LONGRIDGE entertained Lytham Town looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season.
With Bates, Heywood and the Coar brothers all unavailable, the management team of Keefe and Gornall had to utilise the full squad, with Halton, Cookson, St Vall and new signing Ross all coming in to the starting line-up.
For the first 10 minutes, both teams struggled to get a foothold in the game, cancelling each other out all over the pitch. Longridge were getting most of their joy down the right-hand side of the pitch through Ross and Melling.
Lytham’s front two were making it difficult for the Longridge defence every time they picked the ball up, but as the half ticked on Longridge started getting in some excellent forward positions, but time and time again the final ball was poor.
Lytham came close to opening the scoring when a run and cross from their left winger nearly found the forward, but a last-ditch header by Keefe kept the ball out of reach.
With five minutes left to play of the first half, Longridge had their best chance when English cut in from the right and hit a powerful low shot, but the Lytham keeper produced a great save low down to his right.
The second half kicked off and Longridge were sluggish from the start, and Lytham grew in confidence, passing the ball well. When Longridge did get in good postions, wrong choices were made with the final pass.
With 15 minutes left, Longridge had two chances to take the lead. First, a 30-yard thunderbolt by Melling crashed off the crossbar, then St Vall was put through, but shot straight at the Lytham keeper.
Longridge were nearly made to pay with the last 10 minutes, and Longridge had their keeper Halton to thank for keeping the scores level with two outstanding one-on-one saves .
Keefe and Gornall will be pleased with a point, but with the three teams above Longridge all winning, next week’s game away to leaders Norcross and Warbreck takes on even greater importance. Saturday’s game at Norcross kicks off at 3pm.
Longridge: Halton, Ross (S Garry), Keefe, Bamber, Shepherd, Carroll, Wilkes, Melling, St Vall, Cookson, English. Subs not used: Boardman, Spencer