The final round of matches in the SportsReach Football League season saw three fixtures take place, including a dress rehearsal for the League Trophy Final.
With Longton and Wray going head-to-head tonight in the Final, neither side probably expected a full-throttle league encounter on Saturday with players keeping one eye on the showpiece fixture just 72 hours away – but in fact, the game was played at high intensity full of commitment and endeavour. It proved to be a fascinating prelude to tonight’s Final with Longton grabbing the three points late in the day through Phil Awde’s back-post header, settling a match that could have gone either way.
At Great Eccleston, the champions were in action just five days ahead of their Champions Cup Final fixture and hosted a Fulwood side that had enjoyed a good season and went into the match in third place. Great Ecc quickly got into their groove with a first-minute goal from Jack Sharples but Fulwood were dogged and determined and despite going down to ten men, they salvaged a point through winger Jordan Bate in the second half.
Last night in the final league fixture of the season, in-form Loko travelled to Lancaster who will be facing Great Ecc in Thursday night’s Champions Cup Final. Whether Lancaster had one eye on that fixture is hard to say, but they certainly started brightly with a goal through long-serving player Matt Parker. However, Loko showed great resilience in the second half with three goals in the final 20 minutes to turn the match on its head. The final goal came from 16-year-old debutant Cameron Parker who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes; remember the name! All credit to Loko who had experienced a difficult season until March but have since won five of their last six matches to finish the season on a high.
Saturday 22nd April
Longton 3-2 Wray
Tom Dearden 60, 84 Phil Awde 87 // Jack France 58, 80
Great Ecc 1-1 Fulwood
Jack Sharples 1 // Jordan Bate 73
Monday 24th April
Lancaster 1-3 Loko
Matt Parker 3 // Dan Tyrer 70, Joel Law 79, Cameron Parker 89