Paul Turner’s hat-trick gave Longridge Town a 3-1 win when they travelled to Nelson at the weekend.
Longridge were playing their fourth game in 11 days and injuries had taken their toll with Richie Allen, Tom Ince and Alex Murphy not making it, although Jay Hart was fit enough to return to the bench.
Town started slowly with Nelson sending an effort off target after only 10 seconds and giving as good they got.
Though Town missed Ince’s link play, Danny Gardner had the beating of his full-back and combined well with Turner, only for the keeper to save with 30 minutes gone.
Town keeper Lee Dovey dealt comfortably with a couple of long-range efforts but an unremarkable half of football ended with the game goalless.
The break was short and sweet for Town’s management, who emerged after six or seven minutes to run Hart through a short fitness test which he looked to pass with flying colours.
A change of formation saw Ryan McKenna join Turner up front and it paid off within 60 seconds as the latter met Gardner’s cross to slide the ball in at the far post.
However, Nelson enjoyed a spell of pressure and levelled on 68 minutes when Will Harris was released and finished cleanly to make it 1-1.
Another change of shape followed for Town as Hart came on for Harvey Close and they fielded a front three.
McKenna was unlucky to see a header glance wide with 15 minutes before Nelson broke and spurned a glorious chance by firing over when well placed.
Town capitalised on their let-off by retaking the lead with seven minutes left with Turner dinking the ball over the keeper and tapping it over the line.
The goal prompted another change with Ryan McKenna moving back as Town could have had four goals in the last 10 minutes.
Turner fired over from six yards before Hart rounded the keeper and saw his effort hit the post from a narrow angle.
Turner completed his hat-trick and secured all three points when Hart and Gardner combined for Turner to meet a cross on the run and lash the ball home from 18 yards.