Lancaster City 3-0 Northwich Victoria
Lancaster City rounded off their summer programme in style with a 3-0 win over a Northwich Victoria side they played on four occasions last season.
Jordan Connerton scored for the first time since his return, joined on the scoresheet by Charlie Waters and Billy Akrigg who has since signed a contract for the season.
Oliver Crolla had City’s first opportunity, curling over with his left foot after a patient but flowing move.
For the visitors, switched to the Evo-Stik First Division South this season in a league reshuffle, Alex Midumi lobbed over Mike Hale but also the target and shortly afterwards when the home keeper was rounded, Tom Watson was on hand to make a last-ditch tackle.
Daniel Cockerline’s low effort across goal was pounced upon by Hale and Vics also headed a couple of chances over from set pieces.
The deadlock was broken minutes after the restart, as Connerton did what he does so well holding the ball up before rolling his marker and firing past Callum Hill, whose left hand was not enough to keep it out.
Tyler Edwards was one of several Northwich players to blaze into the stands in reasonable positions, while at the other end Hill came out on top in a one-on-one with Akrigg and Waters’ subsequent lob on the rebound was headed off the line.
Waters was not to be denied though, Connerton involved again as he rose highest to flick on a diagonal ball and Waters struck a thunderous volley into the roof of the net.
Waters almost set up the Dollies’ third as he floated a ball in only for Josh Westwood to head powerfully over the bar.
However, once again Waters could not stay out of the action, exchanging a couple of one-twos with Akrigg leaving the latter to tap into an empty net to cap off an encouraging pre-season.
Although Phil Brown has been forced to make selection and formation changes in the last few weeks, there are a lot of positives to take such as the notable increase in the impact of youngsters such as Charlie Russell, Dan Shearwood, Terry Cummings and new signing Waters.
Ben Hudson’s return is a real boost after such a lengthy layoff and there is healthy competition for places ahead of Droylsden visiting Giant Axe on Saturday for the opening day of the new season.
Lancaster City: Hale, Henry (Hudson), Anderson (Livingstone), Watson, Westwood, Davis, Crolla (McKenna), Russell (Shearwood), Connerton (Russell), Akrigg, Cummings.