Skem boss felt 2-0 Trophy win flattered the Hatters
A 2-0 victory for Luton flattered the Hatters according to proud Skelmersdale United boss Tommy Lawson after he saw his side floored by Town late show at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.
The manager of the unbeaten Evo-Stik League Northern Premier First Division North felt his side had matched the Hatters for the majority of the game and hoped his side’s performance had helped them to win friends both at home and in Bedfordshire.
He said: “2-0 I think flatters Luton. I don’t think they were two goals better than us, but they’ve won the game and we hope they do well in future rounds.
“I was really proud of the performance that the players put in. I think we worked very, very hard, right until the death. I think the people of Skelmersdale can be proud of them today, I certainly am.
“It wasn’t a case of hanging on, we thought we could win the game. And we had a couple of chances late on ourselves that another day they go in. One was immaculately brought from underneath the bar there, I don’t know how the lad’s got the header to head that away for a corner, but it was great defending. But we felt we had the opportunities to have won the game.
“We’ve played well all season. We started the season particularly well and the manager of Luton’s just said to me on the way off I can see why you haven’t been beaten. And that’s nice to hear an opposing manager speak like that.
“We are very, very proud of the players and what they’d done up to now this season has been immense. Hopefully we’ve made a few friends here today.”
Town’s goals both game in the last six minutes and Lawson was disappointed with the way his side had allowed themselves to be hit on the break after coming so close to scoring.
He said: “We actually conceded from that corner. And that was disappointing. We done the same again just after, again it was our corner and we’ve been hit on the break.
“But that happens when you are actually in a positive mode. You’re actually trying to win the game as against trying to hold a game. We had to try and entertain and win the game and not hold it and we’ve done that until the death and the 90th-minute.”
Lawson was never in any doubt that Luton’s full-time side would provide his team with an extremely stern test.
He continued: “We what we told the players was that whatever goes out there are full-time professionals and that obviously we would treat that with respect.
“They’ve got a lot of good players at this club and a lot to be admired. We matched them and I don’t think for a minute that we’ve been overawed by them.
“The two centre-halves were great again today. All over the pitch everyone worked hard, they gave a full shift for us. No-one was hiding and as I said before really, really proud of them.
“I told them that we were immensely proud of them because they’ve given us everything. They’ve come off the pitch and that dressing room is so, so low. But you know what? This is only the start of our season.
“We’ve got so much in front of us, our season isn’t over because we’ve lost here. Our season’s got to start now. We’ve got to try and win out own league and we’re still in another cup and there’s no reason why we can’t kick on from this and learn from this and hopefully achieve the big one at the end of the season which is obviously promotion if we can do it.
“We’ve started very, very well, and we’ve come here and we’ve matched a very, very good side in my opinion. So we take that into our league. We’ve got to go to Harrogate next week, so after coming here and enjoying this spectacle we got to Harrogate Railway and we’ve got to knuckle down, work as hard as we did today and hopefully get three points.”
Skem were cheered on by a fine following of 220 fans who made the six-hour round trip and Lawson believes his players had done them proud and hopes more of them will come to watch his side on the back of their excellent Trophy run.
He added: “You only had to look at our spectators behind the goal, there’s only a pocket of them in comparison to the rest of the crowd, but you know what, they really enjoyed themselves I’m sure and we just wanted to do them proud and we felt we have.
“I’m absolutely made up. They were absolutely fantastic weren’t they. And as I say, their response at the end, I think they recognised the effort that had gone in. I was absolutely made up for them.
“You start the season with that (promotion) in mind. We’ve assembled a good group of players that play football, they don’t kick and run, they try and get it down and pass and as I say that’s always been the goal to try and win promotion for the club and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
“It’s a football area. It’s just outside Merseyside and to be fair there’s a lot of Everton and Liverpool supporters in our area and if we could win the league... Even this today will have encouraged a few people to come and support us at home. We get big gates, it’s a good place to come and watch your football.”