Wythenshawe 3 v 2 Skelmersdale United


By Gordon Johnson

As the Christmas weekend started Skelmersdale United headed to high flying league leaders, Wythenshawe FC, on Saturday hoping to start the Christmas period as the pantomime villains of the day.The first half of the game certainly appeared to be going to script too, despite the best efforts of Wythenshawe player Luke Worth, who repeatedly niggled at the North West Countues league’s November player of the month, Yacin Amarzou throughout the half.In a fairly evenly matched forty five minutes Skem came out on top due to two outstanding pieces of counter attacking football. On 27 minutes Abdullahi Ahmed, better known to his team mates as ‘Billy’, cut in along the goal line from the right wing playing a pass across the Wythenshawe goal mouth which Yacin Amarzou smashed past Wythenshawe keeper Haslam to give Skem the lead.The goal seemed to stir the hosts into life and Skem were lucky three minutes later as Joe Bevan’s shot beat Skem keeper Barnes striking the post and bouncing to safety for United.Wythenshawe maintained the pressure though and on 34 minutes Skem’s Mohammed Jabir was ideally placed to clear an effort off the Skem goal line and with the clearance dropping kindly for Wythenshawe’s Darrhyl Mason it took another tremendous save from keeper Ben Barnes to keep Skem in front.The reaction to Barnes’s save could not have been any better though, on 37 minutes Mark Bollingino sprung the Wythenshawe offside trap as they attempted to play a high back line. As Bollongino advanced on the Wythenshawe goal, keeper Haslam set himself to try and block a shot that the whole ground expected only for Bollingino to play the ball unselfishly to his left across the goal,  allowing Skem’s Yasir Salim to roll the ball into the empty Wythenshawe net giving Skem a well deserved two goal lead.This wasn’t the end of the the first half action though with Skem on the ascendancy up stepped the real pantomime villain of the day, Wythenshawe’s,  Luke Worth, who cynically threw Skem’s Amarzou to the ground on 42 minutes and followed this up by stamping on him, an incident that went unseen and unpunished by the match officials. Skem were momentarily reduced to ten players with Amarzou having to leave the field of play for treatment and were once again thankful to keeper Barnes for retaining their two goal lead in this period, with Barnes getting down to make another fine save from Wythenshawe striker Adewusl and sending United into the break with a two goal advantage.The second half was a totally different affair though with an obviously riled up and more physical Wythenshawe side taking to the pitch.As mentioned above the real pantomime villain of the day, Luke Worth, came into his own now, holding, pushing and kicking Amarzou at every opportunity. He never actually left Amarzou’s side for the duration of the half other than to sidle up to referee Bedworth at every stoppage in the game smiling and advising him on his performance!Wythenshawe’s more physical approach in the second half certainly had the desired effect for them and on 52 minutes they were back into the game as Samuel Adewusl rose to head home a free kick crossed in from the right.On 64 minutes the hosts were level as the Skem defence stood off Wythenshawe striker Darrhyl Mason who stuck a low shot into the bottom right corner of the goal to make it 2-2.This did prompt a response from Skem though on 69 minutes when Bollongino again stole possession, strode forward and again played in Yasir Salim whose strike from outside the penalty area had Wythenshawe keeper Haslam at full stretch to keep the ball out of his net.Two minutes later though the damage was done, Wythenshawe’s physical approach to the game certainly paid off again and a cross from the right was headed home by Saul Henderson to ultimately take the three points for the hosts.The drama was far from over though, on 89 minutes Referee Budworth was called over by one of his assistants who had, albeit far too late in the game, eventually seen one of Luke Worth’s off the ball assaults on Amarzou. Amarzou had also reacted to the Wythenshawe player grabbing him under the arm pit and swung out his arm to free himself from the grip. Result, a yellow card for each player. Then in stoppage time Worth again cynically kicked Amarzou, for the first time seen by the referee who subsequently issued Worth his second yellow card and sent him from the field of play to a heroes reception from the home fans who he openly bragged too about this being his third sending off of the current season, obviously claiming it as some sort of badge of honour!The last minute of stoppage time brought no further drama. Skem can take a lot from their first half performance though and will certainly take points of many other teams if they continue to play in that manner.
Referee: Lee Budworth Attendance: 274




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