North Lancashire League: Carnforth win battle of top two

Carnforth Rangers.
Carnforth Rangers.
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Top two Carnforth Rangers and Galgate met in the game of the day in the Baines Bagguley Penhale North Lancashire Premier Division.

Two goals from Damien Murphy proved to be enough for last year’s double winners as they put a recent run of patchy form behind them.

Carnforth got off to the perfect start and took the lead in the third minute following some good work down their right hand side.

A perfect slide-rule pass from new signing Scott King found top scorer Damien Murphy who made no mistake to give Rangers the early advantage.

The game was end-to-end without many chances being created, the easiest chances often falling to Galgate who failed to trouble the ‘keeper.

The hosts’ first shot on target came on the half hour mark from 25 yards out with the Carnforth ‘keeper making a fine stop to tip it over the bar.

Two minutes later Galgate should have equalised when a right wing cross went straight through the six-yard area but with two Galgate strikers wrong footed the chance was gone.

Carnforth also had a very similar chance, again from the right wing, this time it was King who sent the ball into the six-yard area where two attackers threw themselves at the ball but both missed out on what would have been a certain second goal.

King was having a field day on the right wing and on one of his forays into the Galgate half he swung in a hard low cross which the keeper stopped but could not hold onto before being saved by a defender on the line just as Murphy was set to pounce.

Galgate had further chances but went in behind at the break.

The visitors were made to pay when Carnforth doubled their lead after Plevey won the ball back.

He whipped the ball over from the left for Mambwe whose shot was saved with Murphy on hand to tap the rebound into the empty net.

It proved to be enough as despite further chances for the hosts they couldn’t find a way back into the game as Carnforth extended their lead at the top to four points.

Bowerham and Bentham both played some terrific football in their Premier Division clash.

The last five minutes of the game were the most interesting when Luke Foxcroft scored a brilliant goal to give Bowerham the lead.

Bentham then threw everyone forward looking to try and salvage at least one point and as the referee was looking at his watch Jordan Armstrong forced in the equaliser to give Bentham their eighth draw in 11 games.

Caton United had few problems in overcoming a Highgrove side who tried hard but were always second best.

Tom Lund gave Caton an early lead, only for Lee Richardson to equalise. Caton retook the lead when young Sam Kirkby slotted home just before half-time.

The start of the second half brought a quick goal for Caton when Nathan Jackson scored with a brilliant header to make it 3-1.

Caton then appeared to lose concentration which Highgrove capitalised on with Callum Rogers scoring a peach of a goal to make it 3-2.

This jolted Caton back into action and went further in front when Jackson scored from the penalty spot and then completed his hat-trick to make the final score 5-2.