Longridge Town 4 Holker Old Boys 1: Dramatic final day sees Lee Ashcroft’s players win the league title

Longridge Town celebrate their title success
Longridge Town celebrate their title success

It came down to the final five minutes of the season to determine whether Longridge Town would win the Hallmark Security League First Division North.

Town were 4-1 winners against Holker Old Boys, knowing they had to better the result of league leaders Avro who were at AFC Liverpool.

Early chances came and went as Holker defended resolutely, camped in their own half with the wind playing a big part in the proceedings.

Paul Turner twice went close and Danny Wilkinson headed just over when well placed, but it was a nervous crowd of 177 with no word of any goals from Liverpool.

A lovely ball from Ben Fletcher found Turner in space, and a lovely first touch allowed the young striker to volley home and put Town 1-0 up on 26 minutes.

There was a feeling that one goal would not be enough as Holker would have the advantage in the second half with the wind assistance.

Town couldn’t find a second though, and at half-time, news filtered through that it was goalless at AFC Liverpool.

Richie Allen went off injured at the break with Jay Hart coming up from the left, Isaac Sinclair from the right and Tom Ince behind Turner.

Surprisingly, Holker allowed Town space to play as the second half got underway, sitting deeper than was expected.

This suited Town and Turner got a second to settle the nerves, a first-time volley after a through ball from Ince.

Sinclair added a third with a brilliant individual goal, before Turner got his deserved hat-trick to make it 4-0, but the game was in limbo now as the crowd sought updates on Avro’s game.

John-Paul Stanway pulled back a consolation goal for Holker before, in time added on, word came through that AFC Liverpool had scored, and Avro needed two goals in two minutes to deny Town.

A roar went up from the crowd, the loudest of the day, and the Longridge bench obviously got the message as they celebrated wildly.

The final whistle went to hearld Town’s victory, but within seconds, confirmation came that AFC Liverpool had won and Town were champions at the first time of asking.