Match report: Longridge Town 2 Fulwood Amateurs 0

Brad Carsley came off the bench to score twice for Longridge Town
Brad Carsley came off the bench to score twice for Longridge Town

West Lancashire League

Manager Lee Ashcroft started Jack Preston up front and, in a show of faith, handed the captain’s armband to Alex Randell.

Town almost opened the scoring in the first minute as Leon McLoughlin beat the Fulwood keeper to a long ball but his cross into the area was cleared to safety.

Randell then saw his shot go just wide before Fulwood broke away and created their first chance of the game.

Parkinson was sharper than the Town defence and found himself one-on-one with Lee Dovey, who made a fine save to his left.

The game then settled into a pattern with the visitors on top, dominating the midfield with the pace of Dunn and Parkinson causing Town problems.

However, Kieran Walmsley and Alex O’Rourke in particular stood firm at the heart of the home defence and Dovey remained untroubled for the remainder of the half.

As the whistle went for half-time, Fulwood probably felt that they should have had more to show from their possession, while changes were clearly needed in the Longridge side.

Ashcroft made the change, bringing on Carsley in place of Preston, but the second half started in much the same fashion.

Carsley had made a difference, though, and Town looked far more threatening as the game progressed and the visitors tired.

Fulwood keeper Di Niro saw a long-range effort squirm from his grasp after 55 minutes but, despite the home side’s claims that the ball had crossed the line, the referee waved play on.

Mark Woods was coming into the game more and more, linking well with Carsley, and Conor Linighan was now the dominant midfielder on view as Town got into the game.

Andrew Naylor replaced the hard-working McLoughlin, sitting in front of the back four, and his presence made a difference.

With 13 minutes remaining Carsley ran on to Woods’ through ball before cutting in and calmly finishing into the bottom left corner of the net.

It was a different game now as Fulwood pushed forward, and Town looked to play on the break.

Jordan Bowen replaced Mark Jeffers to play on the right with Woods now tormenting Fulwood right-back.

Fulwood then had a penalty claim waved away with minutes remaining, after a last gasp tackle from Joe Melling, but aside from the odd goalmouth scramble, Town looked more comfortable at the back.

With the match ticking into time added on, Carsley then ran down the left hand channel picking up a pass from Danny Morris.

Cutting across the edge of the 18-yard area, he beat three men before firing a right-footed shot past the keeper into the net to make it 2-0.