Longridge Town’s first defeat of the season came on Saturday in disappointing fashion as they were beaten 3-0 at home by Euxton Villa.
With captain George Melling back in the starting line up Troy Carsley dropped to the bench, with manager Lee Ashcroft giving a second consecutive start to forward Leon McLoughlin who partnered Brad Carsley up front.
The visitors started well and within 30 seconds Lee Dovey, in the Town goal, was forced into a magnificent save as he tipped a Mike Galliers shot over the bar when it seemed destined for the top corner.
Euxton forced three corners in the first 10 minutes as both sides came to terms with the atrocious conditions, but Longridge defended well and grew into the game playing against a blustery wind.
It was an even first half with Euxton holding their own against the league leaders, and although Longridge had the majority of the possession, the teams went in level at half time at 0-0.
There was a feeling among the home supporters,in a crowd of 155 saturated souls, that Longridge would come good in the second half.
Euxton, however, had other ideas and, after McLoughlin had fired an effort wide and Brad Carsley had created a chance from nothing when curling a shot over the bar, they broke away to score the first goal of the game.
A looping effort from the left wing caught Dovey unaware and, although he recovered to tip the ball onto the bar, Connor Grunback was first to the rebound to put the visitors 1-0 up with 52 minutes gone.
Although a setback, Longridge still looked more than capable of getting a positive result. Their task was made more difficult as, on the hour mark, Alex Randell was sent off for what was deemed a two-footed challenge.
Euxton grew in confidence with the extra man and Mike Galliers, in midfield, saw more and more of the ball.
The second, and killer, goal came after 74 minutes when Rob Walker was the spare man and he finished well past the onrushing Dovey.
The game felt over, and although Town huffed and puffed, the Euxton goal was rarely threatened.
On 81 minutes the referee got involved, and gave a penalty against Melling for holding in the penalty area.
The decision summed the day up as Carsley had appealed endlessly throughout the game, with no success, that he was being held and pulled by the Euxton defence.
Galliers put the penalty away to make it 3-0 as the game petered out in incessant rain with Euxton taking all three points.