GOALKEEPER Sam Ashton has shown his commitment to Skelmersdale United by turning down a move to a higher league club.
Evo-Stik Premier Division side Chorley made an approach for the highly-rated stopper but Ashton rejected their advances in order to stay in West Lancashire.
Manager Tommy Lawson is thrilled with Ashton’s decision, labelling him as the “best goalkeeper in our division”.
Ashton will be in goal for Skem’s scheduled home game with Wakefield on Saturday, though a forecast for sub-zero temperatures on Friday have already put the game in doubt.
Snow and ice put paid to Tuesday’s home game with Bamber Bridge.
Should the weekend’s fixture bite the dust then it would only add to the backlog of games facing title-chasing United.
Lawson’s men have 25 league games to play before the end of the regular season on April 27 and the boss admits it is a worry.
But the manager believes he has the strength in depth to cope with the demands of such a congested run-in.
Lawson has used the example of how 19-year-old Andy Griffiths has been recalled from a spell at Atherton LR to help fill the gap left by the injured Aaron Turner.
The Skem boss says he has “half a dozen” young players out on loans that he would feel comfortable calling on as the race for promotion intensifies in the coming weeks.
And with Ashton showing his loyalty to the cause, Lawson can rest easy knowing he has no worries in the goalkeeping department.
“Chorley came in for Sam Ashton but he has told them he is staying here,” said a thrilled Lawson. “Naturally, the club is delighted with that.
“Sam is the best goalkeeper in the division and though having teams like Chorley come in and try and pinch your players is not what you want, it comes with the territory and is something we have had to deal with year in, year out.
“Since Sam has come to the club he has been a model player.
“He doesn’t miss training, he’s 100% committed and some of his performances this season have been outstanding.”
On their demanding schedule between now and the end of the season, Lawson added: “It is slowly becoming a major concern but we have got to take it on the chin.”
Skem v Wakefield, Saturday, 3pm.