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Match Report: Longridge 2-1 Garstang

Match Report: Longridge 2-1 Garstang

Connor Philipson5 Dec 2023 - 22:45
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Super sub Stringer wins tie late for Longridge

The Ridge scrape past the Stang to book a third round Macron cup tie away at Droylsden.

Manager Lee Ashcroft switched up the side as Leighton Hewitt, Aaron Hewitt, Luke Smith, and Zach Clark came in.

However the boss named a strong boss with Dean Ing, Scott Harries and Morgan Homson-Smith among the substitutes.

Garstang had the better of the game during the first quarter of an hour.

Sam Olawumi had to be on hand early doors to shrug Craig off the ball as the forward almost ran in on goal.

The Stang also won the game's first corner which Captain Ben Fletcher nodded away.

Garstang failed to make the early pressure count as A.Hewitt took Town's first shot of the game after 16 minutes.

Aaron played a brilliant one-two with Paul Turner before firing his effort into a Garstang defender.

Olawumi took matters into his own hands following a period of nothingness as he won the ball back not once, but twice in quick succession before surging forward and firing wide from 20 yards.

Unfortunate a few moments later, Garstang's Luke Barmby was carried off after landing awkwardly on the frosty turf. Everyone at Longridge Town hopes all is well.

Just after the half hour mark, Longridge somehow, failed to take the lead.

L.Hewitt found himself free down the right before crossing into Clark who saw his first time shot come back off the post.

Turner looked to follow it in but saw his close range shot palmed away.

Town would come to rue this missed opportunity as just under five minutes, Garstang led.

Striker Harries Bailey's deflected shot from the edge of the box seemed to wrong-foot Kier Barry and landed in the net, slightly against the run of play.

Once again it was Olawumi going to goal as he tried to hit one back but his long shot was comfortably held by White in the Garstang goal.

Ryan McLean would also shoot over moments later.

Just seconds from the break and Town won a free kick around 25 yards out.

Aaron Hewitt stepped up and picked out the bottom left corner to pull Longridge level just before the break.

It was all hands on deck for the Ridge at the break as Ashcroft made a triple change with Harrison Kay, Zach Clark and goalscorer Aaron Hewitt departing for Scott Harries, Dean Ing and Morgan Homson-Smith.

The substitutes were at the heart of the action almost immediately as Ing flicked Homson-Smith's ball into the path of L.Hewitt who saw his shot deflect into the side netting.

Unfortunately no thing came from the corner but Morgan was at it again soon as he pinged it towards McLean down the left.

The left back squared it towards Harries who saw his shot blocked.

Homson-Smith continued his amazing passing streak as he picked out the running Scott Harries who laid off McLean before Ryan saw his cross go just over Ing's head.

Garstang won a free kick down the left before Andrew Murphy rifled it way over from the tight angle.

Homson-Smith crossed into Ing just after the hour mark which the Garstang goalie punched away but only as far as Leighton Hewitt and once again the youngster saw his shot saved.

The Stang couldn't clear their lines though and seconds later Homson-Smith shot just inches wide of the top corner from 20 yards.

Morgan then hit a free kick over the bar moments later.

McLean made another surging run down the left before putting a perfect cross into the feet of Turner who hit it just wide from close range. Only he will know how he didn't score.

Homson-Smith kept the Garstang defence on their toes as he danced past a couple of defenders down the right wing before seeing his close range effort parried away.

With ten minutes left to play, Luke Smith was replaced by Joel Stringer, playing just his second game for Town.

On 82 minutes Homson-Smith went for goal again, only this time White pulled off a tremendous double handed save to keep him out from 18 yards.

Seconds later it was Stringer's turn to shoot and keep the pressure on, unfortunately it was just wide.

However to the Ridge faithful's delight, Stringer would score with 5 minutes left to play.

The loose ball bounced round the six yard box before Stringer got a toe to it almost on the goal-line which a Garstang defender failed to keep out.

With the ball not hitting the net immediately, some confusion was caused by the flagging linesman on the far side but after some confusion and deliberation, the goal was given and Town took the lead for the first time in the game.

Town managed to shut down every Garstang advance and with just 3 added minutes played the referee blew for full time.

The Ridge will now travel to greater Manchester outfit Droylsden in the third round of the Macron cup.

However, before that the Ridge face one of the toughest tests to date in Bury FC on Saturday 9th December.

The home fixture against the former EFL side is a ticket only fixture with a high attendance already confirmed so be sure to book your place at the Recycling Lives Ground for the upcoming clash.

Buy your ticket here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/preston/longridge-town-football-club/longridge-town-fc-v-bury-fc/2023-12-09/15:00/t-zzkmvaz

The Goals:

Longridge: A.Hewitt (45'), Stringer (85')

Garstang: Bailey (37')

The Teams

Longridge line-up: Barry, L.Hewitt, Olawumi, Gourley, McLean, A.Hewitt (Homson-Smith 46'), Fletcher, Kay (Harries 46'), Smith (Stringer 80'), Turner, Clark (Ing 46')

Garstang line-up: White, Birch (Kirnon 62'), Mercer, Backhouse, Murphy, Nagy, Roskell (Heap 70'), Craig, Barmby (Dennison 29'), Pearce (Bolton 60'), Bailey

Further reading