Table-topping Town ready to return

Brad Carsley had been due to miss last weekend's game through suspension
Brad Carsley had been due to miss last weekend's game through suspension
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Longridge Town make their belated return to league action on Saturday when they face Tempest United.

Lee Ashcroft’s Premier Dividion leaders should have started their 2017 fixtures at Slyne with Hest last weekend.

However, that match was postponed because of an unfit pitch.

That proved a headache for Ashcroft in more ways than one as striker Brad Carsley was due to miss the game with a one-match suspension.

Also sitting out the game with a ban was skipper George Melling, though his absence for a red card at Eagley will last for three matches.

Consequently, Town’s day off allowed Blackpool Wren Rovers to close the gap on Ashcroft’s players to seven points – and with a game in hand – following their 4-0 victory against Coppull United.

Rovers’ victory again reinforced Ashcroft’s belief that there remains plenty to play for this season despite Town possessing a healthy points advantage over their nearest challengers.

“As I’ve said before, anything can happen because everyone wants to beat the league leaders and we’re there to be shot at,” Ashcroft said.

“We have a lot of cup finals between now and the end of the season.

“We’ve still to go to Blackpool Wren Rovers, we’ve got to play Fulwood Amateurs and we’ve still got to play Garstang again so every game we have will be like a cup final.”

Tempest presently lie fifth in the table, having started their year with a 4-3 victory against Eagley.

There will be a couple of new players on show for Town supporters with Jack Preston and Andrew Naylor having come in over the Christmas break.

Their arrivals offset the departures of Sam Nightingale, who has left Town to join Fulwood, and Mitch Leece, who has dropped back down a division in order to sign for Ladybridge.