10 YEARS AGO TODAY, UNITED CROWNED NPL NORTH CHAMPIONS

League win was best of my career says United boss Tommy Lawson.


10 years ago today, April 20th 2013, Skelmersdale United were crowned Northern Premier League North Champions after a 4-0 win against Farsley at Stormy Corner, it would be United’s first League title success since the Cheshire League triumph in 1970.

The title was wrapped up with 3 games to go, running out 16 points clear of runners up Cammell Lairds. Skem also went on to win the Peter Swailes Sheild, played between the winners of the NPL North & South Sections beating their southern counterparts Kings Lynn 6-1 with Josh Hine scoring 4.

osTeamPldWDLGFGAPts
1Skelmersdale U42326411041102
2Cammell Laird422688865886
3New Mills4226791076385
4Trafford (P)4224810934480
5Mossley4224810834880
6Ramsbottom U4224711974979
Final League Table

You can see photos from the title winning season at the Skelmersdale United Footballing Archives HERE

SKELMERSDALE UNITED ARE CHAMPIONS
Apr 20th SKELMERSDALE UNITED 4 FARSLEY 0

Amid scenes of great celebration Skelmersdale United confirmed themselves as the Champions of Evo-Stik Division One North. The game was won with a whirlwind four goals in sixteen minutes that spanned half-time at the West Lancashire College Stadium.
Skelmersdale United will now take up a place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division next season, a position they last held back in 1976. Further it is Skelmersdale’s first league title since they won the Cheshire League back in 1970. So there was much to celebrate on Saturday evening and many tears were shed among many of the longstanding faithful.
Only requiring a draw, understandably Skelmersdale started the game looking a little nervous and for the first twenty minutes Farsley were a match for Tommy Lawson’s men. After six minutes United Captain Tom Hardwick made a block on Farsley’s Gareth Grant as the pacey striker looked very dangerous.

Play was going from end to end, though defences were on top. Farsley’s Ryan Harrison rescuing his team in the ninth minute as Matty Hughes looked set to give Skelmersdale the lead from a Paul Woolcott cross from the left, then at the clubhouse end Skelmersdale’s Sam Ashton saved from Harrison.
The more the half progressed, the more Skelmersdale took control. Adam Morning put a 20 yard shot just wide then he played a tremendous diagonal ball that Farsley goalkeeper Tom Morgan reached fractions before Hughes then Lewis Field had a shot blocked.
Seconds after the added time for the first-half was announced, Dale Wright burst through a tackle ten yards inside his own half and set off on a run, about 25 yards from goal he released the ball to Mark Jackson who was entering the Farsley penalty area from the left, Jackson switched the ball from right to left foot and despatched a low shot into the Farsley net.

Two minutes after the interval it was 2-0. Woolcott chased a bouncing ball into the right corner and fired it low into the goalmouth; it was partially cleared straight into the path of Hughes, who gleefully blasted the ball into the roof of the Farsley net. The title was within touching distance; Skelmersdale only needed a point, so Farsley needed three to deny Skelmersdale.

In the following five minutes it was like a deluge, Morgan saved from Jackson, and then saved from Josh Hine at the near-post, before making another save from Wright.
In the 53rd minute the title was won. Jackson stole the ball from away defender Rob Etherington, he played it to Morning who in turn played it into the right-back slot, where Woolcott picked it up and dodged around a defender before rolling the ball across goal into the path of Hine, the top goalscorer doing what he does best, finding the net.
On the hour came the cream on the Championship cake, Morning crossed from the left, a desperate tackle denied Hughes and Jackson shot at goal, Hughes getting a touch to send Morgan the wrong way as the ball went into the net.

The rest was a victory procession, the fans revelling in the sunshine. There wasn’t a chance Farsley would get five goals. The nearest they mustered was an overhead kick from Sam Robinson that went wide. Antony Hickey had a header saved by Morgan and Mike Phenix was unlucky to hit the side-netting with a rasping shot.

After 43 years in the waiting, the final whistle was greeted by joyous scenes and plenty of wasted Champagne. Skelmersdale can still pick up two more pieces of silverware, you wouldn’t bet against them achieving them too.

SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Ashton, Field, Holden (Strickland, 54), Hardwick ©, McIntosh, Wright, Hughes (Hickey, 70), Woolcott, Jackson, Hine (Phenix, 73), Morning Subs (not used) Burnett, Evans
Referee: Andrew Cawtherley Attendance: 368

LEAGUE WIN WAS THE BEST OF MY CAREER SAYS SKEM BOSS TOMMY LAWSON
Apr 25 2013 Ormskirk Advertiser

TOMMY LAWSON said Skelmersdale United’s title triumph ranks as the most enjoyable moment of his managerial career. Skem finally clinched the Evo-Stik First Division North crown on Saturday, their 4-0 win over Farsley FC securing a success that has seemed inevitable since the early weeks of the campaign.

It also lays to rest the demons of near misses in recent seasons. Skem were runners up to Chester FC two seasons ago, and narrowly missed out on a play-off place last season after a poor second half to the season. Lawson has tasted glory previously, during his time with Prescot Cables, but says this success outstrips even those triumphs.
He said: “When I was at Prescot we went from the North West Counties league to the Unibond Premier, and my last game was a play-off against Workington. They were great times, but I have to say that this, for me, sits ahead of them. “Saturday was an absolutely fantastic occasion for the club. To win the league in front of the fans that have followed us all season long was tremendous. Everyone connected with the club can be very proud of our achievements.

“It is not just this season, either. This is a culmination of the hard work that has gone in over the past few seasons. We’ve been up there for a number of years, and to get out of what is a very hard league to escape is a wonderful achievement. What was different about this season? It’s hard to say. Our reputation is for producing good players, and having lost Chris Almond and Shaun Tuck from last season’s side, we have seen other players step up this season.
“You look at Gary Burnett, Josh Hine, Mike Phenix, Matty Hughes, Shaun Holden. Young lads with big futures. They will only get better.”

Photo courtesy DANNY JACKSON, Match Report, NEIL LEATHERBARROW

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