West Lancashire League
In a week where West Lancs games have been postponed, and ordered to be replayed, after 87 minutes, both sides agreed to play the match over two halves of 40 minutes each.
On a difficult surface in, extremely windy conditions, Turton played to a rigid game plan and the referee struggled to impose his authority from very early on in the game.
The tactic proved successful as, without troubling Lee Dovey in the Town goal they made it to half-time without conceding, nor looking particularly troubled by Town’s superior possession.
Joe Melling had returned to the side after a recent head injury, and he had a headed half chance at the far post after a Brad Carsley cross that unfortunately came to nothing.
In a sign of things to come Town complained that Melling had been stamped on by the Turton keeper, but their appeals came to nothing.
Manager Lee Ashcroft’s frustration at both his own side’s efforts, and the lack of protection shown to his players by the referee, was obvious as the side’s went in 0-0 at half time after exactly 40 minutes.
Longridge now had the strong wind at their backs, and Jack Preston was introduced at half-time in place of the unfortunate Conor Linighan, whose neat skilful style was not suited to the playing surface.
Town were now lined up in a 3-5-2 line up with Preston joining leading scorer Brad Carsley up front.
Carsley and Preston linked well as Town went a little more direct and, after good work from Carsley, Preston stabbed the ball home with 20 minutes remaining, to finally give Town the lead that their superiority deserved.
In the aftermath however, the Turton keeper clearly punched Ash Ball and was given a straight red card leaving the home side down to 10 men.
This should have resulted in Longridge going on to win the game comfortably, but this wasn’t the case as Turton arguably played better with 10 men than 11.
Crucially, though, Dovey wasn’t troubled and Longridge failed to test the outfield goalkeeper as the light faded, and the elusive second goal eluded them.
As the referee blew the whistle to end a particularly frustrating game, Mark Woods was shown a red card presumably for something he said after the game had ended.