City manager Mark Fell celebrates one-year anniversary since being handed reins at Giant Axe

Lancaster City FC manager Mark Fell has celebrated his one-year anniversary
Lancaster City FC manager Mark Fell has celebrated his one-year anniversary

Mark Fell celebrated one year as manager of Lancaster City yesterday and insisted he is satisfied with the club’s progress.

The Dolly Blues boss took over the reins following Phil Brown’s resignation at Giant Axe with the club firmly in the mire.

They were rock bottom of the NPL Premier Division table without a league win from the opening couple of months of the season.

However, Fell and his assistant, Graham Lancashire, managed to stabilise the club, eventually leading them to a respectable mid-table finish.

This term, City have enjoyed a decent start and they currently find themselves in ninth spot – just two points shy of the play-off places.

Fell admits he is pleased with what he has managed to accomplish over the past 12 months, but will certainly not rest on his laurels as he looks to keep the club on an upward curve.

Evaluating the past year, Fell said: “I have learned a hell of a lot. We came needing to do a job which was get the club safe and in terms of that, we went from bottom to 12th.

“This season we are ninth, just a couple of points off the the play-offs, so in terms of progression over the last 12 months, we have done that.

“We have progressed the club. We have now got to try and push on from that over the next 12 months and try to finish as high as we can this season.

“For me personally, I have really enjoyed it.”

After a dreadful defending display in the first half which saw City concede three times at Nantwich Town, Fell has been pleased with what he has seen since from his side.

City produced a stirring second half performance and can probably count themselves unfortunate not to take a point, losing 3-2.

After being forced into a change of shape to 3-5-2 following an injury to Glen Steel at the weekend, the City boss opted to stay with that system for the trip to Witton Albion on Tuesday.

He was rewarded with a 3-1 victory in what he described as the best performance in terms of work rate and grit he has presided over.

This weekend, he is looking for the same sort of display when they host Matlock Town who were the division’s early leaders and currently lie in third position.

Fell said: “All I have heard this season is the great start that Matlock have had, but if we beat them we’ll go just a point behind them.

“They have probably spent three times as much money as we have.

“If we win on Saturday that will be the first 10 games, that’s a quarter of the season, and we’ll be right in the mix.”

Jason Walker, Matty Blinkhorn, Brad Carsley and Luke Thompson have all been ruled out through injury this weekend, although Steel could return.