By: Southport fc website
Southport 0-5 Skelmersdale United – Liverpool Senior Cup
Southport were beaten in the Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday night as they conceded five goals to lose against Skelmersdale United.
The visitors scored four times in the second half to claim a convincing win at the Merseyrail Community Stadium and book their place in the final against AFC Liverpool.
Danny Mitchley, a one-time Southport striker, hit a hat-trick as Skem, currently in the play-off places in the Evo-Stik Premier League, proved too strong for a Port team which featured a mix of first-teamers, fringe players and youngsters.
The Sandgrounders gave starts to four players from the club’s youth set-up, while Louis Almond began his first match in a Southport shirt and Micah Evans also featured following time on loan at Worcester City.
David Fitzpatrick played in the centre of the defence alongside Tom Davies, the recent loan signing from Fleetwood Town.
Having made a positive start, Mitchley got the ball rolling for Skem after seven minutes, steering home a loose ball from inside the area after the Southport defence had failed to clear.
The visitors showed their capabilities of playing smart, tidy football and Dale Wright, a danger on the visitors’ right, had an angled shot saved by goalkeeper Matty Lavelle.
Davies cleared a dangerous Peter Wylie cross from underneath his own crossbar before Alan Burton sent a long-range shot over.
Chances for Southport were difficult to come by. Evans had the ball in the net with a far-post header from Tom Mahamotho’s cross but the striker was given off-side. Paul Rutherford also played the ball inside to Paul Jewell but he was unable to get his shot away before defender Rob McIntosh cleared.
The Sandgrounders, under the guidance of assistant manager Alex Russell, made three half-time substitutions, as Charlie Joyce, Paul Smith and youngster Steven Wilson entered the fold.
Evans should have drawn Southport level shortly after the re-start, placing the ball wide with only goalkeeper Steven James to beat after being played through by Fitzpatrick.
And it was a miss that would prove costly for the Sandgrounders as Skem scored three times in as many minutes to seal the tie.
Having seen Mitchley score second with a bullet of a strike from 35 yards which nestled into the bottom right-hand corner, the visitors added to their lead as Wright put the ball though the legs of keeper Lavelle before Aden Kirkbride made it four from distance.
By now, Skem were firmly in control and Mitchley, who made one start and five substitute appearances for the Sandgrounders in season 2008/09, completed his hat-trick with a slick first-time finish from Wright’s pass.
Southport: Lavelle, Chrisikho, Beesley, Kay (Joyce 46), Davies, Fitzpatrick, Rutherford (Smith 46), Jewell (Wilson 46), Almond, Evans, Mahamotho.
Sub not used: Cavanagh.
Skelmersdale United: James, Wylie, Fernandes, McIntosh (Nicholson 87), Strickland, Kirkbride, Wright, Burton (Donaldson 79), Mitchley, Whittington (Meaney 73), Mooney.
Subs not used: Paxton.
Referee: Jonathan Hunt
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