Charnock Richard 2
Longridge Town 0
Due to the success of last season’s Lancashire amateur shield semi-final place, both sides were given a bye, resulting in this fixture being re-arranged.
With a crowd of over 100, Town were hoping to upset the home support and continue their recent good run of form.
Donnelly and Carey made two changes to the team that won against Tempest United, with Liam Pearson coming into the line-up with Stuart Garry dropping to the bench and John Carroll starting in centre midfield for the injured Dave Woodruff.
Early exchanges saw both teams trying to get the ball forward as soon as possible.
Strike partners Rick Coar and Jack English were causing the Charnock Richard backline of Banks and Schofield problems with their powerful running and agility but unable to convert a string of opportunities.
It was on the 10th minute that Longridge had their best chance to open the scoring, Roberts conceding a free kick for Longridge on the halfway line.
The ball was lofted into the box, with former player Gavin Bates in goal, fumbled the ball, which resulted in a series of shots and scrambles in the Charnock box, but Longridge couldn’t find the back of the net.
From the Longridge attack, it was Charnock Richard who played the ball down the right wing with Dashti collecting the ball and powering to the by-line, somehow managing to play the perfect ball between Hind and Horn and Grimshaw rose powerfully, heading the ball on the run into the back of the net to put Charnock into the lead.
A corner from Charnock looked to have put them further ahead. A ball whipped into the box to an unmarked Grimshaw whose header was saved well by Hind.
Town did not sit back with Coar, Pearson and Longshaw all missing opportunities to get back on level terms, leaving Longridge trailing at half time. A determined Town set out the second-half aiming to get straight back into the game. It was within the first minute they had their chance, Coar latching onto a long ball, powered past the Charnock defence getting to the byline before laying off a perfect ball to English, who looked like all he had to do was roll the ball past Bates in the goal, but English on his weaker foot scuffed his shot straight at Bates.
With 20 minutes remaining it was Charnock that had a series of opportunities. Burrows driving at the Longridge backline but his shot being blocked by the Longridge defence. Grimshaw looked to have found some space to give Charnock a cushion but from an acute angle blasted his shot wide.
The pressure from Charnock told on 65 minutes. A ball taken forward by the midfielder Woods caused confusion in the Longridge defence, which seemed to part easily allowing Roberts a free run at goal with only Hind to beat, giving Charnock a vital two goal cushion.
Longridge were always in the game and caused plenty of problems for Charnock, and unlucky at times not to get the goal that they deserved. Town face another strong opponent next Saturday at home to Blackpool Wren Rovers.
Longridge: Hind, Horn, Pearson, Ross, Wilkinson, Wilkes, Murch, Longshaw (Garry 75’), Carroll (Newby 84’), English (Carey 78’) & Coar Man of the Match: Rick Coar