Match report: Longridge Town 8 Coppull United 2

Leon McLoughlin came off the bench for Longridge Town and created four goals
Leon McLoughlin came off the bench for Longridge Town and created four goals

West Lancashire League

Leon McLoughlin came off the bench after 20 minutes to torment the Coppull defence, setting up four goals for Town.

Longridge welcomed back Ash Ball, who had an outstanding first half, and Ryan McKenna made the bench having rejoined the club.

Jordan Bowen started the game as manager Lee Ashcroft reverted to the system that proved so successful pre-Christmas.

It was Ball who opened the scoring after just six minutes with a powerful header from Brad Carsley’s cross.

Two minutes later, however, Scott Hendy volleyed home at the far post to put Coppull level at 1-1.

Joe Melling was then injured in a clash of heads after 20 minutes and replaced on the right-hand side by McLoughlin, whose direct pace and power caused the visitors problems almost immediately.

Carsley headed over from a McLoughlin cross before Bowen found space in the area and placed an exquisite chip over the keeper’s head to make it 2-1 after 35 minutes.

Both Longridge wide men, Ball and McLoughlin, were on fire and Mark Woods scored the third, heading home Ball’s far post cross for a 3-1 lead at half-time.

McKenna replaced the injured Bowen at half-time as the game opened up even more than in the first half.

Ten minutes into the half and Town captain George Melling received two yellow cards in the space of five minutes, the second for a handball that resulted in a penalty to Coppull.

Steven Lynch beat Lee Dovey to make it 3-2 with Town now down to 10 men.

The next goal would prove vital as Coppull enjoyed a decent spell of possession but Carsley headed home a pinpoint McLoughlin cross after 60 minutes to give Town some breathing space at 4-2.

The goal of the game came five minutes later as Carsley found space 25 yards from goal and fired home an unstoppable right-footed shot to make it 5-2.

He then completed a 12-minute hat-trick with a close range finish from yet another McLoughlin cross on 72 minutes.

Trailing 6-2, Coppull introduced Lewis Pilgrim with 15 minutes remaining but, unfortunately for him, his first contribution was to score an own goal after a defensive mix-up.

Carsley then completed the scoring with a minute to go, after good work from Woods and McKenna, ending a very open and enjoyable game.

Title rivals, Blackpool Wren Rovers, snatched a 98th minute equaliser at Euxton Villa to leave Town three points clear at the top of the table with seven games remaining.

They are back in action on Saturday with a trip to Tempest United (3pm).