Kee­gan catches the eye

Southport Visiter - - Past Times - BY SAM CAR­ROLL­[email protected]­i­tymir­ @SamCar­roll0

PAUL McNally praised the im­pact of sub­sti­tute Louis Kee­gan as Skelmers­dale United earned the first point of his reign in a 1-1 draw with Kids­grove Ath­letic on Satur­day.

McNally, who re­placed the axed Dave Pow­ell last month, was forced into field­ing three debu­tants for the clash af­ter an in­jury cri­sis ruled out goal­keeper Terry Smith and de­fend­ers Char­lie Duke and Dimi Chris­tou.

Lee Bo­den made his first ap­pear­ance for the club in goal while Stephen Fer­ri­gan and John Keat­ley were handed bows in the heart of the de­fence.

A stun­ning opener from Ath­letic’s Peter Wil­liams handed the vis­i­tors the lead ten min­utes be­fore half-time be­fore Adam Free­land dou­bled the ad­van­tage shortly af­ter the break.

Sub­sti­tute Kee­gan of­fered hope for United on the hour-mark, how­ever, be­fore Sean Yel­drem equalised from the penalty spot just nine min­utes later.

“It was a great per­for­mance from the lads from the very first whis­tle,” McNally said af­ter the game.

“We were very un­lucky to be 2-0 down but what a come­back. A cou­ple of lads came on changed the game. It was fan­tas­tic.

“I brought Louis Kee­gan on at right-back, moved Alex Grif­fiths into the mid­dle of the park and went two up top.

“It was a 4-4-2 and we went at them and caused them trou­ble I think a point was de­served in the end.”

Sub­sti­tute Kee­gan ex­pressed frus­tra­tion about los­ing his start­ing spot fol­low­ing the draw but his new boss moved to clar­ify the tac­ti­cal think­ing be­hind the switch.

“I ex­plained to Louis that it was harsh on him get­ting left out be­cause he hadn’t re­ally done any­thing wrong,” the for­mer Lither­land REMYCA boss added.

McNally will be aim­ing to land his first vic­tory this week­end as Skelmers­dale travel to high-fly­ing Colne.

Colne are fourth in the Evo-Stik West and un­beaten in three games.

Closewide from top left: Liam ward, sam Davies, Lee Hes­keth, Harry Hob­son, Dave Wil­liams, Dave Mul­lan, Ol­lie Moir

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