Skem fall to Longridge

By Neil Leatherbarrow

Skelmersdale United paid a high cost for a poor first-half performance at home

to Longridge Town on Saturday, it was an important game for both teams and
although it wasn’t for lack of effort Pascal Chimbonda’s team could have been
more than a goal down at the interval, although they were a lot better after the
restart, they then struggled to break down a visiting defence who were in top
form.

Going into the game it could be said that a weight of expectation was on Skem
as they had won four out of their previous six matches.

A closely fought opening saw Longridge settle best and when they took the
lead after only eight minutes it very much confirmed the theory. Luke Smith
hoisting a ball from the right to the far post, where an unmarked Josh Winder
met the ball about eight yards out with a diving header to score what was to
prove the only goal of the match.

It could easily have been two just four minutes later, a Morgan Homson-Smith

free kick created a scramble in the Skelmersdale goalmouth that culminated in
a fine diving save by home goalkeeper Ben Barnes.

On 28 minutes Skem did threaten once when Mark Bollongino took the ball
along the 18 yard line but his shot was parried by Longridge keeper Will
Kitchen and eventually was shot wide.

Although they settled for a while, after the half hour mark Longridge started to

have another period of putting the pressure on Skem, Homson-Smith sent a
ball fizzing right across the face of goal, then Paul Turner was one on one with
keeper Barnes, but the goalkeeper won that clash.

As the break approached it might have been 1-1, Yasir Salim looked set to
strike but a brilliant challenge by Mitchell Marshall snapped out that
opportunity.

When the whistle did go Pascal Chimbonda who was confined to the stand for

a third game stomped off to the dressing room looking like thunder, to be
honest you couldn’t blame him, Skem couldn’t have complained if they had been three goals down.

The second-half was only two minutes old when Skelmersdale had what was

to prove their best chance of the day, Abdullah Ahmed found himself clean in
on goal, keeper Kitchen closed him down and saved with his legs.

Bollongino put one just wide on 55 minutes, Skem had improved a great deal
but the damage was done, Longridge were now looking impregnable at the
back, Skem were dominating possession, Longridge were dominating their
forwards.

Unfortunately for Skem the pattern continued and by the latter stages
Skelmersdale instead of producing what is an almost customary grandstand
finish were snubbed out, it was a bad defeat for Skelmersdale and it has
allowed Longridge some breathing space above them but you had to conclude
the better team over ninety minutes won.

Skelmersdale have been without arguably their best player Yacin Amarzou for
the last couple of games, hopefully he will be back for Saturday’s trip to Bury,
he will make a difference.

SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Barnes, Amaral, Mbowe, Bouraima, Digbue ©,
Frutos Griman, Bollongino, Knowles, Ahmed, Salim, Gomes Subs Da Costa,
Ogiugo, Fall, Grimshaw, Langford

LONGRIDGE TOWN: Kitchen, Marshall, Mclean, Olawumi, Wilkinson, Fletcher
©, Harries, Smith, Turner, Winder, Homson-Smith Subs Clark, Hewitt, Lockett.
Barry

REFEREE: Philip Brennan

Attendance: 226

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