Longridge settle for draw after last-gasp equaliser

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Longridge Ladies First Team 3

City of York First Team 3

A last-minute equaliser spared Longridge First Team from the clutches of a defeat to City of York First Team on Saturday in a closely fought match.

In a fast-paced and end to end game, it was Longridge who nudged into the lead in the first half. Forward Nicki Wilcox soon found her way on to the score sheet after slotting the ball past the York goalkeeper following some brilliant build-up play from the rest of the team and a perfectly executed pass from midfielder Sophie Oliver.

Just minutes later Wilcox scored her second of the afternoon after getting on the end of a rebound from Jenny Key’s short corner strike.

With a two-goal lead under their belts and their confidence soaring, Longridge put together some excellent passing sequences and were unlucky not to score again before the end of the first half. Longridge goalkeeper Zoe Kirkham also pulled off some spectacular saves and denied York a number of chances just before the half time whistle.

York came out fighting in the second half. Longridge were caught on their back foot and the visitors soon scored two goals in quick succession to level the score.

Rattled from throwing away their lead, Longridge struggled and York were able to capitalise and scored with an impressive strike at the edge of the D from an almost impossible angle, making the score 3-2.

Just when it seemed as though it was all over for Longridge, in the final few minutes of the game forward Ally O’Donnell drove the ball down the right hand side and crossed the ball into the D where fellow forwards Nicki Wilcox and Jess Morris were waiting.

Wilcox received the ball at the top of the D and played a pinpoint pass to Morris who beat the last defender and slapped the ball past the York goalkeeper and into the back of the goal. With just seconds to spare, Longridge levelled the score to 3-3 and came away from the match with a point.

Although they were disappointed not to retain their early lead, they can take heart from their plucky display and build on it when they play Kendal First Team at Longridge Sports Centre on Saturday.

Longridge Hockey Club would like to thank The Old Oak for post match refreshments and all the supporters who came to watch the match.

Man of the match: Zoe Kirkham.