Run halted as Skem un­done in first half

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Martin Mere - BY NEIL LEATHERBAR­ROW

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.

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