Skem Stun Promotion Chasing Prestwich

 

By Martin Stewart

A bitterly cold and blustery day greeted the players as they emerged for this one. There were many changes in the Skem line-up. Joe Langford deputising for the suspended Ben Barnes in goal with Mo Jabir and Omar Ibrahim coming back into defence. Joel Ogiugo and Billy Ahmed were back upfront. All eyes would be on debut signing from Wythenshawe Town Bruno De Almeida Severino, who for the purposes of saving space we will call ‘Bruno’ from now on.

The conditions were clearly going to effect this match a lot, but both sides went at a frantic pace to produce a very entertaining contest.
The promotion chasing visitors settled first but it took them until the 20th minute to produce any real danger, when free-scoring forward Matthew Davies stung the hands of Langford with a fierce shot from just inside the box.

Four mins later they had a penalty shout turned down when Jabir made a stop with his chest following a dive to block a shot from Davies.

Prestwich were obviously under instructions to shoot on sight at the rookie keeper, perhaps because of the strong swirling winds around him. Both Davies and Dylan Fitzgerald choosing to shoot just wide from distance when perhaps a bit more patience would’ve been better rewarded.

Despite some persistent defending and a few eye-catching touches from Bruno in the middle, Skem’s only real chance of the half came from a free-kick out on the right wing, which was floated high into the box by Bruno and needed a good leap by Russell Saunders to catch under pressure.

Late in the half, a mix up in the Skem penalty area presented a chance on a plate to Davies just 3 yards out. Somehow though Ricardo de Frutos Griman managed to scramble clear before Davies could prod the ball home, HT 0-0.

Heys made three changes at half time and continued the way they had in the first half, with long range shots on goal. First Davies again had an attempt from 35yards that bounced up just infront of Langford forcing him into a fantastic full length diving save.

Bruno was showing a talent for playing cute balls through the defence and one such ball found its way through to Yasir Salim, but his shot was charged down by Jack McConnell.

Two mins later and it was Davies’ turn to be put clean through by his team. Langford was out quickly and made a brilliant point blank stop.

On the hour mark, Ogiugo lay injured in the Heys box after being crashed into the fence by Bradley Sullivan. Despite protests, the ref waved play on and Prestwich broke up the other end with three v two bearing down on goal. Langford was on hand again though to save the day and prevent what would have been a very disputed opener.

It took just three more minutes for the goal to come and despite Hey’s dominance it was Skem who got it. A long ball forward found Ahmed who fed it through to Bruno. His shot was blocked but the ball fell kindly to the inrushing Salim who made no mistake from 6 yards.

On 71 mins a dangerous cross from the right was met with a diving header by Davies in the middle but he couldn’t direct it at goal.

Prestwich were beginning to run out of ideas and every time they did unlock the United defence Langford was equal to it, on days like this you just sense a keeper isn’t going to concede and the youngster was having the game of his short Skem career so far.

Late on there was another lovely passing move instigated by Bruno, that led to Ibrahim finding himself inside the box. In space, he drifted a shot just wide of the far post. But another goal would have been flattering for Skem. FT 1-0

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