Town edged out by single goal in semi-final clash

Man of the match Rick Murch
Man of the match Rick Murch

Longridge ..........................0

Eagley .................................1

Town were looking for revenge against Eagley following last season’s semi-final heat break in the Lancashire Amateur Shield.

Management were forced to make changes with St Vall placed into a lone striker role after injuries occurred in mid-week to Donnelly and Carey, Dean having work commitments and Coar still out injured. Starts were also given to Horn, Wilkes and Longshaw.

It was Eagley that got the better of the opening exchanges, keeping the ball better than Longridge and rolling it into both their forwards who caused problems for the Longridge defence with their agility and pace.

Longridge struggled to get any penetration going forward and the ball came straight back with every attack that was mounted.

Halfway through the half, Town’s Pearson had to be replaced by Newby after suffering a hamstring injury. Ross went into the back three and Newby swapped with Ross at left wing back.

Then Eagley took the lead when a ball was threaded into their striker’s feet, and he was allowed to turn and run at the Longridge defence.

He looked to be on his way through on goal to get a shot underway but was fouled 25 yards out.

Up stepped Parkinson to take the free-kick, who curled his shot straight through the Longridge wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Longridge had a few half-chances coming up to half-time created by English, only to be matched by the Eagley keeper who was in fine form.

The second half began with Longridge looking to get back into the game, but as in the first half, Town struggled in the final third to create a defining goal-scoring opportunity.

A corner for Longridge on 70 minutes was whipped in by English, the ball coming through a group of players to find the head of Garry, who looked to have connected perfectly, but the ball looped forward hitting the bar, going over for a goal kick.

Eagley looked to have taken all three points when a throw-in was launched into the box, the Eagley centre forward flicked the ball onto his strike partner, only needing to pass it into the net but was brilliantly saved by Hind. Later the striker was given off-side.

Longridge were never out of the game at 1-0, and with key players missing they found it hard to go the extra step and provide extra quality needed in the final third to get something from the game.

Longridge: Hind, Horn, Garry, Pearson (Newby), Wilkes, Murch, Longshaw, English, Ross, Wilkinson and St Vall

Unused Subs: Billington

Man of the Match: Rick Murch