Clinical Longridge claim victory on home return

Darren Gornall Assistant Manager
Darren Gornall Assistant Manager
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Longridge were at home for the first time in over a month on Saturday afternoon as they welcomed Tempest to the Mike Riding ground.

The two sides met six weeks ago and played out an exciting 4-4 draw so the fans came along expecting a good contest.

Keefe and Gornall were without Donnelly and Heywood so Melling moved into centre midfield with Ross coming in at right wing back.

Tempest stated the game well on a bobbly surface with the wind behind them.

Hind had to be sharp to make a couple of early saves and Tempest hit the woodwork from a corner as they started much the better of the two sides. Gradually Longridge picked up the tempo and clinically punished tempest with their first real opportunity.

Wilkes broke quickly down the left and his perfect cross was slid home by St Val at the back post.

Tempest continued to press forward and forced a number of corners but Longridge held firm. Five minutes before the interval Longridge doubled their lead. Wilkes played in Coar and he raced through one on one with the keeper, his shot was blocked but the rebound fell kindly for St Val and he slotted home.

Although Longridge had not been at their best they had been clinical in front of goal and went in at half time in a commanding position.

With this in mind Keefe and Gornall were able to rest players for Wednesday night’s semi-final and withdrew Melling, Coar and Ross in the early stages of the second half.

Substitute Dean missed a great chance to add a third when he fired over an English cross from close range.

He wasn’t to be denied and moments later Dean made amends when he brought down Pearson’s through ball and fired home to effectively end the contest.

The game was held up for some time by a nasty injury to a Tempest player and an ambulance was called.

When the game restarted, Tempest pulled a goal back but as so often happens after the hold-up the game became scrappy and never really recovered.

The referee brought the game to a close soon after, a workman like performance from the home side resulted in another three points.

Everybody at the club wishes the injured Tempest player a full and speedy recovery.

Longridge move on to Wednesday night’s league cup semi-final against Blackpool Wren Rovers at Garstang in good form and will be looking to go one better than they managed in the Lancashire shield and progress to the final.

Longridge: Hind, Pearson, Paynter, Carey, Ross (English), Melling (Carroll), Merch, Wilkes, Wilkinson, Coar (Dean), St Val.

Subs not used: Woodruff, Garry.