Longridge Town’s Preston North End Legends clash kicks off a new era

Lee Ashcroft sends his Longridge Town side into action against a Preston North End legends side on Sunday
Lee Ashcroft sends his Longridge Town side into action against a Preston North End legends side on Sunday
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Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft says the club are in an ‘exciting’ period as they prepare to officially open their new stand on Sunday.

A friendly against a Preston North End legends side will follow the ribbon-cutting and usher in a new era at the Mike Riding Ground.

This season, Longridge will step-up to the North West Counties Division One North after previously playing in the West Lancashire League.

Things have been busy on and off the pitch to prepare for the new challenge.

The new 100-seater stand more than meets the criteria set down by the North West Counties League.

A new pitch has been laid and there will be some fresh faces treading the turf this season.

Ashcroft said: “This is an exciting time for Longridge.

“We are going into a new league, something we have worked hard to do.

“The players have bought into what we want to do and pre-season has gone really well with some good displays in the friendlies.

“I’ve brought in seven or eight players who all have the experience of this league.

“The new stand has been built and the pitch relaid.

“I must say that the pitch looks amazing, it’s been hard work because of the hot, dry weather.”

Among this summer’s new signings is former Clitheroe and Colne striker Jay Hart.

The well-travelled Hart will bring with him a wealth of experience to the front line.

Hart scored in Town’s 3-1 win at Lytham on Saturday, Stu Vasey and James Sloane also on target.

Sunday’s game against the PNE legends XI will be part of an open day.

It kicks-off at 2pm and the club see it as an opportunity to showcase to the town what they are all about.

Longridge chairman Kevin Harrison said: “It will be a mix between a fun day, a friendly game and a relaunch of the ground.

“The PNE legends team is set to include Sean Gregan, Sean St Ledger, Neil Mellor and David Lucas.

“Longridge is a growing town and we want to show what this club is all about.”