WHEN Lancaster City announced they were to play Celtic Nation at Giant Axe many weeks ago, it was expected to be just a pre-season confidence booster.
However, ex-Dolly Blue Steve Skinner’s team, despite being two leagues below the Dolly Blues, brought a squad brimming with Conference and Football League experience.
Dave Swarbrick had Lancaster’s best chance of an even opening half hour when he found some space on the edge of the box but blazed his shot over the bar.
It was only until an unfortunate defensive error from City full-back Ben Hudson that the game started to swing the way of the visitors.
The youngster found himself deflecting a low driven cross into his own net at the back post 10 minutes before the break and City’s heads began to drop.
Minutes later the visitors doubled their lead after Nation’s Adam Boyd, signed from League One’s Hartlepool United, reacted quickest to a low cross to brush the ball past a rooted Beesley to double the visitor’s advantage.
With just seconds left in the half Nation’s Mike Reed broke the offside trap and delicately scooped the ball over the onrushing Beesley to give the visitors a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time.
Jordan Connerton came close to scoring his first goal since returning to the club in the second half when he crashed a headed effort off the bar from Elderton’s corner.
City continued to battle, but Nation’s experienced back four kept the Blues at arms length and put the game to bed with the goal of evening with 15 minutes remaining.
Ex-Bradford City defender Arnison’s driving run down the right flank produced a chipped through ball across the edge of the area which Adam Boyd volleyed first time into the roof of the net.
With minutes remaining City got their chance for a consolation from the spot when Wallace handled the ball in the area.
Swarbrick eagerly stepped up to power the ball down the middle of the goal to bring the game to 4-1 just before the final whistle.
Lancaster CityXI: Beesley, Hudson, Elderton, Marshall, Gregson, Winder, Swarbrick, Wills, Connerton, Kilifin, Rothwell
Subs: Entwistle, G.Clark, Archer, Wilson, Poole, Calvert, Parkinson