LONGRIDGE looked to carry on their great run of form with a derby match against bottom club Lostock.
Keeke and Gornall had to make a couple of changes due to injury with Garry and Paynter coming into the starting 11.
The game kicked off at a frantic pace and with a minute played it was Lostock who took the lead when a long ball caught out the Longridge defence and Lostock’s number ten drove into the box and firing home, giving Hind no chance.
This shook Longridge up and the struggled to get a foothold in the game for the next 10 minutes, but slowly they started to get at the Lostock defence and St Vall was unlucky not to put Longridge on level terms when his 20-yard drive hit the post and bounced to safety.
The chances started coming now for Longridge, firstly skipper Donnelly should have done better with a header when unmarked at the back post from a corner, and both Heywood, Coar and St Vall all squandered good chances.
But on the 20 minute mark Longridge finally drew level. Melling drove in a corner to the near post and there was Coar to meet the ball on the volley with the ball hitting the net in a flash.
Longridge were now dominating play and got a second soon after, when good pressure by the Longridge players saw St Vall pounce on a lose back pass before rounding the keeper and slotting home.
As the clock went into injury time, Longridge were caught with a sucker punch. A free-kick was given away cheaply and when the ball was delivered into the box no one picked up Lostock’s number seven at the back post and he planted his header beyond Hind with the referee blowing up soon after, with the scores all square.
The second half began and whatever Keefe had said at half-time seemed to be working with Longridge sharper in the tackle and the defence looking a lot tighter. They began to dominate the game, and with eight minutes played, went ahead when English picked the ball up on the right drove inside and hit a superb low shot beyond the Lostock keeper for a cracking goal.
Longridge were now playing some decent football but were guilty of spurning some good chances, but with 10 minutes left to play, Longridge got the forth goal their play deserved. Donnelly broke up play in midfield before finding English who slipped in Dean who finished smartly. With Longridge now in total control it was a surprise they didn’t add to there goal tally with some good chances going begging before the referee blew for full time.
Another good three points against a spirited Lostock side and Keefe and Gornall will be pleased that with the squad being so strong, and with other fixtures being postponed, victory saw Longridge go top of the league at the halfway point of the season which is a superb achievement.
1 M.HIND, 2 J.ROSS 3 D.WILKINSON, 4 P.PAYNTER 5 S.GARRY, 6 M. DONNELLY - L.WILKES, 7 G.ST.VALL 1 - S.DEAN 1, 8 J.MELLING, 9 R.COAR 1, 10 G.HEYWOOD - R.MERCH, 11 J.ENGLISH.
Subs not used: S.DALEY,J MOTTLEY
NEXT FIXTURE: Saturday 15th December: Poulton Town away 2pm KO