United Leeking at the back
AFTER consecutive abandonment’s, United completed 90 minutes with a trip to Leek Town which saw a 6-0 hammering.
Second half braces from Robert Stevenson and Aaron Bott followed a Marc Grocott strike after Leek led 1-0 at half-time after Jordan Johnson’s 43rd minute opener.
Paul McNally handed debuts to Ben Giverin, Ronan Darcy and Marvin Molyneux while George Atkinson made a rare start with the squad hit by illness and the suspension of James O’Hara finally taking place.
An early free-kick for United saw Danny Roberts save comfortably from long range before a cross from Robert Stevenson took a deflection before being saved by Liam Boden.
The hosts’ first chance of the afternoon came on 20 minutes as Billy Sass-Davies headed just over from a corner.
Leek forward Tim Grice then volleyed over from Marc Grocott’s cross ahead of a superb goal-line clearance from Alex Griffiths from a Jack Saunders header with Niall Maguire firing over the rebound.
United were lucky not to fall behind when Grocott’s low cross flew across goal with Griffiths saving the day again.
United’s best chance of the first half came on the half hour mark as Ronan Darcy’s shot from outside the area headed for the top corner with him being denied by a superb save from Roberts.
Tom Molyneux tried his luck from just inside the Leek half with the effort landing wide of the target.
For all the chances, United were to fall behind just before the interval as Stevenson’s low cross from the right saw Boden parry into the path of Jordan Johnson who fired in for 1-0. Leek could have doubled the lead within a minute as a Stevenson break saw him find Grice with a cross which saw Boden save spectacularly from pointblank range.
The first chance of the second came on 53 minutes as Johnson’s cross saw Stevenson flick into the path of Grice who forced a superb save from Boden with Stevenson heading over the bar from the resulting corner.
Leek doubled their lead just two minutes later with Johnson feeding Grocott who advanced into the box before slotting past Boden for 2-0.
United went three behind just before the hour mark as Stevenson broke clear and lofted the ball over Boden.
McNally made a change with Danny McLoughlin entering the action, he came close to an instant impact with a shot just inside the area claimed by Roberts.
Further efforts for Leek saw William Reeves and Stevenson hitting over the target before Leek’s changes proved costly for United as eight minutes after coming on, Aaron Bott made it 4-0, a mistake in defence from Ishmael Banks allowed Bott to collect and advance on goal and slot past Boden.
Bott forced a low save from Boden minutes later with McLoughlin hitting past the post at the other end.
Leek went 5-0 up on 88 minutes as Bott outpaced Marvin Molyneux and rounded Boden to slot in for his second.
The rout was completed in the final minute as a run from Bott saw him eye an hat-trick goal with Boden denying him but in doing so parrying into the path of Stevenson who tapped in for his second and Leek’s sixth.
The final whistle sounding soon after leaving United with a miserable start to the festive period.
Leek Town- Roberts, Green (c), Short (Walford 74), Grocott, Sass-Davies, Sanders, Maguire (Trickett-Smith 66), Reeves, Grice (Bott 66), Johnson, Stevenson. Subs not used- Lycett, Hall.
Skelmersdale United- Boden, Atkinson, Giverin (McLoughlin 59), M.Molyneux, Banks (Webb 75), T. Molyneux (c), Griffiths, Grimshaw, Yeldrem (Dowling 69), Dunne, Darcy). Subs not used- Black.
Paul McNally (above) has endured a tough start to life as manager of Skelmersdale United