Longridge Town atone for Cup exit

Longridge Town were victorious at Vickerstown
Longridge Town were victorious at Vickerstown
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Longridge Town atoned for Richardson Cup defeat at Vickerstown by returning to Walney Island, winning 3-2.

Manager Lee Ashcroft had a far stronger squad to choose from with George Melling and Alex O’Rourke returning, while Mitch Leece and Adam Stammers made their first starts.

Town started the better and, after Leon McLoughlin saw his early shot go wide, they got the breakthrough.

Stammers put in a lovely left-footed cross that found Brad Carsley, who made no mistake with a bullet header.

Stammers was having a fine game and, again, found Carsley five minutes later but this time his left-footed effort was well saved by the Vickerstown keeper.

The home side then almost made Town pay for their missed chances as prolific striker Danny Keenan chipped Town keeper Dovey, only to see his effort land on top of the net.

Town then had the chance to increase their lead after 40 minutes when McLoughlin was brought down for a clear penalty.

Kieran Walmsley stepped up and fired a low, right-footed shot into the net to make it 2-0 to Longridge, despite the keeper getting a hand to the ball.

This should have calmed Town’s nerves but, with a minute of the half remaining, they switched off totally as a quick free-kick released Keenen and he calmly 
finished past Dovey.

Even then, however, there was still time for Leece to break clear and force a superb save from the Vickerstown keeper as he got a fingertip on the Town forward’s effort.

With no changes at the break it took Vickerstown just two minutes to level the game as Keenan again broke clear – and once more he calmly finished past Dovey to level the score at 2-2.

Ashcroft made changes, bringing on Reece Fishwick and Ged Morris for Stammers and Leece, whilst reverting to a 4-4-2 formation.

Morris, in particular, made an immediate impact as he slotted in alongside Melling in the centre of the back four.

Town were the stronger side as the game entered its’ final 15 minutes but without really testing the home keeper.

The match seemed to be petering out into what would have been a hard earned point for Longridge.

In a last gasp push for victory though, Morris found himself clear in the penalty area and, after what looked a 50-50 challenge, the referee blew for a penalty to the astonishment of the home support and management – and many of the visiting faithful.

It was an unexpected opportunity for three points as Walmsley stepped up and fired past the keeper to make it 3-2 to Town as the clock ticked into added time.