Draw keeps Longridge top

Match action: Longridge Town and Charnock Richard players battle for the ball.
Match action: Longridge Town and Charnock Richard players battle for the ball.

Football

Longridge Town 2

Charnock Richard 2

After a three-week break because of the weather Longridge welcomed defending champions Charnock Richard for this top-of-the-table clash.

Keefe and Gornall had a very strong squad to pick from with only Merchun available through suspension.

The ball was being contested in the middle of the pitch when Longridge captain Donnelly launched in to a tackle. Even though it looked like he had won the ball, the referee deemed it to be dangerous play and produced a straight red for the home side’s number six .This was a real setback for Longridge and they had to reshuffle the team with the unfortunate Dean being replaced by St Vall.

On the 30 minute mark the visitors took the lead. A corner from the left was put into the Longridge area and Hind looked to be fouled attempting to catch the ball but with no whistle from the referee the Charnock forward prodded the loose ball home.

The second half began and even playing with a player less, it was Longridge who made the better start with Coar causing the Charnock defence all sorts of problems and with ten minutes played it was the home team who got a deserved equaliser – a corner by Melling was driven in and when the Charnock keeper fumbled, there was Horn to head home.

With 20 minutes left to play, Longridge cleared the ball out of defence and Coar gave chase shrugging off two tackles before unleashing a powerful shot with his left foot that gave the Charnock keeper no chance. With ten minutes to go Charnock got an equaliser. St Vall was judged to have fouled the Charnock left winger and when the free kick was put in the box the Charnock number ten headed home at the second attempt after Hind had saved his first effort.

Longridge were now hanging on but everyone of the home side’s players were giving their all to prevent a goal. With a minute left to play, Coar burst into the Charnock box but as he was about to shoot, it looked like he was tackled from behind but ,much to the amazement of the Longridge players, play was waved on with Charnock kicking the ball to safety With the point gained, Longridge stay three points clear at the top ahead of next week’s home game against Coppull FC.

Team: M Hind, J Ross, D Wilkinson, R Horn, L Pearson, (S Garry), M Donnelly, S Dean (G St Vall), J Melling, R Coar, G Heywood, J English (L Wilkes). Subs not used: J Mottley, J Carroll. Man of the match M Hind.