Wednesday 4th November 2015
F.A. Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Replay
Hyde United: Ed Wilczynski, Ryan Ellison, James Burke (Lee Neville), Joe Wilkinson, Andrew Pearson (David Birch), Spencer Harris, Sam Fitton, Grant Spencer (Jordan Snodin), Scott Spencer, Ayrton Bevins, Reece Gray. Subs not used: Ben Jago, Josh Broadbent.
Skelmersdale United: Fearon, Mooney, Holden, Hardwick, Rendell, Staunton-Turner, Strickland, Corrigan, Almond, Kinsella, Ince. Substitutes Not Used: McIntosh, Fernandes, Donaldson, Heron.
By Neil Leatherbarrow (Skelmersdale United)
What do you do when you lose three players immediately before an away FA Trophy replay, due to matters completely out of your control, you then have to play a number of players out of their best position’s, you further have to face bang in form opponents who have their star striker back in the line-up and nobody gives you a “snowball in hells chance.” Well if you are Tommy Lawson’s Skelmersdale United you take the game to your opposition, force them onto the back foot, score, then prevent them from getting into any kind of playing rhythm and finish off by sending them home well beaten. The complete scenario was a bit like a Rocky film, but without the violence.
Skelmersdale attacked from the off and in the 8th minute home goalkeeper Ed Wilczynski parried away Chris Almond’s shot, it was however to be the first of around five saves he made from the prodigious Almond before the interval.
Hyde made moves to attack and a couple of efforts from star striker Scott Spencer and another from Sam Fitton threatened, but Skelmersdale continued to press at the other end.
In the 22nd minute Skelmersdale got a reward for their enterprise. Phil Mooney galloped down the right-hand side and drove a cross into the goalmouth, Tom Ince looked its likely destination on the far post, but in an effort to save the situation, Hyde number four Joe Wilkinson put his head to the ball and it went into the net via the post.
On 25 & 27 minutes Almond had two more efforts saved by Wilczynski, then Fitton went close for Hyde with a header from Ryan Ellison’s cross.
In the 35th minute, Mooney saw a shot go inches over the crossbar after he followed up on a chaotic situation in the Hyde area. Finally two minutes before the interval Kenny Strickland went through, but unselfishly laid the ball off for Almond, when a shot at goal might have made it 2-0.
After the break, Mooney overlapped and saw his cross clip the top of the crossbar, but then Hyde started to press and the first quarter-hour of the half was always going to be crucial to the outcome of the game. But the nearest to a leveller was a shot long the floor that was thwarted when Martin Fearon dived full-length to steer the ball around his post.
That was until the 61st minute when Reece Gray waltz through two challenges. Fearon closed him down and got a vital touch to the ball, Gray got the rebound but Fearon saved again before finally pouncing on the now loose ball to calm his team-mates panic.
The latter stages saw Hyde gradually run out of ideas as to how they were going to breach Skelmersdale’s defence, while Skelmersdale were always doing well on the counterattack.
Ged Kinsella was just beaten to a through ball by Wilczynski, and then Hyde’s Scott Spencer shot wide after Jordan Snodin set up him.
The more it went on, the less likely it looked that Hyde would score.
It was a magnificently spirited performance from Skelmersdale and they thoroughly deserved to go through to play Lincoln United at Stormy Corner on Saturday 14 November in the next round of the FA Trophy. They wanted to win the game more than Hyde did.