Send us news, start your message Cheshire News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Witton improve, but distractions in defence cost them again in defeat against Skelmersdale United
IN defeat Witton can take solace, more so than on Saturday when a stoppage time goal served only to mask a messy performance at Ilkeston.
There was more purpose to their play, verve in their attack not seen even in the games they have won.
Yet still they are left to lament a loss, their fifth now in eight league matches.
Witton fought hard, but their lack of a forward told.
That, plus a so far unshakeable habit of handing their opponents goals as gifts.
At 2-1 adrift, they sent on Josh Hancock and Mike Moseley as reinforcements.
Seconds later a calamity in defence presented to Skelmersdale, shaky themselves when not on the offensive, with a decisive third goal.
A pass back towards goalkeeper Matt Cooper appeared innocuous, but his controlling touch was heavy enough to entice Nick Rogan to close in.
The custodian’s hurried kick looped up off the front man to the edge of the box, where Adam Morning reacted quicker than Cliff Moyo.
As in the FA Trophy encounter between these two teams last season, his finish was unerring.
Hancock converted a penalty, awarded after Danny Andrews’ dynamic dribble was cut short by Shaun Holden’s ill-judged lunge, to give Albion hope of a draw.
But they could not conjure a leveller this time, despite piling on pressure in the closing stages.
Skelmersdale’s speed, particularly on the counter attack, unsettled the hosts early in the first half.
Kenny Strickland split the defence to send Rogan clear, the forward guiding a cute finish past Cooper to break the deadlock.
Witton’s reply was instant though; Andrews thrashing a shot home with power after Kyle Wilson had beaten a ponderous Peter Wylie to a bouncing ball.
Skem, with spark provided by Kevin Leadbetter, were swift to take the lead again.
When an Albion raid on the right floundered, the visitors switched defence to attack in the blink of an eye.
Joe Holt sped clear, his steered shot looping over a retreating Moyo and into the net after Cooper’s right hand had almost clawed it to safety.
Witton did not sulk, mind.
Andrews’ glancing header from Wilson’s cross forced Skem keeper Zac Hibbert to scramble, then Nicky Platt’s shot thudded against a post after Wilson cut back.
Tommy Lawson’s men, playing with the swagger of promoted champions, reminded Albion their threat had not diminished.
Morning’s drive was tipped over, then Jon Dawson smuggled Leadbetter’s shot off the goal-line after Morning had been denied a second time.
At the other end, Dawson’s drilled attempt hit an upright and Hibbert reacted in the nick of time to swat away Wilson’s shot from the rebound.
Rogan was guilty of a glaring miss shortly before Skem’s third goal, prodding wide with the net gaping after Leadbetter’s cross from the right crept between Cooper and Ben Harrison.
That aforementioned blunder at the back followed, punished by Morning, though Albion persisted to the finish.
It was enough to make manager Brian Pritchard scratch his head afterwards rather than hold it in his hands.
Witton Star Man: Danny Andrews. His best individual performance of the season so far, and the most consistent source of attacking threat from the hosts.
Quick as a flash to make good Kyle Wilson’s approach play for Witton’s first goal, his footwork to deceive Skem full back Shaun Holden forced the defender into the rash tackle that conceded a penalty.
Witton (4-4-2) Cooper (GK), Moyo, Harrison, Joseph, Connors, Andrews, Platt, Powell, Dawson (Hancock 69), Dereece Gardner (Moseley 69), Wilson Subs not used Glover, Purcell, Sheehan Goals Andrews 13, Hancock 80 (penalty) Booked Moyo, Andrews, Platt, Hancock (all fouls), Powell (dissent)
Skelmersdale (4-2-3-1) Hibbert (GK), Strickland, Hardwick, Wylie, Holden, Dunn, Burton, Holt, Leadbetter, Morning, Rogan (Burnett 88) Subs not used Paxton (GK), McIntosh, Wright, Dean Goals Rogan 7, Holt 15, Morning 71 Booked Holt (foul)
Referee Alan Clayton (Hyde)
Comments are closed on this article.