Longridge Town boss ticks off the victories in title race

Joe Melling earned high praise from Longridge boss Lee Ashcroft
Joe Melling earned high praise from Longridge boss Lee Ashcroft
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Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft has reiterated that the league title remains up for grabs as they go into their final five games of the season.

Town’s 5-2 win against Steeton at the Mike Riding Ground saw them move seven points clear at the top of the Hallmark Security League First Division North.

Second-placed Avro are seven points behind with two games in hand but their cup involvement means they do not play again in the league until April 10.

For their part, Town now have a free weekend with their next match at fourth-placed AFC Liverpool on April 6.

“I’ve always said that this division will go right to the wire,” Ashcroft said.

“But it’s still in our own hands and I wouldn’t swap with anybody.”

Having dropped two points with a draw at St Helens Town seven days earlier, Ashcroft’s players made it 10 wins in 12 at the weekend.

Richie Allen led the way with a hat-trick, while Adam Lawrence and Rio Wilson Heyes completed the scoring.

The win came despite a brief wobble which saw Steeton come from 2-0 down to level proceedings.

Ashcroft said: “Joe Melling is not called a crowd favourite for nothing, I thought he was outstanding today.

“We’ve got Richie scoring another hat-trick, and Tom Ince at the very top of his game, but I thought Joe was our man of the match if I’m honest.

“It was nice to get back to The MRG after last week on 3G at St Helens.

“All the ingredients were there for us today; another good crowd, sunshine, and apart from the five-minute wobble, I was pleased with how we played.

“Jay came off as a precaution really, and there is no hesitation in putting Rio on.

“The crowd here have warmed to him already, he’s an exciting player and today he had the end product to go with his pace and skill.”