Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally has admitted the defeat to Charnock Richard left him ‘heartbroken’.
The clash between the two sides saw second-placed Skem host Charnock – who were looking to enhance their promotion playoff hopes.
Despite taking the lead through Mikey Howard after 10 minutes, the visitors fought back and scored twice before half-time. They held onto their goal advantage and dented McNally’s promotion hopes.
The win left Skem in second, with two games left, as Charnock sit third, six points behind with three games in hand.
They return to league action this weekend with a derby clash against Litherland REMYCA.
McNally told Off The Park: “There’s been a few season-defining games throughout the season that we haven’t taken a grip of. I think that one on Saturday was so disappointing, absolutely heartbreaking and gutting.
“Wasn’t a particularly good game, when we went 1-0 up I thought we were going to just edge it because we were on top then but mistakes, individual errors that we haven’t ironed out, which earlier in the season we wasn’t making. We switched off from a set price, we haven’t conceded from all season, second goal was just a defensive mixup, we just switched off and the lad reacted quicker popped it in.
“From that moment, there was only one team that was going to win it and it was them. They were defensively resolute, we could’ve played all night and wouldn’t of scored against them. It’s disappointing as a club and a group, we have to dust ourselves down and see where we end up.
“We’ve flattered to deceive, we’ve done well at times, if you look at the big games there’s a familiar pattern we’ve gone ahead in everyone of them and when you go ahead in a big game usually you think first goal wins it.
“But I don’t know whether it’s concentration, confidence, over-confidence I don’t know. Our defensive record has not been great second half of the season.
“It’s not just down the defensive errors it’s collectively, I don’t think the second half [of the season] we deserve to be where we are but we are still in it, we are still in for a fighting chance as long as we’ve still got half a chance, we’ll have to keep plodding on.
“I do think the other teams have got a bit of momentum, they won’t give it up. It’s still a magnificent achievement where we are in the league, we have to do just go and see where we are.”
They bounced back from the disappointment with a 5-0 win over Atherton LR in the Macron Cup with Danny Mitchley the pick of the bunch with a hat-trick.
He added: “Still problems there, I didn’t think we were fantastic, Atherton did well. We beat them comprehensively but there was still problems that I still believe we have to sort.
“Huge game for both teams for various reasons. We’re expecting a really tough game, there’s no easy games in this league.
“They’re scrapping, it’s a local Derby, they’ll be looking to put one over on us, they’ve got some fantastic players at the team. I do think they’ll get out of it [the relegation battle] but hopefully they don’t win and then they can win their other games to get out of it.”