Lancaster City boss Phil Brown believes his side paid a “fitting tribute” to Neil Marshall as they sealed the Evo-Stik First Division North title.
Jordan Connerton’s hat-trick inspired the Dolly Blues to a 5-2 final day win at Glossop North End, giving them the victory they needed to pip Farsley Celtic to top spot.
Marshall’s name was sung from start to finish by a vocal travelling support in the Peak District, the club legend having passed away in November at the age of just 31 after a battle with cancer.
“To watch a team put in that kind of performance after nine months and ultimately win the league is absolutely fantastic,” said Brown.
“I’m so pleased for the players, I’m so pleased for everybody connected with the club and I’m obviously very, very pleased for Neil Marshall’s family.
“That meant a lot. To win that game, to win the league, it’s a fitting tribute to a lovely man and a Lancaster City legend.”
City got all their goals in a stunning first-half display with Ryan Winder and Craig Carney also on target.
Max Leonard scored twice for the hosts, his first of the afternoon at one point getting Glossop back in the game at 2-1.
But three goals in seven minutes before half-time all but sealed promotion for the Dolly Blues.
“At 2-1 it could have gone either way,” said Brown.
“We were clinical though and we’d spoken about that.
“It’s okay having energy, commitment, hard work and organisation but you’ve got to be clinical “at both ends of the pitch.
“We did that and on top of that we were brave.
“We had a lot to gain but we had a lot to lose today as well.”
The Blues boss admitted he had to bring his side back down to earth as they led 5-1 at the break.
“I saw people jumping on people’s backs a little bit,” he said.
“They weren’t massively over celebrating but you could see they couldn’t believe the situation they’d got themselves in.
“I just told them they’d won nothing yet and that Glossop weren’t going to give in.
“We had to press the reset button and play as if it was 0-0.
“We still looked like the better team in the second half even though they scored the goal and we didn’t.
“5-2 away at Glossop is a great result and it’s absolutely brilliant to win the league.”