Match report: Longridge Town 2 Southport Hesketh 1

Lee Ashcroft saw his Longridge Town players claim victory last midweek
Lee Ashcroft saw his Longridge Town players claim victory last midweek
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Longridge Town warmed up for Saturday’s trip to Garstang with a 2-1 win against Southport Hesketh.

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Charlie Egan produced a man-of-the-match performance as two Mitch Newsham goals secured another victory.

For once Town started well, and could have been two goals up as the Southport keeper twice saved well from Newsham in the opening minutes.

The visitors hit back, however, in an end-to-end start, and would have been disappointed not to open the scoring as they missed two great opportunities to beat Lee Dovey in the Town goal.

Longridge began to find their passing game as Conor Linighan shot over and Danny Wilkinson saw his effort saved before Ash Ball found Newsham and he finished well from close range to put Town 1-0 up after half-an-hour.

He got a second eight minutes later with an excellent finish high into the net from 15 yards.

The half ended with Kieran Walmsley seeing his free-kick saved but the game should have been over just two minutes into the second half.

Wilkinson beat three men and, unselfishly, passed to Newsham with just the keeper to beat but he was thwarted by a last-ditch tackle.

Joe Melling shot wide before Egan’s spectacular volleyed effort missed the target as Town looked to get the vital third goal with Ball seeing his superb run and shot culminate in an excellent save midway through the second half.

Southport hit back immediately with Dovey making a great save before, with 12 minutes to go, a tiring Egan was replaced by Kieran Young, and left the field to a standing ovation.

The lead was halved on 80 minutes when Linighan was deemed to have got the man before the ball and Connor Wright beat Dovey from the spot.

Town defended deeper and deeper as Southport pushed for the equaliser and saw one close-range volley go just wide following an excellent ball into the area.

Longridge supporters who had witnessed the reverse fixture earlier in the season had a feeling of deja vu, as it began to look like Hesketh would again come back from two down to gain a point.

It wasn’t to be, however, as the referee blew for full-time and Town had held on a little, having failed to kill the game off earlier.