Skelmersdale United prepare for ‘massive’ Congleton Town clash as NWCFL title race enters important stage

Elliot Morris in action for Skelmersdale United

Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally has talked up the massive clash with Congleton Town on Saturday as it sparks an important run.

The North West Counties Premier Division title race is heating up with only one team automatically promoted into the Northern Premier League West.

Macclesfield currently lead the way but their recent defeats have allowed Skem and Wythenshawe Town to close the gap.

For Skelmersdale, Congleton is the final clash until their back-to-back away matches with Danny Whittaker’s side before their trip to Wythenshawe.

Last time out, Skem survived a late scare against Prestwich Heys to keep the pressure on.

He told Off The Park: “I said last week it was just about getting results rather than how we played, that’s not to say we played bad, we were quite good, we controlled most of the game.

“It was a scrappy pitch, it was hard to play on, we tried to play as much as we could, they were always looking to try and catch us on the break playing a back five, I think they were happier if they took anything off us. I was happy we just got to point because Macclesfield come unstuck there earlier in the season. 

“They were two poor goals, they were nothing outstanding. The first was a bit of a mix-up then the lads stuck his foot out and lobbed Ben [Barnes].

“The second was just a long ball in, I think it’s struck Kenny Strickland on the hand and there’s nothing he could do, it’s rolled to the lad who’s rolled it into the top corner near enough in the last 10 seconds of the game, but I knew we were home and hosed by that point.

“It was just poor we conceded, our goal difference isn’t too bad could be better but it is what it is.”

The win for Skelmersdale United kept the gap to two points and McNally described his initial reaction as relief and happiness.

He added:” Bit of both [relief and happiness] it was a relief to get the three points and happiness. I’ve always got confidence in my team, they’re a good side.

“I just feel some of those places are tough to go and we still have tough venues to go, tough teams to play. With Macclesfield playing on Friday, I think everyone was expecting us to slip up, it was good to put it back on them.

“We’re little old Skem who shouldn’t be in this position, but we are, we’re challenging them and we’ll continue to until the last kick of the season, we’ll keep coming but the pressure is on them. 

“Congleton’s a massive game, they’re not easy opponents, they’ve got Tom Pope and Gary Roberts in midfield, they’ve got two top players for this level that are levels above.

“We won’t be underestimating them and we won’t be looking any further. The next month is huge, it’s pivotal to how the season will pan out and if we can keep turning them out, taking it game by game and winning, we won’t be far off.   

“A wins massive, I don’t think they’re the type of team to sit in, they’ve got big players so they’ll be fancying their chances themselves.

“It was a really tough game when we played them earlier on in the season. We play Congleton on the Saturday then Macclesfield on the Saturday after, I think Congleton will look to take points, bring it on it’ll be a good game.”

[Featured image: Bethany Lee]

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