Summer takes shape as Skem line up friendlies
AHEAD of a potential September start for the 2020/21 North West Counties Premier Division campaign, Skelmersdale United have revealed their pre-season schedule which features seven matches with opposition ranging from the Northern Premier League, Premier Division to the Cheshire League.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all matches will be played behind closed doors unless the Government guidance on allowing spectators changes.
Skem open their summer schedule with a return visit to face Cheshire League side Greenalls PSO on Sat August 8 (ko tbc) and after sharing six goals almost a year ago, United came away with a 4-2 win.
The first of three consecutive home games against NPL Premier sides sees Bamber Bridge visit JMO Sports Park on Tues 11th at 8pm.
The two sides will meet for the first time since their Northern Premier League days, the last meeting saw Bamber win 3-1 against a United who had just secured another season in the NPL North division.
Next up, will be the recently traditional hosting of Warrington Town on Sat 15th at 3pm.
Last summer’s meeting was one to forget for United as Town showed their skill in a 7-0 win that propelled them into a season that could have led to promotion to NL North.
The 2017 meeting between the sides that saw a 2-2 draw included the introduction of striker Andy Owens to the United faithful and United may reunite with Andy as his Radcliffe side visit JMO the following Tuesday at 8pm.
The last meeting between the sides was a memorable one for United in a mixed 2018/19 season as they stunned their hosts who had at that time a perfect home record with a 2-0 win.
The two clubs also met numerous times last season at Academy level in the NPLFA.
The lads are then on the road with a meeting against NWC First Division North side Ashton Town set to be played in St Helens on Sat 22nd.
The clubs met in pre-season two summers ago with Town edging a close game 2-1 at the Scott Rees & Co Stadium but last season, they were stunned in the Liverpool Senior Cup by a rampant United side that stormed to a 6-3 victory.
A new name for the fixtures database is Cheshire League side Winstanley Warriors who Skem visit on Thurs 27th at 7pm, fans may recall the club from their appearance in the South Lancs Chairman’s Cup at Stormy Corner in May 2017.
The schedule ends with a return to JMO Sports Park as the club host NPL North/West side Widnes on Sat 29th at 3pm.
The sides last met in a friendly at JMO in October 2018 with the visitors claiming a 3-2 win and like Radcliffe, the Academy sides of both clubs faced off last season.
Skem look forward to reuniting with a number of former United players including current Widnes management duo Kevin Towey and Steve Akrigg.
All four home games will include coverage via Twitter updates, match photos and highlights with the prospect of only limited updates - HT/FT score for the away games at present due to the current guidance.
SOUTHPORT FC are working towards an autumn restart after the National League informed its members that the new season will kick off on October 3.
The campaign will run until 29 May, 2021 with play-offs in June, subject to Football Association approval.
Clubs voted to end the 2019-20 regular season early in April, just over a month after fixtures were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is hoped that the new season will begin with reduced numbers of supporters allowed into grounds.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier this month that spectators could be able to return to stadiums from October, with several pilots taking place at various sporting events in the interim.
Teams in the sixth tier will start their 2020-21 season with a tie in the FA Cup second qualifying round.
The play-offs to decide the final promotion spots from the National League’s three divisions this season are ongoing.
Notts County will face Harrogate Town at Wembley on Sunday to determine who will join National League champions Barrow in League Two next season.
Boston United will play Altrincham in the National League North promotion final on 1 August, while Weymouth will host Dartford in the South division.
Southport’s National League North campaign ended with the team in 12th place, having played 32 games.
Skem in action against Charnock Richard last season
Southport in action against Chester last season