Sum­mer takes shape as Skem line up friendlies

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Services - BY SIMON DRISCOLL

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.

John Driscoll

Skem in ac­tion against Charnock Richard last sea­son

Terry Mar­land

South­port in ac­tion against Ch­ester last sea­son

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