Lancaster City boss wants side to do Neil Marshall proud this season

Louis Mayers battles for the ball against Mossley. Picture: Tony North
Louis Mayers battles for the ball against Mossley. Picture: Tony North
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Lancaster City boss Phil Brown vowed his side would try and do club legend Neil Marshall proud between now and the end of the season.

The former club captain passed away last Wednesday aged just 31 after a battle with cancer.

Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over Mossley at Giant Axe was the first game since the death of Marshall, who made more than 400 appearances for his hometown club before retiring at the end of last season.

On a emotional night Brown felt his side, who moved up to third in the NPL First Division North with the win, did themselves and their long-serving skipper justice.

“It was difficult for the lads and the staff,” said the Blues boss, whose side next host Radcliffe Borough on Saturday.

“We spoke before the game about it not being about league placings or keeping your place in the team.

“It was about doing a job for Marshy.

“It was about putting on a performance similar to how he did week in, week out for a long time at Lancaster.

“We just really wanted to do him proud and we will continue to try and do that for the rest of the season.”

The game that followed the pre-match tributes, including a minute’s applause, was an entertaining spectacle with City cruising at 4-1 before being pegged back by the visitors.

“We scored four goals but we missed another four or five,” said Brown.

“I did think we looked like we had our edge back at the top end of the pitch and for large parts we defended quite well.

“It says three against but with the way they play and who they’ve got in the team it’s always going to be difficult.

“Some times you ride your luck and get away with it but they capitalised on the half chances they got. 
“I can’t be critical of my team at all, it’s a performance they can be proud of.

“Mossley were never going to be disrespectful and not try.

“We had to be competitive and try and play and I think our football got us through.”

A bumper crowd of 531 came out to pay tribute to Marshall, singing his name from beginning to end.

“It’s more than double what we usually get on,” Brown said.

“That’s a lot of people coming down to pay their respects to a club legend.

“Neil was a big part of this club and he’s touched a lot of people at this club, myself and the players that were out there included.”

Jordan Connerton’s minor knee surgery went well last week with the striker around a month away from return.