Dean at double in Shield thriller

Looking Forward: Assistant manager Darren Gornall says Town are confident heading into their weekend clash against Eagley FC
Looking Forward: Assistant manager Darren Gornall says Town are confident heading into their weekend clash against Eagley FC

Crookland Casuals 0 Longridge Town FC 4

Longridge Town assistant manager Darren Gornall thinks the side are one of the best in the West Lancashire premier division and says confidence is ‘sky high’ going into a top of the table clash against Eagley this weekend.

Town sit second in the table but have a game in hand over leaders Charnock Richard and Eagley, currently third.

And after another goal-thrilling victory against Crookland Casuals in the LFA Shield second round, Gornall says he and manager Anthony Keefe have plenty of belief the side can keep their run of good form going.

He said: “It was a confident performance against a good Crooklands side but confidence is sky high so we’ll be looking forward to the home game against Eagley.”

Longridge travelled up to Barrow with a strong squad ahead of their second rund tie with Crooklands.

The game also marked the return of goalkeeper Matt Hind after a 18 month injury layoff.

Town started the better of the two sides and with only five minutes played took the lead.

A ball out of defence found Richard Coar on the edge of the Crooklands penalty area and he drove inside his marker who mis-timed his tackle bringing him down for a penalty kick, which birthday boy Joe Melling drove home confidently.

Longridge continued to dominate with Coar really causing the Crooklands defence problems and he should of extended Town’s lead when he beat his marker again but shot over the bar. The chances kept coming with Sam Dean and John Ross both testing the Crooklands keeper before the referee blew for half-time.

The second half began much as the first with Longridge pushing Crooklands deep into their own half and with 10 minutes played Longridge got a second when a corner by Jack English found its way back to him he looked up and picked out Dean to head home at the backpost.

Longridge continued to press and got a third soon after when Dean beat the offside trap and squared the ball to his strike partner Coar to round the keeper and slot home. A great 10 minutes for Longridge saw a fourth come soon after when again a English corner was met by Dean who headed home powerfully.

Even with a four-goal lead Longridge still had to be aware of the Crooklands threat going forward and Matt Hind did well to get down to his left and tip the ball round the post for a corner from a Crooklands shot but the score stayed the same with the referee blowing for fulltime .

Longridge play Eagley at the Mike Riding Ground, Inglewhite Road on Saturday October 20, KO 3pm.

LONGRIDGE: M Hind, J Ross, C Newby, R Horn, L Pearson (P Paynter) R Merch, S Dean, J Melling, R Coar (G St Vall), G Heywood, J English (M Donnelly)