"Fourth in the league, you're havin' a laugh… Fourth in the league, you're havin' a laugh…'
Nothing but nothing went right for mighty Skelmersdale United at Moor Lane today as they were outplayed and outclassed by a Salford City team a million points and places below them in the Unibond Division One North. Even their fan's horn, which was supposed to put off Salford keeper, Andy Robertson, when he took a goal kick, was mis-timed and went off after he'd kicked the ball away every time. This was Easter fun at its best for Salford – and the score should have been 4-0 but for some bad refereeing decisions.
Skem should have opened the scoring in the opening quarter, Andy Roberston staying big to get a hand to a scouse shot (`We're not scousers') from the edge of the six yard box. And that was as close as the scousers (`We're not scousers!') got during the whole match.
Shortly after, Rhodri Giggs, returning after three matches, squared to Lee Neville but his shot was deflected for a corner, and after 25 minutes Giggs rounded the Skem goalie only to see his effort fly over the bar. A flurry of free kicks and corners followed as Salford piled on the pressure, and after half an hour they almost got the goal their play deserved, Craig Buckley hitting just wide when clean through on goal.
The Salford opener just had to come, and after 35 minutes Steve Foster played a top one-two with Stuart Tulloch in the area before driving home. 1-0 to Salford.
Shortly after, the injured right back Phil Bayliss was replaced by local lad Joshua Bardsley, brother of former United and current Sunderland player Phil Bardsley. The change didn't disrupt Salford's total domination of the half and on the stroke of the interval, a Lee Neville piledriver was tipped over the bar. From the resultant corner the ball eventually came to Rhodri Giggs and his shot came off the goalie onto a Skem defender's chest and into the net to make it 2-0.
During the second half Skelmersdale brought on subs who seemed to get taller and taller (the last one was 10ft tall) in an effort to intimidate Salford but the scousers (`We're not scousers!!!') never presented the slightest threat. Instead it was Salford who should have been four up by the end, a Giggs shot ridiculously ruled out for offside, and then Giggs was harshly penalised again for a non existent push when a Craig Buckley header crossed the line.
So Salford City go marching on. Over the last few weeks we've played four of the top six teams – won two, drawn one, lost one…
"Fourth from bottom, you're havin' a laugh… Fourth from bottom, you're havin' a laugh"
Shame that the season isn't starting now – what price Salford City for promotion?
Next up, Warrington away on Easter Monday, followed by Trafford at home next Saturday…