Match report: Longridge Town 5 Blackpool Wren Rovers 4

Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
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Longridge Town ended their West Lancashire League Premier Division season with a 5-4 win against Blackpool Wren Rovers.

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Having drawn 2-2 against Turton in midweek, Longridge were up against a Wrens side which needed a win to have any real chance of denying Garstang the title going into their final match.

Town started very brightly with Alex Murphy giving them a 10th minute lead as his effort took a nick off a defender on its way past keeper Alex Cameron.

Four minutes later and it was 2-0 as Mitch Newsham netted from Murphy’s cross.

Things got worse for Wrens after 20 minutes when Danny Wilkinson was allowed to run at a retreating defence.

His right-footed shot from 20 yards was too powerful for Cameron, who could only help the ball on its way to the bottom corner.

It was 4-0 not long afterwards when James Sloane showed perfect technique to volley past Cameron after their keeper had tipped Murphy’s shot onto the bar.

However, anyone who has witnessed previous matches between the two sides knew that this game was not over – and so it proved.

Carl Eastwood got one back, heading in from close range after 32 minutes before seeing another effort well saved by Lee Dovey as the first half ended with Longridge 4-1 ahead.

Needing a minimum of four goals in the second half to have any chance of winning the title, Wrens started the second half looking to give it their best shot.

A spell of pressure brought several excellent saves from Dovey but he was unable to prevent Joe Booth from making it 4-2 with a close-range header.

Longridge responded with the introduction of Danny Thompson following an 18-month injury lay-off.

It paid dividends when he latched onto Brad Wicks’ through ball before rounding Cameron and tapping home to restore the three-goal lead.

That cushion was needed as Eastwood pulled one back from the penalty spot to make it 5-3 before completing his hat-trick with three minutes remaining by heading home from Booth’s cross.

Although Town’s supporters’ nerves were jangling, it wasn’t to be as the referee blew for full-time with Town’s first-half performance proving enough for three points.