Longridge Town 4 Rylands 1: Leaders are no match for on-song Town

Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft

Longridge Town went second in the table after beating league leaders Rylands 4-1 in midweek.

Lee Ashcroft made two changes from the side that was narrowly beaten in the Lancashire Trophy with Alex Murphy and Scott Harries coming in for Ryan McKenna and Brad Wicks.

Tom Ince gave the hosts the lead with the first shot of the match, striking the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from 20 yards.

Rylands’ Graeme McCall was the busier of the two keepers and had a task keeping the scoreline down.

Paul Turner came close to a second after being played through but his shot rifled into the side-netting.

Turner came close moments later, heading a Finlay Sinclair-Smith cross onto the post with Harries following up, only to be denied by the Rylands stopper.

A fine duel commenced between Turner and McCall with the shot-stopper denying Turner’s diving header.

McCall thwarted Town’s number nine again five minutes later, while George Thomason and Sinclair-Smith came close before the break.

Rylands started the second half brightly but, three minutes in, they were reduced to 10 men as Garry Kenny received a second yellow.

Town had looked comfortable with 11 men on both teams and looked even stronger with the man advantage.

Harries’ low shot was well saved but Turner was on hand to notch his 19th of the season, tapping home.

Sinclair-Smith added a third five minutes later, rifling a free-kick into the corner after Turner was clattered by a defender.

The hosts were out of sight 20 minutes from time when Turner added his 20th goal of the season with another poacher’s finish after Ince’s strike.

Town had chances to add further goals as Elliot Pond missed from five yards out and Jon-Joe Morris had a free-kick saved.

The league leaders pulled one back late on, George Lomax with a lob after seeing Lee Dovey off his line.