Veteran Norris can help catapult Lancaster City up the table

Lancaster City manager Mark Fell. Picture: Tony North.
Lancaster City manager Mark Fell. Picture: Tony North.

David Norris could be the man to help catapult Lancaster City up the NPLPremier Division table, so says manager Mark Fell.

The Dolly Blues boss pulled off a major coup ahead of last weekend’s game at North Ferriby United when he captured the midfielder, who has played more than 400 Football League games for clubs such as Leeds, Ipswich and Blackpool.

The 37-year-old went straight into the team for the trip to Yorkshire and certainly had an eventful debut.

He scored and helped City opened up a 2-1 lead before being substituted with a tight hamstring after 30 minutes.

Even though he was not on the pitch for long, it was still long enough for him to show his undoubted quality as City held on the for the win.

“David only played for 30 minutes on Saturday – we had to take him off because he felt his hamstring tighten on what was quite a heavy pitch at North Ferriby,” said Fell, who has also brought in Luke Jordan, a young pacy attacker who has played in the Football League for Morecambe .

“But I tell you what, it was probably the best 30-minute cameo that I have seen.

“He is still head and shoulders above this level and even at 37-year-old, 38 coming up, he’s still got hunger for the game that you would not believe.

“He was turning 70/30 tackles in his favour just by his ferocity and is determination to win the ball

“He capped it off with a goal; it was a great team goal and it involved a lot of the things that we have been working on in training.”

Fell revealed that he has known Norris for a while and tried to sign him when he was manager at Ramsbottom United.

The ex-Plymouth ace was turning out for hometown club Boston United but has found the travelling tough and got in contact with Fell about making the switch to Giant Axe.

“David got in contact with me asking if I was still looking and I just said, ‘We don’t turn down the chance to sign good player if we can help it.”

The win over North Ferriby, who are rock bottom, put further breathing space between City and their rivals near the bottom.

And Fell believes the club should start to look up rather than down.

“In the first half we were absolutely brilliant,” he said.

“I think I said after the game on social media that we played like Brazil in the first half and more like the Dog and Duck in the second half.

“They dragged us down to their level and it became more of a battle. But it’s another three points and I said to the chairman after the game, we are two wins aways from the team in eighth spot now.”

Fell gave his players a rest on Tuesday night as they prepare for a busy week ahead.

This weekend City host high-flying Gainsborough Trinity before they prepare to face National League North outfit Guiseley away in a FA Trophy replay.

“I think Gainsborough are top of the form table in the division,” said Fell.

“But I think we are something like third or fourth so it’s two teams who are playing well at the moment.

“Then we have the Trophy game against Guiseley to look forward.

“I gave the boys Tuesday night off, but we will go again tonight ready for two big games.”

Fell is hoping Norris has recovered from the hamstring problem which forced him off the field against North Ferriby and will be able to feature agauinst Gainsborough.

He is though unavailable for the trip to Gainsborough as did not sign for the club before the first game which ended in a 2-2 draw at Giant Axe.

Jordan, who was a substitute last weekend, could start on Saturday as a replacement for Tom Kilifin, who is unavailble through work commitments.

Long-term injury victim Sam Bailey – out with a knee problem – is progressing nicely and could make a return to training around Christmas time.