Town’s ‘best performance of season’

Photo Neil Cross'West Lancs Prem 'Longridge Town v Coppull United'Rick Coar celebrates
Photo Neil Cross'West Lancs Prem 'Longridge Town v Coppull United'Rick Coar celebrates
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Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft says he was pleased with his side’s victory at home on Saturday, beating Coppull Utd 4-3.

Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft says he was pleased with his side’s victory at home on Saturday, beating Coppull Utd 4-3.

Lee said: “The first half, I thought, was the best performance of the season so far with the way we played our football. We should’ve been out of sight at half time, their keeper made two or three great saves. We hung on, on a difficult pitch. It

was a real solid display and it’s what we deserved today. The fans that came down must be happy, they could go and watch North End but won’t see the same entertainment they see here. Man of the match was Jordan Bowen – if he plays like that, the way he did in the first half you won’t see many performances better than that.”

Town entered the New Year with victory over Coppull at the Mike Riding ground, continuing the good run of form from last year.

Without last year’s captain Aaron Helliwell and forward Jonty McDonald, the home side strolled into a 3-0 lead after the opening 19 minutes with goals from Lennie Reid, Sam Dean and Rick Coar. Coppull equalised a minute later but Reid added a fourth and restored the three goal cushion. Town had many chances to add another but were unable to do so.

Credit to Coppull who came out in the second half and made it difficult for Town on a difficult surface. They pulled two back in the second half but Longridge held on and were worthy winners.

Jordan Bowen was the man of the match with an excellent display, running at Coppull and causing them trouble from the offset.

Despite not playing competitive football for three weeks, Town looked fit and roaring to go. Town attacked, attacked, attacked and struck on the 10th minute. Reid picked up the ball out on the right and his chipped attempt flew into the goal off the post; a spectacular goal. Two minutes later Town could have had a second – a Reid free kick found Dave Woodruff whose header came back off the bar.

Ryan McKenna charged at the Coppull backline and his effort fell to Sam Dean who was in the right place at the right time to make it 2-0. Seconds later Dean had chance to make it three, Reid’s attempted shot fell to him but the Coppull keeper reacted quickly and got down low to save. Town was convinced Dean added a third. He got up well for the cross beating the keeper to it but did his header cross the line? The referee said no.

Reid was the next to come close. Sam Nightingale found him with a delightful cross but the Coppull keeper saved fantastically from point blank range. Coar added a third after 19 minutes. He skilfully lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper.

Mitch Leece pulled one back for the away side a minute later. He latched onto a long ball and beat Lee Dovey. Dean almost added a fourth for town with a ferocious effort but the Coppull keeper was equal to it. Town fans were then treated to another spectacular goal as Reid bent his effort into the right hand corner from 20 yards (as seen on the Longridge Town Facebook page).

A fantastic first half performance in which there were an abundance of chances for Town.

Coppull made two changes at the start of the second half bringing on Steven Lynch and Scott Hendy.

Reid carved open Town’s first chance of the second half, getting into the area and squaring to Dean who was unable to finish.

From that chance Coppull switched gears and fought back into the game. From a free kick Coppull got a second. The first free kick was poor but Lewis Grimshaw composed himself to score.

Dovey then made some spectacular saves to prevent Coppull getting back in to the game. Saul Hamer was brought on midway through the second half. He had a glorious opportunity to make it a comfortable win for Town but he was unable to slot home after Coar’s hard work.

Dovey was on hand again to keep the game at 4-2; Coppull came forward but the striker’s chipped attempt was well saved. He was however beaten late on when Leece again got through on goal; he rounded Dovey before slotting into the empty goal.

This Saturday Town are away, playing Burnley United in the Richardson Cup, kick off 2pm.