City switch their attentions to FA Cup after being held at home by FC United of Manchester

Lancaster City boss Mark Fell felt on another day his men could have collected all three points against FC United of Manchester on Tuesday.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 9:28 am
Rob Wilson on the attack for Lancaster City. Picture: Tony North

The Dolly Blues saw their perfect record at the Giant Axe this season come to an end as they were held to a goalless draw by Neil Reynolds’ men.

After a disappointing first-half display, City improved greatly in the second period but they were unable to breach the backline of the visitors.

While accepting his men were off the pace in the first half, Fell believes they can count themselves unfortunate after a rousing performance in the second half.

“I think based on the first half, we were miles off it,” said Fell. “We were going far too long and we didn’t link anything up.

“But that is all credit to them because they worked hard and pressed us.

“We had a chat at half-time and we tried to put some things right.

“I thought second half we were good. We shortened the game, played some good football and had more intensity.

“We looked like the team who could potentially go and win the game.

“I think we probably did enough but did not got the result.”

After Saturday’s terrific 4-2 away win over Gainsborough Trinity, Fell did concede that the game against the Red Rebels was maybe one match too far in what has been an hectic start to the campaign.

“I thought we looked a bit leggy maybe,” said Fell.

“We only made one change from Saturday in terms of the starting line-up and in hindsight, maybe could we have freshened it up a bit more?

“We did not make enough good decisions first half and we weren’t at the races, but we wanted a response and that’s what we got second half.

“On another day, we get away with that in the first half and we win by a couple in the second half, but that’s football.

“We are still unbeaten at home and it’s still a point to add to the total.”

The Dolly Blues produced their best performance of the season so far to defeat a strong-looking Gainsborough outfit.

They were 3-0 up at the intervals thanks to a brilliant hat-trick from former 
Ipswich and Leeds midfielder David Norris.

The home side rallied in the second half, but Jason Walker’s 57th-minute strike proved to be the killer goal.

“We didn’t really know what to say at half-time because it’s not that often that you go in a 3-0 away from home against a good side, who we expect to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

“They hardly got out of their half and David Norris has got himself on the end of three good pieces of play from ourselves.

One disappointing aspect of Saturday’s game was the sending off of central defender Luke Thompson for two bookable offences.

He will now miss this weekend’s home game against Northwich Victoria in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

“It was never a sending off,” Fell said. “It was just a strong challenge – not even a foul.

“The consequence of that is that we can’t appeal two bookings which is painful for us.

“It means Thommo will miss the FA Cup game which we are unhappy about because he’s done really well since he has come into the side.”

On paper, even without Thompson, the Dolly Blues should have more than enough to move into the next round of the cup.

However, Northwich are two division below City in the football pyramid, although they are currently in sixth spot in the NWCL Premier Division.

“Don’t read anything into the fact that they are a couple of leagues below us,” he said. “They have good quality players and we’ll have to be at our best.”

On Tuesday, City travel to high-flying South Shields in the NPL Premier Division.