PHIL Brown returned to the dugout on Saturday as he oversaw a young Myerscough dominated Dolly Blues side that came close to achieving the club’s first win of pre-season.
Craig Carney, Billy McKenna and Joe Bunney were the only familiar faces that started for City in the first half as the Blues looked on course for their first win of the summer.
Joe Bunney opened the scoring on fifteen minutes, volleying Marley Gough’s free kick into the bottom left corner from six yards before adding his second minutes later.
Defender Danny Wilkins claimed a super assist with an inch perfect through ball and Bunney rounded the keeper and coolly finished from a tight angle to give City a 2-0 lead.
The impressive Craig Carney, in his first game since breaking his leg in November, had a chance to increase City’s lead after a bursting run through the defence but his shot was well saved as the Dolly Blues looked comfortably ahead going into half time.
Carney was taken off amongst a host of changes for the visitors and Euxton Villa took full advantage of the unsettled side.
Shortly after City winger Alex Ralph had hit the bar with a curling effort from range, Euxton’s Danial Hogg was the first to react to a loose ball in the City box.
The striker placed a tidy finish past Rogerson in the City goal to reduce the deficit and Euxton levelled the score soon after.
Hogg was allowed space on the left flank to cut inside and unleash a fantastic twenty-five yard bullet-shot into the top right corner.
City regained the lead through Joe Bunney, completing his hat-trick with a great turn and shot from the edge of the box with just eighteen minutes to go.
City looked on course for their first win of the summer until Villa’s David Heald headed a free kick back across goal which cannoned off City defender Wilkins and into the net in the final minute of the game.
Lancaster will be encouraged by the performances of their returning first teamers, especially Craig Carney who looked sharp and a cut above the rest during his forty-five minute return to action.
The midfielder was key to City’s fantastic early form last year, and his recovery could be vital to the Dolly Blues promotion efforts this upcoming season.