Brown warns City players not to underestimate bottom side Sutton Coldfield

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown. Picture: Tony North.
Lancaster City boss Phil Brown. Picture: Tony North.

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown has warned his players not to underestimate NPL Premier Division bottom side Sutton Coldfield Town.

The Royals arrive at Giant Axe this weekend firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

However, with only one team getting relegated this season, Town still have a good chance of escaping trouble.

They are just three points behind second bottom Halesowen, although a further 12 points behind third bottom Matlock Town.

It appears the battle to beat the drop is a straight scrap between the two and Brown knows his team will be up against a side fighting for their lives.

“We beat them them 2-0 at their place earlier in the season,” said Brown. “We put in a good professional performance.

“They have a 3G pitch down there and it’s always difficult playing on an artificial surface especially when you’re used to playing on grass.

“But since then they’ve changed their manager and brought some players in.

“However, they are still at the bottom of the table and we being the home team, and on the back of a good performance last weekend, I am hoping we are going to be on the front foot and we are expecting three points.

“It’s not going to be easy. It’s dead tight at the bottom – it’s looking like it’s going to be between Sutton and Halesowen for relegation.

“So they are going to be scrapping for every single point.”

It was certainly a roles reversal on Saturday as City were denied three points when Stafford Rangers equalised at the death.

A couple of weeks earlier, the Dolly Blues had scored twice in injury time to rescue a point when the two sides met at Marston Road.

On that occasion Brown felt his side were worthy of a point and was left frustrated on Saturday as he felt his men had deserved the victory but they were denied by a late penalty.

“The score at 1-0 on Saturday was fairly reflective of the game,” Brown said.

“Really the goal tally should have been higher. We missed a couple of really good chances to put the game to bed.

“But that’s football. We got a late equaliser to get a point a couple of weeks ago and they did it this time.”

Saturday saw young PNE striker Connor Simpson make his debut for City on loan and Brown was pleased with the way the 18-year-old adapted.

“It’s always difficult coming in to a new team, but I thought he did well,” Brown said.

Lancaster were in action against Chorley last night in the LFA Challenge Trophy semi-final at the County Ground. See www.lancasterguardian.co.uk for report.