All Dunn and dusted on bosses’ anniversary
SKELMERSDALE UNITED ....................... 0 WIDNES FC ................................................ 1 IDNES joint-bosses Steve Akrigg and Kev Towey celebrated one year at the helm in style last Saturday afternoon, running out 1-0 winners at Skelmersdale United with debutant Jack Dunn scoring the game’s only goal.
Dunn, signed on an initial one-month loan from Warrington Town during the week, netted in the 33rd minute to ensure that Widnes put an end to their run of three straight games without a win in all competitions.
The forward was one of three changes to the Whites’ side that drew at home to Newcastle Town last time out, coming in for the injured George Lomax. Elsewhere, Mike Burke and George Webster were both handed recalls in place of Ben Cartwright and Danny Ventre.
Widnes started on the front foot at Volair Park and it was Dunn who was first to threaten.
The Liverpool Academy product was brilliantly picked out by Jay Roberts after making a great run, but the forward was unable to get the cleanest shot away as the ball trickled wide of the target.
It was a really positive start from the visitors who had Skelmersdale on the back foot early. Dale Korie-Butler picked the pocket of Dimitrios Christou and advanced in the area but his cross was blocked allowing Charlie Duke to scramble away the danger.
Dunn was proving to be a good outlet for Widnes up front, with his clever movement proving difficult to handle for the Skem backline.
He again made a good run to latch on to Sean Myler’s pass but the ball was caught beneath his feet as the chance broke down.
Skem grew into the half as it went on with David Moore getting the better of Phil Doran to square a cross into the area
W● that was almost turned into his own net by Michael Grogan, but Widnes keeper Ryan Neild made the save.
Back came Widnes however, with Conor Ready floating a delicious cross towards the back-post that narrowly evaded Chris Lomax at full-stretch.
Two minutes later, Widnes deservedly took the lead. Skelmersdale had been living dangerously at the back and Dunn capitalised, intercepting Phil Mooney’s pass before rounding keeper Terry Smith and slotting the ball home.
Skelmersdale threatened an equaliser early in the second half as Neild’s attempted clearance fell at the feet of Luke Duffy who narrowly missed the open target, curling an effort wide of the far post.
Neild redeemed himself minutes later as he saved well from Sean Yeldrem, before his opposite number Smith endured a moment of madness as he was caught in no man’s land, with Dunn’s ambitious long-range effort headed off the line by Duke.
September’s Player of the Month Webster did well on the hour-mark to tee up Dunn, but the ex-Runcorn Linnet Smith produced a terrific diving save to push the debutant’s effort away from goal.
Widnes attempted to freshen things up offensively with the introduction of Ben Hodkinson from the bench, but Skem would go on to enjoy their best spell of match.
Duffy nodded wide from a free-kick after Widnes failed to clear their lines before Neild had to be alert to make a good save from Moore.
Widnes still carried a threat of their own however, and they almost put the game to bed through Myler who hit a fierce drive from 25 yards that whistled past the upright.
The visitors had a scare 10 minutes from time however as Neild scrambled to hook an effort off the line, but the Widnes custodian was not troubled in the closing few minutes despite Skem piling on the pressure.
Widnes could have added a late second goal, but Webster could only scuff an effort off target after being combining well with marksman Dunn.
Widnes FC’s defence is put under pressure against Skelmersdale United last Saturday but they survived this scare and went on to defeat the West Lancashire side 1-0 thanks to a goal from debutant Jack Dunn.