Hat-trick hero Ashcroft is up for the cup as Town grab win

Askam vs Longridge
Askam vs Longridge
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Askam United 3 Longridge Town 4

Longridge are into the last 16 of the Lancashire Amateur Shield with goals from hat- trick hero Lee Ashcroft and a sublime finish from Jonty McDonald at the expense of a resilient Askam United.

The Division One side caused Town trouble but it was Longridge who made it into the next round.

Manager Lee Ashcroft was happy with the result: “We’re happy to be in the next round; this game was a potential banana skin.

2-0 up, it was a terrible to concede just before the break, but we came out 2nd half and got another one; heads could’ve dropped but fair play to the lads, they didn’t.

I wasn’t going to play today but the pitch looked tight and the lads convinced me. I scored a hat trick but it’s not about me.” He modestly gave himself the man of the man match.

The away team started on top with early chances from Jerome Watt and an air kick by defender Dan Walmsley.

However they were forced into an early change when Ian Kilford went over on his ankle and had to be replaced by Dave Woodruff.

Watt, who made his first start since pre season, was causing the Askam defenders all sorts of problems.

A nice step over deceived the right back and Watt’s delightful cross was met by player manager Ashcroft whose diving header was well out of the reach of Askam’s keeper.

Longridge continued to create chances with Ashcroft being the focal point of the attacks.

Town did get a second but in controversial fashion.

Ryan McKenna’s cross from the byline was cleared but hit an Askam defender on the arm - out for protection rather than blocking the ball.

The referee awarded a penalty; Ashcroft stepped up and blasted into the goal.

Askam began to find their way into the game with both Jordan Raynor and Callum Raynor being the creative outlet and troubling the backline when running at them with pace.

Jordan Raynor’s driving run late in the first half caused problems and he nearly pulled one back but Walmsley’s block on the line was enough to keep it 0-2. Askam did pull one back on the stroke of half time. A deep cross from the Askam winger was headed away by woodruff. The Askam forward then played it to Jordan Raynor who finished off superbly.

Two minutes into the second half Askam levelled; a quick goal kick caught Longridge out.

Callum Raynor cut inside before unleashing a venomous strike which caught out Ellis Hawkworth at his near post.

Town regained the lead on the 64th minute.

McKenna’s driving run and strike was parried to Ashcroft who at the ripe age of 42 found his poacher instinct and tapped into the empty net.

Jonty McDonald sealed the victory five minutes from time when his shot from 22 yards flew into the back of the net.

Askam got a consolation just before the final whistle when great play from Callum Raynor allowed him to cross for Jordan Raynor who slid in to make it a nervy last couple of minutes for Town.

But they did hold on for the victory and they’ll face Crooklands Casuals in the next round.