Longridge Town not dreaming of Wembley just yet as they gear up for FA Vase tie

Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft
Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft

Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft wants his players to rise to the challenge as they continue on the road to Wembley.

Town are back in FA Vase action tomorrow when they travel to Congleton Town in the third round.

Victory would put them into the last 32, as well as boost the club’s coffers with £1,125 in prize money.

“It’s what dreams are made of,” Ashcroft said of Town’s Vase progress.

“When I took over a few years ago we thought we’d never be in this position.

“There’s a massive prize at the end of this. As a player I never went to Wembley and I’m sure none of my players have.

“It’s a dream but we have to make sure we take care of 
Congleton first.”

One benefit of drawing Congleton is that it is a side Town have already met in NWCFL Premier Division this season.

The two teams met in August with Ashcroft’s players running out 3-1 winners.

That victory, along with a league table showing Town in second place and their hosts 13th, would seem to make Longridge the favourites for victory on Saturday. However, Ashcroft has warned that appearances can be deceptive given the scale of change at Congleton since the two sides last met.

Ashcroft said: “We played them earlier in the season and scored three brilliant goals on a decent pitch.

“We might be against a team in our division but we’re also against a team who have brought nine players in since we played them.

“The manager has changed as well and they have tried to stamp their own authority on things.

“They have turned it around so they will be upbeat and want to put one over on us.”

Town also go into the game looking for an immediate return to winning ways after losing 3-2 at Bootle on Tuesday.

They had led 2-0 approaching the hour mark, only to concede three times in 13 minutes and miss a stoppage-time penalty which would have given them a point.

Nevertheless, defeat was only Town’s third in 13 league games after a promising start to the season.

Ashcroft said: “To be fair the lads couldn’t have done any more, they were brilliant.

“For the majority of the game we defended really well so to go two goals up and lose was heartbreaking – but there are loads of positives we can take from it.”