Match report: Longridge Town 4 Shelley 2

Longridge Town won again at the weekend
Longridge Town won again at the weekend

Longridge Town extended their winning run to three games but made life hard for themselves before beating Shelley FC 4-2.

Lee Ashcroft’s players started well with Richie Allen and Jay Hart seeing early chances come to nothing, only to lose skipper George Melling to a groin injury after seven minutes.

Dominating possession, Town moved the ball around well and got their deserved reward after 20 minutes, Tom Ince finishing from close range to put them 1-0 up.

Just seven minutes later it was two, as Allen beat three men cutting in from the left before putting it on a plate for Danny Wilkinson to tap home.

At this point nobody in another excellent crowd of 141 at the Mike Riding Ground, could have foreseen how the game would ebb and flow as it seemed a question of how many Town would score.

That was reinforced just two minutes later as Ince scored his second to make it 3-0 on the half-hour.

The second half started in a similar vein, although Shelley looked far more workmanlike, closing Town down far better than in the first 45 minutes.

Both Allen and Hart saw efforts saved by Max Dearnley in the visiting goal and Town looked to have taken their foot off the gas as Shelley grew into the game.

Town keeper Lee Dovey saved superbly from Alan Greenwood before Craig Billington got the Yorkshiremen back in the game, finishing well after Dovey had saved from distance.

You would have thought that this would have sparked Town back into life, but it wasn’t to be as Shelley now had hope of taking something.

Conor Linighan cleared off the line with Dovey beaten, and at the other end, Town just couldn’t get the vital fourth goal, with Dearnley outstanding in the Shelley goal.

Then, with 10 minutes remaining, it was game on as the unmarked Billington headed home his second to make it 3-2.

The confident strut that had seen Town play such excellent football in the first half had now gone, with the home crowd imploring them to get another goal.

It only stayed at 3-2 for six minutes, but it felt like a lifetime for the now worried crowd as Shelley smelled blood.

However, Allen finally killed the game off, beating two men before hammering a left-footed shot past the despairing Dearnley and a covering defender on the line.