Longridge Town get set for a big month ahead

Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft

Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft admits they are set for a pivotal month in their quest to win the Hallmark Security League First Division North.

Ashcroft’s players have been in pole position for much of the season, their first at the former North West Counties League level.

However, Avro are leading the chasing pack as their stunning run of form sees them able to join Longridge at the top should they win both of their games in hand.

Town’s big month kicks off with a trip to fifth-placed Prestwich Heys on Saturday.

They then host a Carlisle City team sitting in sixth a fortnight later, followed by a top-of-the-table game with Avro on February 27.

After hosting Atherton LR on March 2, third-placed AFC Liverpool complete Town’s tough run when they welcome Ashcroft’s players on March 9.

“We’ve led from the middle of September but the pressure is on us now because Avro don’t look like they are going to get beaten,” Ashcroft said.

“In any other season, we would be well clear by now but, fair play to Avro, they are a decent side and I’d said before a ball was kicked that they’d be up there.

“Prestwich Heys is always a difficult place to go and we seem to be playing everyone when they are either in form or coming into form.

“They finished third last year with 95 points so there’s no doubt it’s going to be a difficult game.”

Town should have hosted Atherton LR last weekend but, given the freezing temperatures, it was called off.

Nevertheless, Town still managed to avoid a completely free Saturday in preparation for the month ahead.

“I’m obsessed with looking at the weather,” Ashcroft said.

“We weren’t the only team affected but we still managed to train on Saturday and had a good session.

“It was good we were able to get something on and it will hopefully stand us in good stead.”