Published: 4th October 2007
FC UNITED had the worst possible preparation for their FA Trophy debut this Saturday as they suffered a midweek defeat at Skelmersdale.
The reds were looking to the ’Evans in dismay as Skem’s Tony scored a cracking hat-trick to condemn them to a 3-1 loss.
FC entered the land of roundabouts fresh from handing Chorley a 3-0 drubbing on Saturday thanks to two goals from Rory Patterson and one from Stuart Rudd.
But that form disappeared up the hard shoulder on Tuesday night as United crashed to a determined rearguard action from the home side.
Skem accelerated into the lead after just five minutes after Dave Chadwick gave away a dubious free kick on the edge of the box. United failed to clear the ball and Evans indicated to go one way before shimmying past Chadwick on the blind side and smashing home into the top corner.
But it was not long before FC revved up and equalised as their own flashy model Patterson scored an outrageous volley on the turn from 35 yards out.
As the match developed the referee constantly congratulated the Skem players in the same vein as a PE teacher does to his ‘lads’ when officiating a game involving his own school.
He kept shouting ‘well done!’ but he was the only person inside the whitewash who did not deserve that compliment himself as he had a shocker.
Meanwhile, Skelmersdale’s identity crisis came to the fore as some of their fans began singing Everton songs in a Wigan accent.
This seemed to spur on FC as they pushed for an equaliser. Rudd came closest with a header which was cleared off the line in the last minute.
As United pushed, Skem duly broke and FC keeper Sam Ashton committed his mandatory suicidal dash from the goalline to give Evans the chance to seal his hat-trick with a finish akin to Mark Hughes’ at Rotterdam in 1991 – only nowhere near as good.
Skem deserved the three points and FC will need to improve if they are to motor past Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Trophy on Saturday, October 6. The game at the Horsfall Stadium kicks off at 3pm.