Lancaster City 0-2 Curzon Ashton

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A WET AND windy Giant Axe played host to a turgid night of football on Tuesday night in a match where the referee provided more talking points than either side.

City were not at their best and struggled to challenge Curzon ‘keeper David Carnell at any point in a tough 90 minutes, they were undone by a scrappy Phil Edghill goal and a top notch volley from Chris McDonagh.

A dubiously awarded corner – the ball looked to have come off a Curzon head if any at all – was sent in close to Martin Fearon, the City ‘keeper seemed to have been impeded once and then twice before a tedious melee was finally bumbled over by Edghill.

Before that, for want of a better word, strike went in on 13 minutes the referee and his assistant denied Billy McKenna a couple of opportunities when he stopped his dual charges on goal for an apparent foul by Max Rothwell in the build up to the first and a poor offside call for the second.

Mr Mahon in the middle was at least fair as he made poor judgement calls for both sides however City did not make life easy for themselves missing a couple of chances first through Dave Swarbrick as he curled horribly wide then later in the half a series of wasteful corners meaning their pressure did not turn into chances.

The second half was better for the Dolly Blues as they found some cohesion up to the box but failed to turn possession into chances.

Defensively Alex Kenyon played very well at left-back while centre-backs Neil Marshall and Jack Duggan – given a tough first-half by McDonagh and, in particular, Edghill – picked up their game in the second 45.

Michael Hall provided further positives with his strength on the ball and eye for a pass, while the introduction of Danny Hattersley and Alex Johnson meant Swarbrick could move out to the wing were he looks a more natural fit.

The second, killer goal had an element of fortune about it as a straightforward long ball was missed by Kenyon as he slipped while turning, the ball sat up nicely for McDonagh whose finish was excellent.

City ’keeper Fearon kept the score-line respectable with some first-rate saves as he first denied substitute Sam Halligan a point blank header and Edghill the rebound before springing into action to deny McDonagh a second with a smart one-handed save.

There were more concerns for the Dolly Blues as captain Marshall was taken off with an apparent back injury.

On a brighter note the Dolly Blues will meet Belper Town in the final of the President’s cup after they overcame Newcastle Town 2-0 on Tuesday night.

LANCASTER CITY: Fearon 8, Henry 6, Kenyon 8, Duggan 6, Marshall 6 (Nightingale 76), Wilson R 6, Rushton 6 (Hattersley 68), Rothwell 6, Swarbrick 7, Hall 7, McKenna 6 (Johnson 68)

Subs not used: Wilson S, Wynn

CURZON ASHTON: Carnell, Young, Mortimer, Birch, Davis, Ogoo (Halligan 70), Cahill, Evans, McDonagh, Moses, Edghill

Subs not used: Lyons, Best

Attendance: 123

Referee: Patrick Mahon

STARMAN: Alex Kenyon Defended well and joined in attacks with purpose