AFC Liverpool 1 Longridge Town 1: Leaders drop points in title race

Longridge Town keeper Lee Dovey
Longridge Town keeper Lee Dovey
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Longridge Town hit an obstacle in their Hallmark Security League First Division North title bid after they drew 1-1 at AFC Liverpool on Saturday.

Jay Hart had given the league leaders a first-half advantage, only for Marc Stephens’ late penalty to ensure the spoils were shared.

The point means that Town are eight points clear of Avro at the top but have played three games more than their nearest rivals.

Lee Ashcroft’s players dominated the early stages with Hart seeing a low shot well saved by Jack Cookson.

However, Town opened the scoring on 25 minutes when they broke forward, and although Cookson got a touch to Hart’s effort, it wasn’t enough to prevent it from finding the net.

At the other end, Town keeper Lee Dovey preserved their lead by turning Drew Lewis’ shot behind for a corner.

The subsequent set-piece saw Jay McGrane fire narrowly off target before Richie Allen sent a free-kick over the home goal with half-time approaching.

The home side began the second half well with Dovey again called into action, this time blocking Anthony Lyons’ attempt.

Dovey’s fingertips came to Longridge’s rescue in denying Lewis an equaliser before Rhys Hardacre also shot narrowly over the bar.

However, with Town nine minutes away from another three points, they let their hosts back into the game.

Callum Schorah went to ground inside the area with the referee awarding a spot-kick.

Stephens held his nerve to send Dovey the wrong way from the spot and set up a tense finish.

Although it was an end-to-end game late on, neither side could find a winner which means Avro could overhaul Town at the top if they win all of their games in hand.