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1st Team - Match centre

Skelmersdale United
Stourbridge
Full time
C Lait (6')
Sat 25 Apr 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - Premier Division Attendance 242

Skelmersdale United 2 Stourbridge 1

The Glassboys could consider themselves perhaps a little unfortunate to round off their season with a fifth defeat in six games at Stormy Corner.

Despite the boost of an early goal, Stourbridge were made to pay for not taking first half chances to double their lead as the home side fought back to level just before the break and then netted what proved to be the winner just short of the hour mark.

Manager Gary Hackett was forced into a change with Chris Knight unavailable, and Leon Miles stepped in at centre back in an otherwise unchanged line-up from Tuesday's narrow defeat at FC United of Manchester.

Stourbridge forged ahead with just six minutes played. A long clearance by Lewis Solly was flicked on by Luke Benbow and Chris Lait stretched out a leg to toe it past the advancing Andy Paxton and into the roof of the net.

Skelmersdale had the ball in the net themselves two minutes later but the offside flag had long-since been raised, but they squandered a legitimate chance on 14 minutes as Kenny Strickland forced a good save from Solly, with Tyrone Williams alert to steer the loose ball behind for a corner.

At the other end, Benbow cut in from the left wing 60 seconds later but saw his low driven effort comfortably held by Paxton but generally it was the home side who were doing most of the pressing, and they went close again on 23 minutes as Scott Bakkor got in behind the visitors' back-line only to see his shot roll just wide of Solly's left-hand post.

Stourbridge's lead was almost doubled on the half hour as Leon Broadhurst's downward header from a Drw Canavan corner bounced up and against the crossbar before being cleared behind, and Paxton was then forced into two excellent saves in less than a minute. First he tipped over a fierce drive from 15 yards from Benbow, and then Brian Smikle exchanged passes with Will Richards before forcing another save from the home keeper.

But those missed chances proved costly three minutes before the interval as right back Valter Fernandes latched onto a clearance from a Skelmersdale corner and tried his luck from outside the box. Solly was perhaps a little unsighted as the ball found it's way in off the foot of his right-hand post to bring the scores level.

On balance that was probably a fair reflection of the general pattern of play to the midway point, but it was Skelmersdale who started the second period on the front foot and Solly was relieved to see Strickland's effort from 20 yards drift wide of the upright in the first minute.

Skelmersdale eventually did take the lead on 57 minutes, though. A right wing cross found it's way through to the far post, where Danny Mitchley stole in and placed a first-time shot low past Solly.

The Glassboys were desperately unlucky not to grab an equaliser on 66 minutes as Lait hounded the home defence into an error and was quick enough to reach the loose ball ahead of the advancing Paxton. However his shot rebounded from the post, with Paxton recovering to hack substitute Josh Morgan-Parker's follow-up off the line.

Two minutes later Benbow had a crack from a free-kick 20 yards out but Paxton was alert to his intentions and held on at the second attempt. Meanwhile, Skem were not without opportunities to double their lead as Solly was forced into a fine save from Mitchley on 72 minutes.

Matt Dodd, also on as substitute, was guilty of a glaring miss on 76 minutes, stealing in at the far post with time to compose himself, only to hammer the ball wastefully over the bar, and then two minutes after that Shaun Holden was fortunate to see his miscued clearance skim the top of his own crossbar.

With time running out the Glassboys' efforts became more fragmented and panicky, as Lait and Benbow both tried shots from distance that cleared the crossbar, and with the final meaningful action Strickland was equally profligate at the other end, screwing his shot wide from 18 yards when well placed to put a gloss on the home side's win.

So a season that will not live long in the memory for Glassboys' supporters came to an end with a fifth defeat from the last six games. Gary Hackett and his backroom staff will no doubt be pleased to see the back of 2014/15, and now the planning must begin in earnest for an improved campaign next time out.

The Glassboys finish the season in 16th place.

Stourbridge: Solly, Tye, Miles (Hales 87), Richards, Williams, Canavan (Dodd 62), Connolly (Morgan-Parker 62), Broadhurst, Benbow, Smikle, Lait.

Unused substitute: Hill (gk).

Attendance: 242.

The FA Respect: We Only Do Positive

Key moments

6:00
Goal Chris Lait scores for Stourbridge
Replay game

As it happened

  • Skelmersdale United
  • Stourbridge
  • 0
  • Chris Lait Goal 6:00'
  • Luke Connolly Sub Off 62:00'
  • Drew Canavan Sub Off 62:00'
  • Josh Morgan-Parker Sub On 62:00'
  • Matt Dodd Sub On 62:00'
  • Leon Miles Sub Off 87:00'
  • Reece Hales Sub On 87:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other Premier Division results

1
2
Marine
Halesowen Town
1
1
1
1
Ilkeston FC
Ramsbottom United
0
1
Matlock Town
1
0
FC United of Manchester

League table

# Team Pl Pts
14. Matlock Town 46 56
15. Nantwich Town 46 55
16. Stourbridge 46 53
17. Ramsbottom United 46 53
18. Kings Lynn Town 46 52
19. Frickley Athletic 46 50
20. Stamford 46 50

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