EGERTON FC are exceeding all previous expectations in the Cheshire Football League this season.

The Yellows are aiming for their first CFL Premier Division title, sitting five points behind leaders St Helens with 12 matches to go.

They are also set to play in the Manchester FA Cup final against Abacus Media on Friday at Hyde United’s Ewen Fields, following on from their Premier Division Challenge Cup success last season.

They have gone through quite a turnaround since finishing bottom of the league in the truncated 2019-20 campaign.

Manager Lee Williams admitted that this situation was “alien” to most at the club, but that the significant improvements made to the squad – especially with the greater intake of youth players – were starting to reap their rewards.

He said: “We have a good mixture of experience and players coming through the youth system.

“Teams were maybe underestimating us before, but we don’t get that anymore and we certainly get the respect we deserve.

“We are a big scalp to take.”

They have experienced a minor blip recently, with a 0-0 draw against St Helens preceding a narrow 1-0 loss to Middlewich in their last game on February 16 – their first in the league for four months.

Williams spoke about how unlucky his team were in those fixtures, saying: “We had a goal disallowed in the draw which was onside, and one that was allowed on Wednesday against us which was offside.”

However, he stressed the importance of bouncing back in their upcoming fixtures, which includes league matches against two of the teams directly below them – AFC Knowsley and Lostock Gralam – as well as the cup final.

He said: “We got caught up in looking at the league table and letting the situation get to us.

“We all have got to pick ourselves up and keep believing in what we’re doing.

“Every team will have a dip, and we will come out the other side of ours, and there is no better way to come out of a dip than playing big games.”

Williams said he hopes that their league form will remove their label as a “cup team.”

But he refused to get carried away, saying: “There will be lots of twists and turns, and it’s going to go right to the wire.”