Paul McNally proud of Skelmersdale players after FA Cup exit at Harrogate
Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally left Harrogate a proud man despite watching his team’s FA Cup run end in a 4-1 defeat.
The North West Counties League minnows were the lowest-ranked team in the first-round draw and bowed out following goals from Calvin Miller, Mark Beck, Jake Lawlor and Aaron Martin for the hosts.
But McNally also hailed the quality of Daniel Mitchley’s volleyed 89th-minute consolation.
He said: “The lads can be proud of how they played. The result was not what we wanted, but they are a top side.
“They moved the ball really well but, conceding after a minute did not help us, nor did the one that went in on 45 minutes. I thought we were still in the game up to that point and had a great chance to make it 1-1 and, if you don’t take your chances at the right times, you will get punished.
“Losing 4-1 might have been a bit harsh, but they are a good side. I was pleased that Danny got his goal because he worked his socks off without much joy for most of the game, but it was a great finish and probably the best goal of the night.
“The lads are a bit deflated but, to get this far in the competition has been brilliant and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Miller opened the scoring after just 47 seconds when he fired in from 10 yards after Beck had hit an upright.
In first-half stoppage time, Beck then glanced in a header from Tom Walker’s right-wing free-kick.
Another free-kick delivered from the right – this time by George Thomson – led to Lawlor’s deflected 10-yard effort spinning into the bottom corner in the 68th minute.
Six minutes later, Martin headed in a Josh Falkingham cross from the right, before Mitchley struck with a perfectly-timed volley.
Harrogate manager Simon Weaver felt there were positives and negatives from his side’s display.
He said: “It was a bit of a mixed bag from us. After going 1-0 up in the first minute, you’re thinking that’s just what we wanted and would alleviate the pressure.
“But they nearly equalised straight away and I think that gave us the jitters a bit. Parts of our play was bang average and, then, there were other spells where we moved the ball quickly and got the job done.
“I was a bit disappointed with the goal we conceded as you have to be relentless in every aspect, but some players got a chance in the team that have had to wait their turn and a couple looked a bit rusty, while a couple more did themselves the world of good.
“The games are coming thick and fast at the moment and energy levels will ebb and flow within the group.”