Longridge Town boss braced for a test of title credentials

Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft

Lee Ashcroft believes his Longridge Town players will meet one of the title favourites when they host Avro on Saturday.

Town go into the match six points clear of Carlisle City at the top of the Hallmark Security League’s First Division North.

Avro are third, 15 points behind Town but with four games in hand, and put seven past Garstang in their Macron Cup meeting last weekend.

They are also one of only two teams to taste league victory against Ashcroft’s players this season following August’s 3-2 win.

“Although we had a different side out on the day, we still could have come out with a result,” Ashcroft said.

“They scored in the 94th minute with a free-kick that wasn’t a free-kick and that was the winner.

“We did have chances on the day though and they are similar to us in that they will score goals and concede goals – so it could be a tennis score!

“It was a fantastic result for them against Garstang because they are a decent side so we’re going to have to be at our best.

“Hopefully we can have a few people supporting us on Saturday because I’ve said before a ball was kicked that Avro will be my tip for the top.”

Town go into the game refreshed and with a clean bill of health following the postponement of last Saturday’s game with Daisy Hill.

Heavy rain at lunchtime caused the match to be called off, meaning that although Town had the day off, it also allowed their injury siutation to clear up.

Seven days earlier, they had won 6-3 at Cleator Moor Celtic despite travelling light on numbers.

However, they are expected to have a fully-fit squad this time around meaning Isaac Sinclair and Charlie Lyons have an opportunity to impress after shining against Lower Breck at the end of November.

“It gave us another week and a chance for one or two players who have been carrying niggles,” Ashcroft acknowledged.

“We’d gone to Cleator Moor with only 11 players but, now, we’re raring to go.”