IN a game full of drama, former Premier League footballer Pascal Chimbonda earned his first victory in charge of Skelmersdale United in a 4-1 win over Barnoldswick on Saturday.

The ex-Tottenham, Blackburn and Wigan defender took his place in Barlick’s opponent’s hotseat on October 15, and if his maiden game on Saturday is anything to go by, Chimbonda’s NWCFL reign will be one full of excitement.

There were five red cards in the game, including one for Town assistant manager, Paul Bradley and Chimbonda himself, while the match itself brought lots of goalmouth action.

Barlick chances in the opening quarter of the contest were few and far between and instead it was Callum Jakovlevs who found himself extremely busy in Barnoldswick’s goal, keeping out a couple of efforts early on.

The hosts did find themselves ahead on minute 24 through Dana Amaral, which came just after a Skelmersdale penalty shout was turned away by the referee.

Amaral collected the ball before drilling a strike beyond the reach of Jakovlevs to give the home side a deserved lead.

Before the break it got much worse for the visitors, as they conceded a further two goals to go into the interval with the score at 3-0 in favour of the home team.

As much as Barlick contributed to their own downfall, nothing could be taken away from Skelmersdale’s second goal. Mark Bollongino hit a fierce strike into the away side’s net, giving Barlick’s shot stopper absolutely no chance in keeping it out.

With four minutes of the first half left to play, Reuben Denton extended his side’s lead to 3-0 to virtually put the game to bed for the hosts following a counter-attacking situation.

15 minutes into the second half saw all hell break loose and Andy Hill did extremely well to keep his cool to slot away a penalty to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

Prior to that, chaos unfolded with the decision to award the visitors a penalty not being taken too well by the home side.

In the heat of a long-standing battle of confrontation between the two sides, the referee handed out four red cards in the space of a minute, with Chimbonda and Bradley seeing red on the touchline, while Skelmersdale duo Ben Lightfoot and Omar Mbowe were also relieved of their duties for the day.

Despite being down to nine men, it would be the hosts who compounded more misery onto the away side, as Barlick goalkeeper, Jakovlevs was shown a red card - the fifth of the game – after swiping the legs of the home team’s forward.

Up stepped Gabriel Ellis from the spot to make it 4-1 and seal Chimbonda’s first victory in charge of Skelmersdale United.

All-in-all, it was a tough afternoon for Barlick against a side who had lost their previous 12 fixtures, and despite a small second half bounce back, they rarely threatened the home side throughout the 90 minutes.

They now find themselves in 7th in the division and return to league action on Saturday when they host Lower Breck at the Silentnight Stadium with the game getting underway at 3pm.

Barlick also host Yorkshire Amateurs in the cup tomorrow evening.