LANCASTER CITY swatted aside North West Counties division one side Rochdale Town to progress in the Lancashire trophy in routine fashion.
After taking a two goal lead into the break the second 45 resembled a training exercise as the Dolly Blues comfortably sidestepped an upset.
Dave Swarbrick’s first half brace was impressively taken and ensured that City keep up their run of cup victories.
He grabbed his first on 19 minutes, good pressure from the Dolly Blues had the visiting defence in disarray, an indecisive Michael Smith in the Rochdale net found himself in no-man’s land as the ball fell to Swarbrick on 25 yards, he angled a side-footed lob over the ‘keeper into the net.
It seemed that only Chris Ogunyode could harm the Dolly Blues chances, the visiting forward looked sharp and poor decision making denied him a couple of chance or possible assists after he broke free towards the box.
For the Dolly Blues Alex Meaney was in imperious form, controlling the midfield and the game with some deft touches and brilliant, incisive passes. One particular curling through ball from just inside the opposition half dissected the defence and only needed a more switched on Swarbrick to latch on to it.
The game was over as a contest moments before the break, City had finished the half strongly and Zach Clarke broke with typically electric pace down the right and played a glorious cross right in the danger zone. Swarbrick just edged in front of his marker – there was a hint of offside – to slam the ball home.
The second half seemed very routine for the Dolly Blues, they penned their opponents in their own half and kept the ball well, perhaps all their possession could and should have yielded more goals or even shots on target but they were impressive in their professionalism.
As it was Meaney struck a couple of shots from the edge of the box the first of which went wide and the second was comfortably saved.
Then the biggest drama of the half, Clark was bundled over in the box for a stonewall penalty, Meaney looked longingly at the ball that was handed to full-back Rob Henry.
The only regular first-team player – ‘keeper aside – without a goal, the man who gave an interview in the build-up to the FA cup tie with FC United stating his desire to get on the score sheet had a golden chance from 12 yards.
Agonisingly he pulled it wide of the ‘keeper’s right-hand post, quite wide.
The game would be best described as professional from the Dolly Blues, they were in little danger against the team three divisions lower than them and they got the job done with minimum fuss.
LANCASTER CITY: Fearon 6, Henry 7, Wood 7, Duggan 7 (Marshall 80), Gregson 7, Hall 8, Clark 7, Rothwell 7, Swarbrick 8 (Hattersley 68), Dodgson 7 (Kenyon 62), Meaney 8
Subs not used: Elderton, Wills
ROCHDALE TOWN: Smith M, Howarth (Smith R 48), Fitton, Kershaw, Hodson, Clegg, Ogunyode, Evans, Adams, Greenhalgh (Hill J 50), Murphy (Hill G 62)
Subs not used: Sidle, Luker
Referee: Natalie Walker
Starman: Alex Meaney Quite brilliant at times, lovely touches and a great eye for a pass