FC Isle of Man crest

MATCH REPORT: FC Isle of Man 3 – 0 Skelmersdale United

FC Isle of Man notched their second consecutive win after a commanding second-half performance saw them dispatch Skelmersdale United 3-0 at the bowl on Saturday evening.

The first half was a slow burner to begin with, both teams played out a tense midfield battle for large parts as they looked to figure each other out and find a way through to goal for the first half-hour. Charlie Higgins and Jacob Crook linked up well down the left but failed to break through the Skem backline. Michael Williams then went on a mazy run from the centre of midfield, driving into the box only to be stopped by the last man.

The Ravens best chance came in the 37th minute, with Seán Doyle’s low cross setting up a powerful close-range effort for Higgins, only for him to be thwarted by a goal-line clearance. Just before the whistle, Abdullahi Ahmed’s effort went just wide for Skem as they looked to take a lead into the break.

The second half was a polar opposite to the first for FC Isle of Man as they asserted their dominance right from the whistle. The breakthrough came just two minutes in, as Williams was brought down by Dana Amaral in the Skem box, earning the Ravens a penalty. Jack McVey picked up the ball and fired home left-footed from 12 yards, past Joe Langford, to give FC IOM the lead and ignite the passionate home crowd behind the goal.

As the game progressed, Dean Pinnington’s free-kick narrowly missed the net, and then in the 63rd minute, Frank Jones picked up the ball on the right of the box and hung up a delightful ball to the back post where Charlie Higgins met it with a powerful header, only a couple of yards out to double The Ravens advantage!

Just four minutes later, Higgins turned from goalscorer to provider, driving a low ball across the corridor of uncertainty from the left for Doyle to meet it unmarked at the back post and tap in, further extending the lead to 3-0.

In the 83rd minute, any faint hopes of getting back into the game for Skem were further compounded when former Tottenham and Wigan player Pascal Chimbonda, now player-manager for the away side, was sin-binned for dissent, leaving his team down to 10. FC Isle of Man almost finished with a flourish in the 90th minute when Williams audacious half-volley attempt from outside the box rattled the bar.

As the final whistle blew, FC IOM had secured all three points, moving them up to 11th in the NWCFL. Charlie Higgins was named the NK Construction Man of the Match.

FC Isle of Man now sets their sights on next Saturday’s (Feb 10th) away fixture against 5th place Prestwich Heys, which kicks off at 2pm.