Towns 1st teams poor start to the season continued as they were beaten 5-2 in the 1st Round of the Lancashire Amateur Shield by F.C.St Helens at The Oldham Academy on Saturday.Town have now lost 6 out of 7 games in a tough start to the season & have yet to field the same side twice in those games as injuries to several players have disrupted the management teams plans for a decent start to the campaign.
Town started their game against F.C.St. Helens well playing some decent football & they went ahead in the 20th minute with a thumping header from Aaron Thorpe,an unfortunate own goal in the 35th minute then brought the opposition level at 1-1.
As half time approached the game was pretty even but that was soon to change in injury time as Roy Potts in Towns goal reacted to a poor challenge from an opponent & was given a red card for violent conduct along with the St Helens player & with no substitute keeper on the bench Andrew Stafford manfully volunteered to don the keepers jersey.
The second half saw a forced change of formation for Town as they looked to get on top but they were rocked as they conceded 2 goals in the 50th & 51st minutes to put them 1-3 behind.Town were still trying to play good football & they were awarded a penalty on the hour for a blatant trip in the box,The normally reliable Luke Heron stepped up but he saw his spot kick pushed away by the keeper only for Liam Wood to pounce on the rebound to finish from a tight angle to pull it back to 2-3.
Town were now looking to get back in the game as Joe Heap who had one of his best games for Royton & Craig Schumann who was outstanding throughout in midfield drove their side on but Town then suffered yet another blow as stalwart Danny Gilmartin left the field with an hamstring injury.With Town pushing for an equaliser they conceded a fourth as they were caught on the break in the 72nd minute,Town still had chances to get something out of the game but the opponents sealed a good win for them with a fifth with the last kick of the match to make it 2-5.
On the whole a harsh result for Town who deserved more from the game,the sending off of our keeper played a major part in the defeat,but credit to F.C.St Helens all their 4 goals in the 2nd half came from classic counter attacks & all were clinically finished,something that Town lacked on the day.
Craig Schumann,relentless endeavour for 90 minutes.