1874 Northwich remain at the top of the North West Counties Premier Division despite a 2-1 loss at Longridge Town.

Sam Hare’s 23rd-minute goal gave 1874 the advantage at half time but Paul Turner (52mins) and Jon-Jo Morris (86) sealed all three points for the hosts.

Both sides created further chances in an entertaining game of football ‘played on the floor’ and it took two fine saves from Tony Aghayere to preserve 1874’s first-half lead.

Jackson cleared off the 1874 line in the first threatening attack, Hare had a shot saved at the second attempt and an Okome strike from inside the box was blocked well.

When the breakthrough came, 1874 received a bit of good fortune.

A brilliant free-kick by Hare caused chaos and was deflected in.

Still more chances came, Jake Parker heading wide of the Longridge goal while a thumping Longridge effort from distance was tipped over by Aghayere.

Scott McGowan headed home from a cross by Parker but a flag was controversially raised for offside.

To rub salt in, when the equaliser came from Turner he did appear off-side.

Opportunities became scarce but 1874 rallied again from the 70th minute.

Parker was denied by a great save and a Lee Knight shot went the wrong side of the crossbar too.

And then came a sucker punch against the run of play.

1874’s search for the winner meant they were stretched at the back when Longridge settled matters three minutes from time through Morris.

1874: Aghayere, Koral, Russell, Jackson, Jones, Parker, Knight, Okome, McGowan, Hare, Kennerley. Subs: Woolley, Gardner, Cain, Tinning, Mitchell.

On Saturday, 1874 visit Irlam in the second round of the Macron Cup.