Longridge Town players face a tough test on their return

Lee Ashcroft and his Longridge Town players travel to AFC Liverpool on Saturday
Lee Ashcroft and his Longridge Town players travel to AFC Liverpool on Saturday
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Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft has warned his players of the task that awaits them on their return to action.

Town play again at AFC Liverpool on Saturday after a fortnight off in their bid to win the Hallmark Security League First Division North title.

With their closest rivals Avro having been on cup duty, the title battle remains the same as it was when Town put their feet up.

They lead the table by seven points with five games to go, having played two more than Avro who do not play a league match until visiting Garstang next Wednesday.

However, they meet an AFC Liverpool side sitting fourth in the table and with genuine hopes of overhauling third-placed Lower Breck before the end of the season.

“It’s probably one of the hardest games we could have had to come back to,” Ashcroft said.

“They are desperate to finish third but they play at Marine so it will be a good pitch to go and play on.

“We’ll go there and, hopefully, do ourselves justice and come back with three points.

“If you look at every game we have had over the last six weeks, they have all had something to play for.

“That’s the case for the rest of the season; Garstang is a derby and they will want to beat us, Lower Breck are third, AFC Liverpool want to overtake them, and at the other end, Nelson and Holker Old Boys are fighting for their lives.”

Rather than arrange a private friendly to keep his players’ fitness ticking over, Ashcroft handed the squad a weekend off last Saturday.

They will be back in training tonight with the manager hoping that generosity will be repaid on the pitch.

He said: “It gave the elder players an extra few days to get their aches and pains out of the way.

“They will all train on Wednesday; a nice light session to get them ready for the challenge ahead.”