Match report: Longridge Town 1 Blackpool Wren Rovers 1

Lee Ashcroft saw his Longridge Town side defeat Blackpool Wren Rovers on penalties
Lee Ashcroft saw his Longridge Town side defeat Blackpool Wren Rovers on penalties

Longridge Town....................1

With last season’s West Lancashire League winners in Town facing a Rovers side who won the Richardson Cup, both sides were much changed from the final league game which saw Town win the title.

The game started scrappily with several yellow cards shown early on before Matty Bullock showed his class, twice beating his man before firing dangerously across goal.

Wrens were giving as good as they got though with Booth dominant in the midfield and Lee Dovey in the Town goal made several good saves.

Ryan Charnley was forced off with a groin injury after just 30 minutes, replaced by Ben Ashcroft, forcing Town into changes with Ashcroft going to left-back, Ash Ball to the left wing and Mark Woods moving to a central position.

This sparked Longridge into life as Ball gave the home side an attacking threat and Woods saw more of the ball.

Greg Johnstone was having a good game up front and was unlucky to see his shot saved on 41 minutes after good work by Ball.

The sides went in level at half-time in a game that, if truth be told, lacked the quality of last season’s encounters.

With no changes at half-time, Wrens started the second half on the front foot with Dovey saving from Darnell.

They got the breakthough just six minutes in as Town needlessly gave away a corner from which Darnell powered a header past Dovey.

This finally gave Longridge the wake up call they needed, and from then on, they began to control the game.

Ten minutes after Wrens’ opener and Ash Ball scored a wonderful goal, firing home an unstoppable 25-yard free-kick.

Reece Fishwick twice had opportunities to put Town ahead, only to be thwarted by Cameron in the Wrens goal.

Johnstone and Bullock saw chances go astray, before Dovey made the save of the match, tipping a header onto the post and recovering to claim the rebound.

With the match going to penalties, Booth scored for Wrens and George Melling likewise for Town.

Dovey then made two saves before Ben Ashcroft stepped up to fire Town’s fourth kick home.

This proved to be decisive as Wrens missed their final spot kick, bouncing the ball back off the crossbar as Town’s team of young players claimed their first trophy together with a 4-2 penalties win.