Match report: Longridge Town 3 Whitehaven 1

Longridge Town's Danny Wilkinson
Longridge Town's Danny Wilkinson
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Longridge Town duo Alex Murphy and Danny Wilkinson gave a midfield masterclass in their 3-1 win against Whitehaven.

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Town welcomed back captain George Melling and Conor Linighan as they started with a back three in front of keeper Lee Dovey.

Longridge started the better with Murphy and Joe Melling seeing lots of the ball on the flanks, while Wilkinson had a header well saved and Murphy shot just wide.

They took the lead after 20 minutes as Brad Wicks played a glorious, defence-splitting pass to Murphy, who dinked his shot past the onrushing keeper.

Town’s lead wasn’t to last long, however, as, two minutes later, Whitehaven beat the offside trap to race clear, with Greg Quill finishing neatly past Dovey.

The pattern of the game continued with Town having possession but Whitehaven looking very dangerous on the break.

Both Linighan and Murphy saw efforts fly wide before Dovey made a superb save low to his right on the stroke of half-time.

Dovey’s save looked to have given Longridge a wake-up call as they started the second half at pace.

Wilkinson shot just wide before a Murphy cross saw Dee Edmonds challenge the Whitehaven keeper.

As the ball dropped, Joe Melling sidestepped two challenges before firing past the keeper to make it 2-1 on 50 minutes.

Two minutes later and Wilkinson was fouled in the penalty area, Keiran Walmsley hammering the penalty into the roof of the net to make it 3-1 and provided a bit of breathing space.

It was breathing space Town needed as well as Whitehaven twice fired over from close range in the final 15 minutes.

There was still time for Tutu Chilufya to be brought down by the Whitehaven keeper for another penalty but, with Walmsley having been replaced moments earlier, George Melling missed.