TWO familiar faces were on the mark for Stockport at Giant Axe as the Conference side cruised to a pre-season victory over Lancaster City last night, Tuesday, July 17.
Former Dolly Blues Danny Hattersley and Alex Meaney got the goals in a game that nearly didn’t go ahead due to torrential rain in the run up to kick-off.
As with their opening pre-season game against Dundee, Mick Hoyle and Michael Stringfellow fielded an experimental side, with Jordan Connerton and Dave Swarbrick making their first appearances of pre-season since returning to training with the club.
Hattersley, who scored six goals in eight games for County after his March move from Giant Axe, opened the scoring when he flicked home a Sean Newton corner from close range just before the half hour mark.
In reality, City had ‘keeper Neil Beesley to thank that the score was only 1-0 at the break.
Before Hattersley gave the visitors, who also fielded former Lancaster skipper Alex Kenyon from the start, the lead, City’s returning stopper had already dived low to his left to tip one header round the post and also saved a close-range effort from Craig Horgan.
After the break, in which County fielded a completely different 11, they continued to have the better chances, with John Obi-Agbo wasting several clear openings, including one effort that clipped the top of a beaten Beesley’s crossbar.
With a host of City substitutes also being introduced, the game turned into a typically disjointed pre-season affair with City’s best effort falling to Swarbrick, who could only fire over the crossbar after the ball broke to him in the penalty area.
The Hatters did finally increase their advantage with 20 minutes remaining but after such an encouraging performance it is a goal Beesley will want to forget, as he allowed a tame Meaney shot to go under his body and trickle into the net.
It was another decent pre-season showing for the Dolly Blues, who have the makings of a squad that will be certainly be competitive at the sharp end of the Evo-Stik First Division North next season.
Lancaster City: Beesley, Culshaw, Elderton, Gregson, Marshall, Swarbrick, Wilson, G Clark, Connerton, Kilifin, Rothwell. Subs: Wills, Buller, Winder, McKenna, Hudson, Parkinson, Entwistle, Wilkes.