of the possession in the last 45 minutes they couldn’t rescue the game.
It is possible that having only played three competitive games in the whole of November and none at all since November 20 that Skelmersdale were suffering from a little ring rust early on and it could be said that when Colwyn Bay scored in the 14th minute it was not against the run of play.
Before the goal Skelmersdale goalkeeper Lee Callum Roberts had saved from a Danny Bartle header and then saved with his feet when Colwyn number nine Astley Mulholland was forced wide when running onto a through ball.
The opening goal came when a right-wing corner was met by a mistimed header the ball dropped into the six yard box and in the scramble Colwyn’s Will Booth with his back to goal was able to speculatively back heel the ball home from about two yards out.
In response the best Skem could do was force a punch clearance out of away goalkeeper Matt Cooper from a Bevan Burey cross.
To be fair though, although Colwyn had more of the ball they were not putting Skem keeper Roberts under too much strain, his main action between goals being a save from Mulholland.
When Colwyn got their second goal bang on the half-hour it was a well worked build-up but had a huge slice of luck attached to the final outcome. The move down the left saw the ball sent to Mulholland he released the ball sideways to Danny Bartle whose shot was going low to Roberts right-hand, however a vicious deflection off a Skem defender sent the ball low to Roberts’ left and into the net.
Skelmersdale bucked their ideas up after the second goal and might even have pulled a goal back before half-time.
Keeper Cooper saved from Skem striker Andy Owens then dived to his left to keep out another shot from Owens, he then in almost an action replay did the same from an Owens free-kick.
All this time all Colwyn could produce was a shot from Louis Barnes that was punched away by Roberts.
The second-half started like the first had ended, with Skem on the offensive.
On 50 minutes Burey put a shot over the crossbar before Owens was frustrated twice by last ditch tackles, the first by Sam Barnes then another tremendous one on 62 minutes by Gareth Grant. If Skelmersdale had got a goal back in this period of pressure it would very likely have been a totally different game.
As the half progressed Colwyn Bay began to look dangerous on the counterattack including on one occasion when the swift Bartle broke and hit a dipping shot over the bar.
Owens was still the main threat for Skem and the crosses of left-back Jack Fleming were a good supply line, the ball was lifted into the Colwyn goalmouth at regular intervals but the visitors defence held firm, goalkeeper Cooper showing he is very proficient at punching the ball clear, while the defenders in front of him gradually neutralised Skem talisman Owens.
Skelmersdale could given luck have recovered but ultimately their slow start to the game cost them.