More home misery for blues

By Martin Stewart

 

Spring seemed to come early last Saturday as the two teams and their supporters were greeted by clear, sunny skies and mild temperatures for this game. Returning to the starting line-up for United was goalkeeper Ben Barnes. Haris Bouraima was back in place of Ricardo De Frutos Griman who was dropped to the bench and Bebeto Gomes replaced the injured Yasir Salim.

The visitors quickly got into their stride as Skem struggled to get a hold of the ball, yet it was United who had the first meaningful chance of the game. Pascal Chimbonda in possessionlooked up and placed a glorious chip up to Yacin Amarzou, who’s instant flick found Billy Ahmed outside the area. The forward beating his marker before getting into the box and firing a low shot that was deflected for a corner.

Unperturbed, AFC Liverpool continued to press, with a confident passing style and on 15 mins Andrew Starkey robbed Nelson Digbeu 40 yards from goal and it took heroics from Chimbonda to get back and deflect his shot for a corner.

Sadly for United, the corner was only cleared out to Bradley Shearwood, standing outside the box and he fired a low shot through the crowd and into the bottom right corner to open the scoring.

Just 6 mins later Digbeu found himself free out on the left touchline and sent a fierce dipping shot in from 25 yards that dipped onto the top of the crossbar.

Two mins later and Mohammed Jabir cleared a cross to Starkey who was just inches wide from doubling the red’s lead.

At this point Skem finally started to settle and had their best spell of the match. Gomes was keeping ex-Skem full back Ben Lightfoot fully occupied and one of his best crosses was just infront of the head of the in-rushing Amarzou.

A minute before the break and it was Gomes’ turn to find himself in a great scoring position. A clever chip by Amarzou put him clear, but Harry Campbell rushed out quickly to smother his shot.

Then the stoppage time goal curse struck again as Shearwood put in Liam Paton who expertly turned inside the area and sent a low shot into the corner. HT 0-2.

A double substitution at half time saw Thomas Smith and Dana Amaral replace Kristian Knowles and Haris Bouraima. The changes put Skem back on the front foot but Adam Moorcroft was still able to volley wide from close range for the visitors.

Smith continued the assured performance he gave on his debut against the Isle of Man and sent a number of good corners right under the crossbar that needed Campbell to claim. But at the other end the hosts were still committing unforced error after error that were letting AFC Liverpool stay in confident mood.

On 67 mins Liam Paton capped his MOTM performance with his second goal. A perfectly weighted ball into his path set him on his way, but he still had to dribble brilliantly past his man before he could nonchalantly roll the ball under Barnes to effectively end this as a contest.

On 73 mins it was almost four when Barnes made a spectacular save from a bullet header by Matty Brown.

In the dying minutes of the game Skem were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area. Amarzou’s shot rebounded off the base of the post to deny his side a consolation goal FT 0-3.

A poor result and another poor performance. and with good results for those in the relegation zone around them, another bad day for those long suffering supporters.

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