Town boss Ashcroft gets set for a test of their title credentials

Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft

Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft acknowledges his players face a stern test this weekend in their bid to retain the West Lancashire League Premier Division title.

Town, who lie fourth in the table a quarter of the way through their season, host second-placed Euxton Villa (3pm).

A good crowd is expected at the Mike Riding Ground on Saturday, though Ashcroft is hopeful a few more will attend with it being ‘Non League Day’ as well.

He said: “We’re expecting a decent attendance but we hope we’ll get a few more through the gate with teams like Preston North End not playing.

“It’s set up to be a decent game because Euxton are always difficult opponents for us.

“They have been a bit of a bogey side for us and have been on top form so far this season, so it will be tough for us.”

Ashcroft’s players go into the game looking to make amends after exiting the Lancashire Amateur Shield last weekend with a 3-2 defeat at Rochdale Sacred Heart.

As the manager admitted, it was a game where he learned a lot about the character of his players – and was pleasantly surprised.

He said: “We started really well and could have one or two up in the first 15 minutes but we had a disastrous 25 minutes when we were all at sea and they hit us with two goals.

“We aren’t used to going in at half-time two goals down but, fair play to the lads, they went out in the second half and, if we had played another five or 10 minutes, we would have won the game.

“That said, I’m disappointed to have gone out of the competition.

“We won the league last year and I wanted to win some more silverware this season.

“It now means we are only left in one competition and we’re going to give it our all to try and win that one.”