Lancaster City 1-0 Atherton Collieries - Lancashire FA Trophy semi final

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Lancaster City beat Atherton Collieries to reach the Lancashire FA Trophy final on a wet and windy Wednesday night at the County Ground and will now face Bamber Bridge at the DW Stadium.

Brad Carsley put in a man of the match display as the Dolly Blues ended a three-game losing run, coming away 1-0 victors.

The first half was pretty much Lancaster’s with Jack Armer having a shot deflected but it was collected well by the visitor’s keeper.

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Atherton thought they had drawn first blood and opened the scoring when the ball ended up in the net but to the the offside flag was raised and the goal was chalked off.

Niall Cowperthwaite put in an excellent performance. Picture: Tony NorthNiall Cowperthwaite put in an excellent performance. Picture: Tony North
Niall Cowperthwaite put in an excellent performance. Picture: Tony North | freelance

City continued to dominate most of the first half as monsoon conditions began to take their toll on the pitch and the players, although the Dollies had a chance to take the lead when David Norris unleashed a shot but it was stopped by the Atherton keeper once again as the teams went into half time at 0-0.

The second half proved to be a livelier affair, but the possibility of penalties began to set into the minds of the travelling Dollies supporters.

Niall Cowperthwaite was excellent defensively but he was also positive going forward, slipping a ball into Paul Dawson whose shot was blocked in the penalty area.

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Once again, as has been the case this season, Sam Ashton produced a number of reflex saves to prevent City from going behind, the best of them came when he saved Louis Myers' shot.

Moments later City found the all important goal when they whipped a corner into the box, the ball was headed down and turned into the net by an Atherton player.

Dawson almost sealed the game for Mark Fell's side when a cross into the box from Rob Wilson fell out of Dawson’s reach.

It was the defensive paring of Simon Wills and Cowperthwaite that in the end won the game for the Dollies, last ditch tackles by both towards the end of the game saw City hold on for the win and book their place in the Lancashire FA Trophy final against their nearest rivals Bamber Bridge.

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