Longridge Town manager would like to see fans out in force

Lee Ashcroft hopes to see more fans at Longridge Town home games as they return to league action.
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Town are back at the Mike Riding Ground on Tuesday when they meet Runcorn Town in the NWCFL Premier Division.

It is the first of their six remaining league matches on home soil this year with Town looking to improve on their present 10th position.

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While they are trying to develop on the pitch, the manager is also seeking improvements off it in terms of attendance figures.

Longridge Town manager Lee AshcroftLongridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
Longridge Town manager Lee Ashcroft
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Nine home games in all competitions this season have seen an average of 210 supporters in attendance.

That figure is boosted by the 448 who saw Town play Macclesfield FC and the 312 at the game against Barnoldswick Town.

However, the matches against Irlam, Vauxhall Motors and Wythenshawe Town attracted fewer than 150 through the turnstiles.

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“I’d like to see a few more people watching us here,” Ashcroft outlined.

“I don’t know whether it’s because of Covid or any clashes with Preston North End games but they don’t half make a difference when they are here.

“We’ve got 10 or 11 lads behind the goal who make a noise and it really does make a difference.

“The Macclesfield game was brilliant. We had loads in on a Monday night, and while we’ve had a few good nights here, that’s probably one of the best.”

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The Runcorn game is also the first of 11 league matches Town have before the end of 2021.

Having previously spoken about how tight he believes the division will be this season, Ashcroft wants his players to bounce back from their 4-1 FA Vase defeat at Emley AFC last Saturday.

The most disappointing aspect from the Town perspective was that loss had followed on from a fine league win at Avro seven days earlier.

Speaking after the Emley game, Ashcroft told the club website: “We have to dust ourselves down, look in the mirror and go again.

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“It’s back to the league. We have a run of games where, hopefully, we can pick up some points and start to climb the table – but if they perform like that (against Emley), we will lose more than we win.

“It’s a funny week. We had a great result at Avro, one of the hardest places to go in the league, and we won quite comfortably.

“Today, you wouldn’t think it was the same team but that’s why they are at this level.

“Things will have to change but I won’t go over the top. It’s a terrible afternoon but we will turn it around.”

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If a defeat and a poor performance weren’t bad enough, Ashcroft also had to contend with two injuries in defence.

Conor Linighan limped off in the first half with his replacement, Sam Marsh, doing likewise after the break to cap a tough afternoon.

“Marshy’s pulled his hamstring,” the Town boss said.

“Conor, I don’t know what’s up with him, whether it’s his groin or stomach muscle, but we’re down to the bare bones.

“Hopefully, come Tuesday night, we’ll be back buzzing.”

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