B TEAM FRIENDLY: Longridge Town 2 Wanderers 5

Longridge Town

The B Team survived a downpour to secure their first win of pre-season as the floodgates opened at the Recycling Lives Ground.

An entertaining contest that was nearly abandoned at the start of the second half threw up seven goals, with the young Whites leading 2-0 at the break and then adding three more after the re-start.

Longridge briefly threatened to get back in the contest as they made it 2-1 thanks an unfortunate own-goal from Wanderers’ defender Noah Halford.

But Matt Craddock’s side had put the game to bed by the time the hosts scored a late penalty to round off an action-packed night which featured a first goal for Wanderers for summer signing Ben Andreucci and another spectacular strike from Trevon Bryan.

Arran Pettifer Longridge

The B Team are progressing through a varied pre-season programme with friendlies against two Northern Premier League top-flight sides sitting either side of this visit to opposition from the North-West Counties Premier League.

After a testing 1-1 draw at Lancaster City in their opening game, the Whites – who looked at two trialists among the 22 players on duty – were ultimately able to run out comfortable winners.

But for half an hour this was another stern examination as Longridge’s youthful side took the contest to the visitors with some slick football on the sodden surface.

However, for all their possession Town had only one real chance as impressive skipper Scott Harries forced Ellis Litherland into a reaction save.

Craddock’s young charges took a while to impose themselves on the contest but the pressure was beginning to mount when they went ahead five minutes before the break.

Max Conway Chester

Not surprisingly it was Max Conway (above), a constant threat down the left flank, who provided the low cross for Arran Pettifer to ram the ball home from six yards out to break the deadlock.

The lead was quickly doubled when Bryan followed up his opening night stunner with another fine strike, this time curling home a free-kick from close to 25 yards out.

The biggest threat to Wanderers’ advantage was then the weather, although after referee Peter Fuller deemed the pitch still playable at the start of the second half Longridge did pull a goal back when a cross from Morgan Homson-Smith flew in off Halford.

That might have checked the Whites’ momentum but less than five minutes later they had restored the two-goal lead.

Ben Andreucci training

Andreucci (above) enjoyed an impressive appearance off the bench and the lively ex-Leeds United forward opened his account for his new club when he ran onto a Wes Frimpong pass to slot the ball home.

Riyhan Hargel denied Andreucci a second following an incisive link-up with Finn Lockett but Town’s substitute keeper was then unable to keep out an explosive finish from Lockett who drove home Wanderers’ fourth.

Substitute Gio Loureiro got himself on the scoresheet as he charged down an attempted clearance to force the ball over the line as the Whites’ pressure yielded as fifth.

And even though Eric Yoro then brought down Dean Ing to allow Ing to slot home from the spot, Wanderers’ goal power – in front of watching first-team marksman Dion Charles – guaranteed them victory before their next test at Atherton Collieries on Saturday.

B Team: Litherland (Hutchinson 60), Conway (Frimpong HT), Toure (Yoro 60), Halford (Toole 65), Inwood (Hayes-Green HT), Khumbeni (Andreucci HT), Pettifer (Graham 70), Tweedley (Sharples HT), Trialist A (Trialist B), Lockett (Loureiro 60), Bryan (Fleury 60).

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