Town triumph as trouble flares

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LONGRIDGE Town entertained Monton AFC from Manchester for a place in the quarter-final of the LFA Lancashire Shield on Saturday.

Anthony Keefe and Darren Gornall decided to keep the same starting 11 from last week’s victory against Hawcourt Park.

Longridge looked full of confidence, knocking the ball around with purpose, and tested the Monton back four early with some searching runs from Rick Coar.

With 10 minutes played, Longridge almost took the lead, when Tom English sent in a cross that deceived the Monton goalkeeper, but the ball bounced off the crossbar to safety.

Moments later, Longridge had to make a change, when Taylor pulled up with a hamstring injury, so Shepherd came on at centre-half, with Stuart Garry moving to right-back.

Longridge hit the woodwork again, but the game was goalless at half-time.

Longridge began the second half the brighter, and they took the lead after 49 minutes. A long ball was flicked on by English, and met by the onrushing Heywood, who kept his cool to finish superbly.

Longridge were in total control now, and five minutes later extended their lead when a superb passing move, started by Melling and involving Rick Coar, English and Heywood, saw the ball find Melling again, who had carried on his run, and he gave the Monton keeper no chance.

With 10 minutes left, tempers boiled over when a terrible challenge on Keefe in the Longridge penalty box saw him react, and scuffles broke out.

When the referee sorted things out, two Monton players and Garry saw red for their part in the fracas, but further disorder off the pitch saw the game held up.

When order was restored and the game restarted, both Alan Coar and English brought good saves from the Monton keeper, before the referee blew for full-time .

It’s back to league action this weekend, with a home match against Lytham Town, kick-off 3pm.