Match Report: Prestwich Heys 1-2 Longridge Town
By Ellie Hamilton
Town make it seven games unbeaten after battling performance at Adie Moran Park.
Jay Hart’s 28th goal of the season helped Longridge extend their lead at the top of the North West Counties Division One North with a 2-1 away win at Prestwich Heys.
Town flew out of the blocks on a dry and breezy day in Greater Manchester, opening the scoring inside the first ten minutes as the hosts failed to deal with a Chris Turner corner.
Despite initially clearing, Tom Ince latched onto a loose ball 25 yards out firing goalwards, forcing a save from Heys keeper Michael Smith, before Ryan McKenna bundled in from five yards out.
The Ridge then doubled their advantage before the break, with Hart rounding of a free-flowing move down the righthand side with a brilliant volleyed finish.
Turner was again involved finding Richie Allen who centred for Hart, drawing applause from the home support as well as the travelling Town support.
Having been in pole position from the off the Reds saw their lead halved with 20 minutes to play as Cory Knight squeezed an effort past Lee Dovey to set up a nervy finale.
Despite the hosts coming on strong to was Town who ended strongest with Allen shooting wide late into the game.
That was before the former Salford man appeared to be upended late on only for the referee to bring the game to an end, rather than point to the spot.
With promotional rivals AVRO not in league action, it was a valuable three points for Longridge, who now extend their lead to nine points at the top of the North West Counties Division One North.
With Town’s growing injury list, most notably through the defence and midfield, Lee Ashcroft was forced into changes ahead of the game at Adie Moran Park.
Daniel Wisdom, Aaron Fleming and Chris Turner were all handed debuts from the off, George Thomason made his first involvement from the bench in the second half.
While Hart, Allen and Ince continue to lead the line and fire in the goals for Town, Turner put in a very impressive display in the midfield. It was his corner that Prestwich struggled to clear in the first half which resulted in McKenna’s opener.
While the new boy also had a key involvement in the second, finding Allen with a pass down the right prior to Hart converting.
The one tinge of disappointment for Ashcroft’s men came when Conor Linighan had to be with withdrawn, adding to the club’s injury woes having limped off into the second half, with Jay Hart also leaving the field as a precautionary measure.
On the point of injuries, Town now have a fortnight to get bodies fit, with Carlisle City up next at the MRG the first of three big games in a row to come at home.