Croston 1 Longridge Town 3
LONGRIDGE travelled to newly promoted Croston looking for a confidence boosting win on the opening day of the season.
On a wet and windy afternoon it was Town who started the brighter of the two teams. The early pressure nearly paid off after 15 minutes when Brunton smashed a left foot effort against the bar.
Longridge continued to dominate and five minutes later veteran midfielder Harrison should have had a penalty only for the referee to wave away the protests. The home side began to come back into the game a little more and on the half hour went close with a quick free kick with Hind still setting up his defensive wall.
The rest of the half, however, belonged to the visitors and after first going close with a Whiteside volley Longridge took the lead. After good work down the right hand side by Eccles, Flitcroft laid off English to score on the stroke of half time.
Longridge started the second half just as they had finished the first with English and Brunton combining well down the left hand side. It wasn't long before Longridge nearly doubled their lead, five minutes into the second half Eccles crossed for Flitcroft whose turn and shot just went past the post.
An early substitution from the Croston manager did nothing to stop Longridge piling forward looking for their second goal with Whiteside hitting a post and Cookson firing straight at the keeper.
With midfielder Duerden catching the eye and Longridge looking comfortable at the back it was a shock when Croston levelled on the hour with a sharp turn and neat finish into the bottom by the Croston forward. Longridge appeals for a foul in the build up fell on deaf ears.
Longridge were soon back in front through the hardworking Flitcroft curling a left footer into the corner of the net.
With Longridge getting their noses in front manager Bateson went for more goals introducing three attacking players from the bench.
The youngsters made an immediate impact with Ross and Parkinson both forcing good saves from the keeper.
A rare break from the home side nearly spoiled all Longridge's good work with five minutes to go when the Croston striker went clean through only to shoot wide.
With two minutes to go it was another substitute Kiernon who finished things off, scoring his first senior goal after good work by English and an unselfish lay off from Parkinson.
A good performance and a good result to give Longridge something to build on for the rest of the season.
Team: Hind 7, Eccles 7 (Ross 8), Riley 7, Spencer 8, Whiteside 7, Cookson 7 (Parkinson 7), Duerden 9, Harrison 7, English 7, Flitcroft 8 (Kiernon 7), Brunton 7
Man of the match: Wayne Duerden
* Next match: Longridge v Hoghton (h), Saturday, August 26
New manager proud of team
Longridge Town Res 2
Tarleton Corinthians 3
Match Sponsor: Longridge Electrical Services Ltd
THE reserves' first game of the season kicked off in style and showed a lot of promise for the coming season.
The team has seen an influx of new talent to join some of last season's dedicated stalwarts and created a good blend of youth and experience.
New manager Johnson commented: "I was very proud of all the lads and I thought they did extremely well in their first game playing together.
"Although the result didn't go our way we were winning twice and battled to the very last minute and I believe we deserved not just a draw but a win for the effort and attitude shown.''
The reserves took the lead with a pinpoint corner from Jack Clegg picking out new starlet Rick Tyson to head in from the back post.
They later took the lead again with a superb long ball from sweeper John Leighton clearing the opposition's back line and dropping into the path of the pacey Jack Clegg to finish smoothly past the oncoming keeper.
Unfortunately a couple of errors let the away team back into the game but these errors can be worked upon in training, the main positive thing to take from the game was that the midfield of Rick Tyson, Andy Hough, Greg Carr, Jack Clegg and Paul Passmore were playing real football and creating some very useful chances which with more playing time and work in training will be converted into goals.
Man of the Match: Greg Carr
* Next game: Saturday, August 26 - Heath Charnock (a), 2.30pm kick off