Lancaster City 0-0 FC United of Manchester
Both sides battled valiantly for a victory at the Giant Axe, but the spoils were shared as Lancaster City drew 0-0 with FC United of Manchester.
City came out physically against United, putting in some crunching challenges in the opening encounters.
Niall Cowperthwaite was booked inside the opening 10 minutes of the first half, making his presence known in the middle of the park early on.
The Dolly Blues had the first chance of the game – David Norris gaining possession in the United half and shooting wide of the target.
A few more free-kicks followed as more challenges started to appear from both sides, but chances were hard to come by after the first 22 minutes with Matty Blinkhorn and Jason Walker both being caught offside.
On the halfway point of the first 45 United came close to opening the scoring with Tom Dean heading narrowly wide of the target.
From this point on United began to grow into the game.
On the half-hour mark, Charlie Ennis had a shot on goal but it was comfortable in the end for Sam Ashton in the City goal.
Chances came and went for United for the rest of the first half, with forward Tunde Olowabi struggling to make an impact for the away side thanks to City’s back four keeping him quiet.
Two minutes before half-time and City had another chance.
Walker was dinked into the box and did brilliantly to hold off his man, he found space for the shot but hit it wide of the target.
By half-time both sides had put a shift in to try and find an opener.
United had more chances to take the lead, but the teams went in evenly matched.
The second half began positively for City after Norris was slipped in on goal by Jack Armer.
United keeper Wharton saved the shot and Norris was flagged offside, but it was a bright start from the home side.
Olowabi scored two goals in United’s previous fixture but was unable to get past a solid City backline who had him well under control.
Paul Dawson was the next City player to receive a yellow card after chasing down Wharton to the ball.
He narrowly missed the ball and caught Wharton in the process.
In the 57th minute United got away with a dangerous challenge in their box, full back Aaron Morris went hard into the back of Walker and looked to be a foul, but the referee waved away the appeals.
On the hour mark Walker took a quick throw in into the path of Blinkhorn, who took the ball just too wide to get a good shot off and ended up firing wide.
A few minutes later and out of nowhere United came close to taking the lead when Morris found space on the right side of the box after a cross and Armer heroically threw himself in front of the shot that was heading for the net.
Two minutes later Thompson made a crucial challenge to prevent United from running in on goal, he made a superb long-range pass to Walker who cut in on his right foot and curled a divine effort just wide of the far corner.
The best chance of the game went to City with 10 minutes to go when Rob Wilson put the ball into the box after his corner was cleared, Armer had a free header but couldn’t find the target from close range.
Things got ugly after Armer was fouled near the byline with eight minutes to go. The challenge resulted in a heated affair which led to Luke Griffiths being sent off for the away side.
With four minutes to go City gave away a dangerous free-kick, Linney stepped up and went for goal but Ashton matched it and saved it well in what was the last chance of the game.