Longridge Town face a big week ahead in title fight

Lee Ashcroft and his Longridge Town players are back in action on Saturday
Lee Ashcroft and his Longridge Town players are back in action on Saturday

Longridge Town return to action on Saturday as they aim to go one step nearer to lifting the Hallmark Security League’s First Division North title.

Lee Ashcroft’s players welcome Carlisle City to the Mike Riding Ground for the first of three consecutive home games.

Town had last weekend off but remained nine points clear at the top as their nearest rivals, Avro, were involved in Macron Cup quarter-final action.

Longridge have 10 games of their season remaining but, should Avro win their three games in hand, the teams would be level on points.

However, Longridge would still be top of the table thanks to their vastly superior goal difference.

With that in mind, next Wednesday’s meeting of the top two could well be the decisive point of this season’s title race.

However, that is another topic for another day with sixth-placed Carlisle in town this weekend.

The Cumbrians had been one of Town’s rivals for top spot in the table until hitting an awful run of results in December.

After routing Eccleshall 11-2 in late November, they lost six of their next eight matches – claiming four points from 24 in total – to drop down the table.

Ashcroft’s players won the reverse fixture at the end of October 2-0 thanks to goals in each half from Richie Allen and Tom Ince.

Victory sent them five points clear of Carlisle at the top of the table as Town were on a run of 14 undefeated games in the league at that time.

For their part, Avro warm up for next Wednesday’s match at Longridge by making the trip to Bacup Borough in search of their 12th victory in the last 13 league matches.

Having lost three times by the end of September, the Oldham-based side has not tasted league defeat since.