Date: Friday 6th November 2020
Venue: The EnviroVent Stadium
Competition: FA Cup First Round Proper
Harrogate Town: Yellow Shirt, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Skelmersdale United: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Skelmersdale United’s incredible run in the FA Cup came to an end at the hands of Harrogate Town, 6-divisions above their opponents. Goals from Calvin Miller, Mark Beck, Jake Lawlor and Aaron Martin was enough for the League Two side. The visitors can hold their heads high despite the loss as they battled well against a professional side.
The game got off to the perfect start for Harrogate Town as they took the lead in the 1st minute of the game. A scramble in the air saw Mark Beck fired the ball against the post before Calvin Miller’s rebounded effort ricochet of the Ben Barnes into the back of the net. Mini Adegenro almost responded for the visitors but his shot was just wide of the target. Harrogate dominated the early minutes as they looked to extend their lead but Skelmersdale United defended well. Ben Barnes made a superb save before the resulting corner was headed by Callum Preston but his effort was wide.
Skem had grown into the game defensively but didn’t offer much further up the pitch as they prevent Harrogate extending their lead. They had won a free-kick is a good area but the headed ball was well held by Joe Cracknell before neither Daniel Mitchley or Jack Grimshaw couldn’t get the ball beyond the last defender. The visitors best chance came in the 31st minute as Adegenro picked up the ball and broke through a crowded box but his shot was blocked before the resulting corner was aimed towards the back post but Harrogate won a foul, taking the pressure off them. A couple of minutes later, Town upped the pressure as they looked to make their divisional-gap count. Muldoon was almost through but Joe Herbert prevented a shot with a superb last ditch challenge before Dan Jones got to the by-line but Skem managed to get the ball cleared.
With a couple of minutes to go, Harrogate had a couple of huge chances. Jack Muldoon’s shot was well saved by the leg of Barnes before Josh Falkingham fired a shot over the bar. Lloyd Ellams had a great opportunity for the visitors as he lined-up for a free-kick but his effort was fired over. Right on the stroke of half-time, Harrogate doubled their lead. A free-kick from the right-hand side was fired into the box and headed beyond the keeper by Mark Beck.
It was a better start to the second-half for Skelmersdale United but Harrogate had the first chance as Tom Walker fired an effort over the bar. A couple of minutes into the half, Daniel Mitchley made a good run but his shot was curled just wide of the far post. The visitors found a foot-hold in the game as they looked to get back into the game. They had a couple of free-kicks but both were fired over the bar before Lloyd Ellams also had an effort from a free-kick go just over the bar as he tried to surprise the Harrogate keeper. Danny Murphy tried his luck from distance but he couldn’t test the keeper. Despite the foothold in the game, Harrogate extended their lead. A corner was fired into a crowded box with Jake Lawlor swinging at the ball which deflected off a Skem’s defender and into the bottom corner.
Harrogate had made some changes as they looked to finish off the game. Brendan Kiernan pulled a ball back but a header was off the crossbar before the rebounded effort was cleared off the line. A minute later, it was 4-0 to Harrogate as Skem tired with 15-minutes to play. Falkingham’s cross was headed beyond Barnes by Aaron Martin. There was no rest though as the hosts continued to pile forward. George Thompson had a shot deflected into the side-netting before the resulting corner was well taken by Barnes.
As the game neared its end, Skem were almost in for a goal. Ellams had a shot from the edge of the box but his shot was deflected out of play before the resulting corner reached Richard Brodie at the back-post but his effort was fired over from a tight angle. Brendan Kiernan and Dan Jones both had efforts saved by Ben Barnes, who was alert to the efforts before Kevin Lokko had a shot rattled off the inside of the post and safely into the hands of the Skem keeper. In the last minute of the game, Skem’s hard work paid off and Daniel Mitchley pulled one back for the visitors as he volleyed the ball beyond Joe Cracknell but it was merely a consolation goal for the ninth-tier side.
Harrogate Town: 13 Joe Cracknell, 3 Dan Jones, 4 Josh Falkingham, 6 Warren Burrell, 9 Mark Beck, 12 Jake Lawlor, 15 Connor Kirby, 18 Jack Muldoon (10 Aaron Martin), 19 Calvin Miller (7 George Thompson), 23 Tom Walker (14 Brendan Kiernan), 26 Kevin Lokko
HT (Unused): 1 James Belshaw, 16 Jon Stead, 17 Lloyd Kelly, 20 Connor Hall
Skelmersdale United: 1 Ben Barnes, 2 Joe Herbert, 3 Callum Preston, 4 Danny Murphy, 5 Michael Grogan, 6 Josh Peet (15 Tom Croughan), 7 Jack Grimshaw (14 Richard Brodie), 8 Lloyd Ellams, 9 Daniel Mitchley, 10 Alex Griffiths, 11 Mini Adegenro (18 Gabriel Ellis)
SU (Unused): 12 James Webb, 13 Cameron Glennon 16 Stephen Wainwright, 17 Alex Davies