Lancaster City 2-1 Clitheroe

A TOP-NOTCH first-half performance from the Dolly Blues was enough for them to progress past Clitheroe in the League Cup.

Thankfully the only offensive action on display was on the pitch as both sides put on a good show going forward.

During the first 45 City displayed some great passing moves and Swarbrick’s opener was perhaps the best team goal of the season.

Playing the ball forward from the back, Craig Carney fed Lee Dodgson who exchanged passes with Danny Hattersley, found Swarbrick inside the box who swatted the ball home.

Swarbrick started wide left in a much changed Dolly Blue line-up, he looks a far more dangerous threat from that position as he not only possesses the pace and trickery to get past a full-back and deliver but, as seen on Tuesday night he can get into the box to score.

Carney was excellent in the middle playing neat and tidy football while Michael Hall adds a different dimension to the left-hand side, the options open for the Dolly Blues look impressive.

Carney grabbed his first goal of the season to put the Dolly Blues further ahead with some impressive pressure play.

Edgerton-Wilson had played the ball forward into a good area and Carney put in the yards to chase it down. He forced defender Chris Smalley into an error, got a bit of luck with the bounce off his shin and advanced to score under the advancing ‘keeper.

The Dolly Blues certainly rode their luck going into the break as the woodwork denied Matt Carr three decent chances.

City should have put the game beyond all doubt in the second-half, still passing the ball at a high-standard they began to penetrate the box more but City’s forward line found Zac Hibbert in the Clitheroe goal their better.

For the most part City kept the Clitheroe forward line of the ever-dangerous Ashley Parillon and one-time Dolly Blue Andrew Naylor at bay, Danny Gregson had a slight scare as he lunged to intercept a cross and sent it just over the bar and Martin Fearon was forced into action to deny Naylor a long-range effort.

It was Parillon who sparked Clitheroe’s possible comeback as he found Josh Hines in the box to score after a scrappy exchange.

City then began their fruitless assault on the Clitheroe goal, a clever flick from Alex Kenyon was nodded into Dodgson’s path by Hattersley but he struck straight at Hibbert.

Then substitute Zac Clark, a former Clitheroe man, broke into the box to find Hibbert in top form as he kept himself big and tipped his close-range shot around the post.

There was still time for late cameos from Alex Meaney and Max Rothwell, two of four youngsters with Simon Wills and Jack Duggan who missed out tonight.

This promising quartet started the season brilliantly but has had a difficult run of games; no doubt they will bounce back in a long old season.

They may get their first chance on Saturday as City return to league action with the visit of Mossley.

Lancaster City: Fearon 7, Edgerton-Wilson 8, Wood 7, Gregson 6, Marshall 6, Kenyon 7, Swarbrick 7, (Meaney 86) Carney 8, Hattersley 7 (Clark 70), Dodgson 7, Hall 7 (Rothwell 83)

Subs not used: Duggan, Wills

Clitheroe: Hibbert, Jackson, Smart, Damilola (Roberts 45), Mercer, Smalley, Carr, Stanford (Dent 45), Naylor, Parillon (Woodyatt 67), Hines

Sub not used: McNally