Town count the cost of absentees

Troy Carsley forced the Vickerstown keeper into an early save in their Richardson Cup tie
Troy Carsley forced the Vickerstown keeper into an early save in their Richardson Cup tie

A Longridge side missing nine players through injury, suspension and ineligibility fell to their second cup defeat in seven days as a hard-working Vickerstown side won 2-1 in the Richardson Cup.

Manager Lee Ashcroft had his hands tied as both Adam Stammers and Mitch Leece were among four players who had not featured in two league games for the club – a prerequisite for the competition.

With captain George Melling suspended, Town travelled up Walney Island with a scratch side but nothing should be taken away from the home side as they deservedly won the game and progressed into the second round.

Longridge gave Matty Edgar his first competitive start for the club and started well with Troy Carsley forcing the keeper into a save from his close-range header, and Leon McLoughlin firing a bouncing volley wide.

It took 39 minutes for any action worthy of real consequence however as McLoughlin fired a right footed shot into the net to make it 1-0 to Longridge.

This should have settled Town, but in the last minute of the half, Vickers equalised with a powerful header from a corner that struck the bar and bounced down into Dovey’s goal, making it 1-1 as the teams went in at half-time.

Just two minutes into the second half, on a dark, dank, drizzly Cumbrian day, Reece Fishwick drove into the box, beating two men before a last gasp challenge appeared to bring him down for a penalty to Town.

Despite the referee putting his whistle to his lips he was unconvinced enough not to blow, and play continued despite Longridge protests.

Vickerstown, as always, were a very strong, physical outfit who were now outworking their visitors.

They got their reward with 14 minutes remaining when a deflected shot beat Dovey after Longridge had failed to close down the ball, putting them 2-1 in front.

Tensions boiled over a little as Town’s frustrations got the better of them, with several yellow cards issued to both sides.

There was a final onslaught of sorts as Vickers defended three late corners, but it was just one of those days for Longridge and, as the whistle blew for full-time, the result was accepted all round.