Evo-Stick Division One North - Tuesday 19th February 2013
Prescot Cables lost at home to top of the table Skelmersdale United by the only goal in an error strewn game at Hope Street.
Whilst Skelmersdale were far from at their best and rested four of their regular first choice players, they were still too well organised defensively for Cables to break down. The game was played on a heavy pitch on a cold night, and both teams struggled to pass the ball accurately and resorted to the long ball tactic throughout the game.
Cables manager Dave Powell made just one change from the side which drew with Warrington on Saturday, Ryan Gratton replacing Marlin Piana.
Skelmersdale managed by ex Cables manager Tommy Lawson included former Cables players Rob McIntosh and Dale Wright in their team.
Cables applied the early pressure, and both Gratton and Evans had shots blocked. A 45 yard free kick taken by Webb was cleared by the Skem defence only as far as Evans whose cross was headed over the bar by Dawson. Another cross by Gratton was headed across the face of the Skelmersdale goal but was cleared by their defence. On 8 minutes a long ball over the top of the Cables defence put Josh Hine clear on goal, but Cables keeper Adam Reid blocked Hines shot with his legs.
Skem took the lead on 18 minutes when from a corner taken by Bellew, Phenix’s header was deflected by Hollett for another corner. From the second corner taken by Bellew, the ball was cleared by the Cables defence to the edge of the penalty area where McIntosh was waiting to pounce scoring with a spectacular over head kick.
The goal gave Skelmersdale the momentum as they sought to increase their lead. A long ball from Skem skipper Tom Hardwick over the top of the Cables defence was headed clear by Cables keeper Adam Reid. Phenix then dispossessed Evans and passed to Hine, Hollett saving the day for Cables with a last ditch tackle. After the Cables defence had cleared another Skem attack,Beesley saw Reid off his line and hit a speculative 40 yard shot towards the Cables goal, Reid chasing back to save the goal bound shot.
Gratton then found himself clear on the right, his low cross being taken by Ashton. Edwards was then impeded just outside the box by McIntosh, but the referee adjudged Edwards to have dived.
Just before the break Skem appeared to have doubled their lead when an in swinging corner from Strickland evaded Reid striking the far post and appearing to cross the goal line before being scrambled to safety by a Cables defender.The linesman did not signal to the referee that the ball had crossed the line and the ‘goal ‘ was disallowed.
The second half started with Dave Dempsey replacing Enzo Benn at left back.Cables attacking the Hope Street End started well, Webb finding Gratton whose fine cross across goal was just too far for Dawson to connect with.
Phenix was then sent clear down the right by Fielding for Skem, Hine just failing to connect with his powerful cross across the Cables goal. On 54 minutes after Reid had saved Hines goal bound header, Bellew slotted home the rebound from close range only to see it ruled out for off side. On 60 minutes, Dawson tried a long range effort for Cables which went well wide of goal. Skem’s attacking right back Field went on along run down the right his cross being blocked for a corner. Dawson then tried another long range effort for Cables which was again well wide.
Cables made two substitutions in quick succession Piana replacing Edwards and Rimmer coming on for Gratton as they looked to add some height to their attacking options. Cables came close when from a free kick taken by Murphy, Dawson headed just over the bar. Dawson then produced a fine cross across goal which was well held by Skem keeper Ashton.
As the game reached its closing stages, Murphy almost scored an own goal heading past his own keeper but Hollet cleared off the line. Skem had further opportunities to increase their lead, Burnett firing narrowly wide with a shot on the turn and Field hitting the post after a fine run through the Cables defence.
Prescot Cables: Reid, Shinks, Benn, Murphy, Hollett, Webb, Evans, Lambert, Dawson, Gratton, Edwards. Substitutes: Kelly, Dempsey, Jeffries, Rimmer, Piana.