Lancaster City boss strapping in for rollercoaster ride

Phil Brown. Picture: Tony North
Phil Brown. Picture: Tony North
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Lancaster City boss Phil Brown is strapping in for a rollercoaster ride in the Evo-Stik First Division North title race.

The Dolly Blues lost top spot as the went down 2-0 at Colwyn Bay on Saturday, the struggling North Wales side winning for the first time in 13 games.

Farsley Celtic took over at the summit with two games in hand but then surprisingly lost one of them on Tuesday night as second from bottom Goole won 2-1 at Throstle Nest.

“It’s predictably going to be unpredictable, if that makes sense,” said Brown, whose side host 18th in the table Tadcaster Albion at Giant Axe on Saturday.

“Things never go to plan at any level.

“It was always going to be unpredictable. There’s not just Farsley, look at Glossop losing to Burscough.

“The bottom two beat the teams in first and fourth in the table away from home on Tuesday.

“We spoke to the players and told them now it’s about turning this dream into reality.

“The only way we can do that is by playing each game on its merits and not looking at others.

“The only game we’ll be focused on on Saturday is ours.

“Hopefully we’ll put the last two defeats behind us and draw a line under them.”

The reverse at Colwyn Bay meant it was back-to-back defeats at a crucial time in the season for City, Jordan Connerton missing a penalty for the Dolly Blues.

“The result was really disappointing especially on the back of another defeat,” said Brown.

“You’ve always got to look for positives though and the performance was better than the week before (a 3-2 defeat to Brighouse).

“We just got punished for two lapses in concentration.

“We had chances early on and didn’t capitalise and even at 2-0 we were still creating things and just needed to get a goal and then could maybe have got another one.

“Missing the penalty summed up our day.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not how we’ve played in previous weeks and months but it was an improvement on Brighouse.”

One big disappointment for the Dollies was striker Louis Mayers’ late red card for kicking out in frustration.

It means the former Clitheroe man will start a three-game ban against Tadcaster this weekend.

“There’s a bit of petulance,” said Brown.

“I’ve not seen the incident fully but I’m not saying it isn’t a red card.

“He’s retaliated and you can’t do that but he’s apologised to the players and me and Macca (Dave McCann, assistant).”

The Blues boss does have another attacking option after Hannu Tam, now with Brown at Myerscough College, returned to the club and came off the bench at Colwyn Bay.

“Slowly but surely he’s been getting better and over the last few weeks he’s been doing really well,” said the City manager.

“He deserves an opportunity and did well in his cameo.

“He offers us something different and is fresh.”

While Tam has returned, right back Daniel Birch has left the club in search of regular first-team football.

Glenn Steel is available again against Tadcaster after missing the defeat to Colwyn Bay with a personal commitment.