Ryan Schofield returned to the heart of the defence for Town after missing last weekend’s 3-1 win at home to AFC Blackpool due to being cuptied. Ryan McKenna started in midfield whilst Brad Wicks started on the bench.
On a sunny afternoon on Merseyside Paul Turner gave Lee Ashcroft’s men the early lead at Volair Park after six minutes on the clock. A Town attack was well blocked, the ball fell to Finlay Sinclair-Smith who saw his curling effort hit the bar and post with Turner on hand to tap the ball into the open net. Prior to the goal Turner almost opened the scoring but saw his effort fired into the side netting.
Town were well on top and could’ve added a second when Elliot Pond did well to find space in the area but the youngster could only fire over.
Turner added his second on the 16th minute. Slid through, he beat the offside trap and slotted his effort past the on rushing Ben Barnes.
Skelmersdale were forced into an early change after 20 minutes with Anthony Cato replacing Charlie Kelly. Just before that they were reduced to ten men with Peter Moore being sent to the sin bin.
The visitors were too hot to handle for Skelmersdale as they found themselves 3-0 down after 31 minutes. Town had a flurry of attacks but couldn’t convert. The ball ricocheted for a throw in. Pond received the ball, turned his man before firing in at the near post. Moments before George Tomason hit the bar with a well struck effort.
The away side continued to pose a threat. Turner again beat the offside trap and elected to square the ball to Pond rather than go for the goal but Pond couldn’t deliver the finish and add a fourth.
Sinclair-Smith looked dangerous throughout the first half but also couldn’t add to the scoreline. He saw an effort well saved by Barnes on the 40th minute and just before half time saw his attempt go agonisingly wide of the far post.
Skelmersdale came out of the blocks in the second half and won an early free kick. Moore’s well struck set piece left Lee Dovey no chance in the Town goal. Another attack led to a free kick but this time Moore’s effort went just over.
Despite starting to mount a comeback the hosts still looked like conceding. Tom Ince found Turner but the young forward went for power rather than dinking Barnes.
Turner and Pond both came off replaced by Delial Brewster and Ben Fletcher with time for another goal for the visitors.
Sinclair-Smith rounded of his superb performance with the goal he deserved five minutes from time. He still had some work to do after being found, he curled his effort into the far corner to the applause of the majority of the 112 spectators in the ground.
A great display by Ashcroft’s men who face Bamber Bridge at the MRG in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy First Round this Wednesday in a 7.45pm kick off. Town are still without Conor Linighan and Troy Carsley but Ashcroft is looking to rotate the side ahead of next week’s clash with Northwich Victoria.
Skelmersdale team: Barnes, Lent (Ellison), Griffiths (Keatley) , Molyneux, Tryer (C), Toner, Moore 47, Coughlan, Douglas, White, Kelly (Cato)
Unused subs: Scoullar, Grimshaw
Town team: Dovey, Birch, Wilkinson, Gourley, Schofield, Tomason, McKenna, Pond 31 (Ben Fletcher), Turner 6/16 (Delial Brewster), Ince (C), Sinclair-Smith 84
Unused Subs: Murphy, Tucker, Wicks