As storm Eunice battered the country, just two games survived the downpours in #MatchweekSixteen.
In the North Division, two sides jostling for position towards the top end of the table went head-to-head as Skelmersdale United welcomed Ossett United. The hosts had been in good form and were looking at cementing themselves in second place after winning four of their last six games. Ossett United on the other hand have faced a tough run of fixtures and haven’t picked up a win since they defeated Belper Town back in #MatchweekEight.
On a cold and wet afternoon, it was Ossett United who started the game the strongest and gave the home side a warning of things to come after Isaac Lopes hit the post with a towering header. After ten minutes, Lopes got his head to a corner and turned in the game’s opener with Keel Del-Grande providing a brilliant ball in.
Skelmersdale United had chances to draw level soon after, with Calvin haddock having his dinked effort saved by the Ossett keeper and skipper, Dominic Evans rounded off a well worked counterattack with a powerful low shot that went just wide of the post.
The visitors weren’t settling on their one goal lead and Alex Taylor went close after half an hour with a powerful strike that smashed into the corner of the post. Just five minutes later, Ossett United were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area and Regan Dixon, who is somewhat of a dead ball specialist whipped in a beautiful cross from the right-hand side of the box and Sam Hellawell nodded home Ossett United’s second goal.
In the second-half, conditions somehow got even worse and the players were faced with a torrential downpour and bitterly cold winds. This didn’t dampen Skelmersdale United’s spirits as it only took them 60 seconds to edge a goal back as Ryan Hunt was on hand to stab the ball home from close range after Ossett United couldn’t clear a corner.
On 65 minutes, Skelmersdale United had erased the two-goal deficit they started the half with and had all the momentum heading their way after. Skem United captain, Dom Evans was played through on goal and made no mistake of converting the chance and even had the celebration to match.
After the equaliser, Skelmersdale United were growing in confidence and were playing some of their best football of the match. With both teams pushing for the winner, it was the home side that completed an excellent comeback after a mix up between Ossett United’s goalkeeper and centre back put it on a plate for Will Green. FT:3-2.
After the game, #ESPFALancashire student and Skelmerdale United academy player, Harvey Adatsi thought his side did well to fight back and grind out a result. He said: “We were brilliant today. We came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, it was a big game. The manager Graham said just go out there and keep doing what you’re doing, and the goals will come, and they did.”
In the Ossett United camp, #ESPFAWestYorkshire student, Jack Hepworth said that it was their own mistakes that cost them on the day. “I thought we did really well in that first, I think we were the much better side but again it’s just down to individual errors costing us games and goals, essentially we don’t score enough as a team.”
In the only other game played in the ESPFA, Witton Albion continued their cup run with an excellent 4-0 win over Mickleover. A second-half hat-trick for Zach Williams sealed an impressive team performance that saw Albion go level on points with Runcorn Linnets at the top of the North Cup.
Player of the Week
After coming on as second-half sub and scoring three goals in quick succession to hand his team the win, #ESPFACheshire student, Zach Williams was an easy choice for #MatchweekSeventeen’s ‘Player of the Week’. Congratulations to Zach and well done to the other students that were also nominated for this award.
The Highlights Show
You can catch all of #MatchweekSeventeen’s goals and match highlights in this week’s edition of The Highlights Show.