Lee Ashcroft’s tribute to his Longridge Town title winners

Longridge Town's players celebrate winning the title and claiming promotion following their win at the Mike Riding Ground
Longridge Town's players celebrate winning the title and claiming promotion following their win at the Mike Riding Ground

Lee Ashcroft paid tribute to his Longridge Town players after their final day title success.

Town’s first season in the Hallmark Security League finished with them lifting the First Division North title and, with it, promotion into the top flight.

Having gone into the final day a point behind Avro, Town were 4-1 winners against Holker Old Boys at the Mike Riding Ground.

That meant attention was turned to the game at AFC Liverpool where the league leaders, Avro, had to match Town’s result to win the league.

With time running out, Avro conceded a 90th minute goal to James McGrane which was enough to hand Longridge the title.

Ashcroft said: “It was a great day and the players, to be fair to them, have been outstanding; each and every one of them have played their part.

“The weather was horrendous with a really strong wind but all we said to the players was that they had to do their job, make sure they had no regrets and then – hopefully – Lady Luck would shine on us.

“I’d said beforehand that I didn’t want to know what was happening at AFC Liverpool but Keiran (Walmsley, assistant manager) was keeping tabs on what they were doing.

“The thing is he’s the most negative man in the world anyway and he’d kept saying throughout the game that Avro were going to score!”

The title battle had been a two-horse race for the final couple of months.

Avro finished second despite losing only six games all season – and only three since September – as well as claiming 88 points.

However, Town lost only four times, won 28 of their other 34 matches and scored 144 goals across the season.

Ashcroft said: “I think we’ve deserved to win the title because we’ve gone about our business in the right way.

“Our discipline has been good and we try to play football in the right way – and they always say the best team turns out to win the league.

“I think we’ve been the best team and the number of texts I’ve had from other clubs and managers is unbelievable.

“I think it’s going to be a lot harder next season; we’re just going to have to try and stay in the division.”