Injury-hit Albion too good for struggling Skelmersdale
Goals from Pete Davidson, Andy Milne and Joe Pugh saw a depleted Tadcaster Albion defeat Skelmersdale United and return to winning ways.
Brewers boss Michael Morton was without six first team players in Adam Baker, Josh Greening, Josh Barrett, Lawrance Hunter, Jason Mycoe and Tom Corner, but the visitors still managed to return back to North Yorkshire with a 3-1 win under their belts.
Albion had lost out to title-chasing South Shields in their previous Evo-Stik North outing, but made a positive start to Saturday’s clash with Joe Pugh and Fraser Papprill threatening in the air.
Casey Stewart had three yellow shirts to choose from when set free courtesy of an impressive diagonal ball from centre-back Papprill, on his first senior start for the club.
Stewart pulled back to the closest man, Pugh, but he saw his close-range clip held by Skem keeper, Lee Callum Roberts.
Taddy’s positive start eventually yielded a goal with 20 minutes played, Davidson making an interception in the home half before side-stepping Josh Wardle, cantering in on goal and blasting powerfully into the back of the net.
On 25 minutes, Albion broke from a Skelmersdale free-kick with Stewart picking out Conor Sellars whose sublime control took him in behind the home defence.
However, just as the Brewers man wound up to pull the trigger, Phil Mooney did brilliantly to recover and produce a last-ditch saving tackle.
Youngster Stewart continued to cause the hosts problems with his trickery and he almost doubled Tad’s lead after driving agonisingly wide from an acute angle.
Nevertheless, the away advantage was increased on 31 minutes and Morton’s side were cruising.
Pugh whipped an inviting free-kick into the box with great pace and captain Andy Milne thundered home a header.
Against the run of play, struggling United pinched a goal back in the last piece of action of the first half.
Taddy failed to clear a corner kick which led to a scramble in the box culminating in Tom Mitchell, who was on the floor, teeing up Wardle who couldn’t miss from three yards out.
Buoyed by their goal, Skelmersdale came out for the second period pushing for an equaliser.
Jordan Darr threatened just two minutes after the resumption, but his cross-cum-shot bobbled just wide of the post, narrowly evading Tyler Rufus’ reach on its way past.
With the hosts pushing men forwards, Taddy were able to exploit the gaps they were leaving at the back and Stewart had a sight of goal after Corey Roper and Davidson combined to play him through, but shot off target under pressure from Mitchell.
However, with 15 minutes remaining Albion did score a third goal and effectively killed the game off as a contest.
Aiden Savory, who worked tirelessly up top throughout, cleverly manoeuvred his way in-field and in between two defenders down the left before pulling back to Pugh who guided a low strike past gloveman Roberts.
Rufus spurned a good chance to reduce the deficit for United instantaneously but the forward could only head wide.
The final ten minutes saw Albion under-21s prospects Donald Chimalilo and Harry Sheppeard introduced to the fray.
Persistent pressure from the fiery Chimalilo forced Skem into a mistake inside their own penalty area, but the attacker couldn’t poke the ball past Roberts from close range.
Two minutes later, Sheppeard did find the net after Sellars’ free-kick was spilled into the path of the youngster, only for the offside flag to deny him his first senior goal.
Three points for Tadcaster keeps them 11th in the Evo-Stik North standings ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup clash with Cleethorpes Town and Saturday’s home league encounter against Colwyn Bay.